For the last 5 years, I've used BlueHost exclusively for my hosting needs. They're fantastic! They have great customer support and their CPanel setup makes managing things very easy.
However, I've changed a lot in the last 5 years. I'm not afraid to fire up a linux server and get it web-ready...in fact, I prefer it that way over any other. But paying for a VPS (Virtual Private Server) can be pricey (at least for a poor kid like me). I made the choice a while back to get a Reseller account with BlueHost in anticipation of growing my own client base. This seemed like a good move, but when my client base didn't expand and I found myself taking a hiatus from business ownership, I found the $60/month crippling. I was benefiting from BlueHost keeping things secure and properly configured, but my handful of sites (only a couple of which generate revenue) didn't warrant the cost. So what's a guy to do?!
Enter Digital Ocean. These guys know what they're doing. For as low as $5/mo (Don't clean your glasses, it's true) you can get a nice VPS linux box (They call them "Droplets") running Ubuntu, CentOS, or a number of other distros. Digital Ocean runs all their services on SSDs so everything is blazing fast and you can fire up a machine in just 55 seconds. Their management interface is beautifully simple and will let you:
- Create SSH Public Keys
- Manage your Droplets (turn on and off)
- Create machine snapshots
- Configure DNS Records
That last part is also amazing. They have their own Domain Name Servers, so point your domain to them, and set up your DNS records to point right to your Droplets. No hassle and everything can be nicely contained in one spot.
A few hours of work and I'd transferred my handful of sites (including this one) to my new Droplet and all is running well.
I highly recommend checking them out, but be warned: they aren't holding your hand. Services like BlueHost and AWS take care of a massive amount of behind-the-scenes configuration and security to keep things running smooth. That's why they cost more. If you want to go this route, make sure you're comfortable with setting up a linux machine to be a web server and that you know what you're doing.
I promise, I'm not getting paid by them, I'm just really impressed and excited to save some money. If YOU want to try them out, then click right here to sign up and get a free $10 credit on your new account (yes, I get some kickback from that as well).
Check it out and have some fun.