Blogging 101: How I manage my web hosting options – Digital Ocean vs. Bluehost

20 thoughts on “Blogging 101: How I manage my web hosting options – Digital Ocean vs. Bluehost”

  1. I’ve never heard of Digital Ocean before but I may need to check them out a bit when my hosting is up for renewal next year. I’m currently using Bluehost and really don’t have any issues with them so I’ll really have to see how the next few months go.

    Does each website you host have their own dedicated droplets? Or do you need to create multiple droplets for it depending on the size, speed, traffic, etc?

    1. I only have a single droplet, believe it or not, and I host this site, along with my companion FullTimeExplorers.com site, and I’ll probably add a couple additional sites in the future too. I do this through the WordPress multisite feature that runs multiple domain named web site through a single WordPress installation.

      But even if you weren’t using WordPress, you can still host multiple domain named sites, but you’d have to do a little configuring on the web server to make that all happen through Virtual Hosts on Apache. This is where being comfortable on the command line comes into play.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I wish I had your technical skills. I have to outsource most of the work for my two sites and blog. Making changes via the back end is about what I’m limited to do. All good though. Thanks for the great information on your hosting options…..Steve

  3. Interesting, never heard of Digital Ocean before, may need to check it out later. I’m using Dreamhost for web hosting but is thinking about switching over to Bluehost to save some cost. Also, it seems that everyone is using Bluehost. Any thoughts on Dreamhost or moving over to Bluehost?

    1. I’ve used Dreamhost and their services are pretty solid, actually – though I happen to like the Bluehost control panel a little better. I don’t necessarily think there would be a huge benefit to going from Dreamhost over to Bluehost, honestly unless the $3.95 price is something that you’d be interested in. 🙂

  4. I actually use ovh (kimsufi). It costs more in absolute but I get an actual dedicated server (not a virtual server like what Digital cloud offers) for about $20 a month. There’s also no limit on the bandwidth, and I have 16GB of Ram (that’s much more than what digital Ocean offers for the same price) and a 2TB Hard drive (although not SSD).

    Don’t get me wrong; it’s overkill for a tiny blog like mine, but I’ve used them in the past for bigger sites and enjoy doing business with them.
    In hindsight I think I should have gone with bluehost initially for my FI blog, to reduce the costs.

    1. Sounds like a good deal to me, though I’m more focused on cash-to-need rather than having the most. What I have is enough, and I’ve definitely come to cherish the meaning of “enough” over the last year or so.

      Thanks for your comment!

  5. I had not heard of Digital Ocean before either. That is an interesting concept to have the ability to dedicate “droplets” on different servers, in different countries, and having the ability to assign the size requirements.

    I definitely am a less technical guy than you and have Bluehost and WordPress as my blogging platform and tool. After I used the dashboard, appearance, comments, and blog post areas a few times, I believe I had about 80% to 90% of the day to day stuff figured out.

    1. Yup, that’s the nice thing about Bluehost – it’s very easy to figure out. A few clicks here and there and you most likely have what you need. Even for me, I very much appreciate the simplicity of Bluehost, no doubt about it. Every. Just. Easy.

  6. First off, I don’t know how you’re cranking out so much great content — I don’t even feel like I can keep up with reading everything you’re writing. But you’re rocking it — thank you for always having some great food for thought or information.

    I know I’ve been complaining a lot to you about the WordPress hosted platform we’re on now, especially the new interface. I want to go self-hosted, but haven’t felt like I’ve had the time to deal with the transition. Maybe sometime in 2016… But this is super helpful when that time comes. I’ll definitely refer back. So thanks! 🙂

    1. Ha! Thanks ONL – I get into these bouts of inspiration and then nothing can stop me from writing! If you need assistance if and when you do end up moving your blog, let me know and I’ll be glad to assist in any way that I can!

  7. Thanks for the tip on Digital Ocean. Looks like they’re taking the hosting world by storm, at least on the financial side of things. I’m savvy enough to handle root access, but not sure I want to spend that amount of time maintaining my host.

    Droplet must be their term. Is that a docker container or a self-contained VM with dedicated resources? Makes a big difference when you get a traffic spike, even with caching or a CDN.

    I’m with hostgator for legacy reasons. Not ready to jump ship at the moment, but I may try Digital Ocean when I do, just for the freedom.

    1. Hey Jack – yup, a “droplet” is most definitely their term. It is basically a virtual machine with its own dedicated resources, yeah. I definitely understand the legacy reasons to stick with a particular hosting provider – it happens. 🙂

  8. We went with bluehost and it’s worked well enough for us. I haven’t gotten crazy enough about anything just yet to want that level of customization, so again, like you pointed out, Bluehost fits that bill entirely.

    It’s good to know other options though, and Digital Ocean sounds like a good “dip your toes in” platform for taking things to the next level. For now though, I like the ease of someone else dealing with that stuff. 😉

    1. Yeah, Bluehost is one of those “set it and forget it” companies, and for good reason. Things just work, and that’s never really a bad thing. 🙂

    1. Hi Mrs. Groovy – I’ll be very honest, I’ve never found books to be the greatest teachers of technical disciplines. They do contain good information, but especially in this business, the information is rather meaningless unless applied in a very practical, hands-on setting.

      The best way that I learned was by doing. I purposely got myself in over my head and then figured out how to get myself out. I gave myself challenges to complete. Lots of Googling. Lots of StackOverflow.com.

      I found that simple Google searches worked far better than reading books in my case. 🙂

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