Last week, I spent some time moving my site onto Digital Ocean. Previously it had been hosted with GoDaddy, but I became tired with the relative lack of control they gave me with respect to my server setup. That combined with the prospect of having to pay for an SSL certificate – which you can generate yourself for free (more on that in a second) – gave me the push I needed to make the switch.
For those who don’t know anything about Digital Ocean, I highly recommend checking them out. The tutorials they provide are excellent, irrespective of the server technologies you want to use – I learned a tonne about what goes on under the hood of my server by reading through a few of them.
Rather than convolute this article with how I went about making the switch, I’ve written a separate article about the steps involved in setting up a site on Digital Ocean using NGINX.
As I mentioned above, one of the biggest reasons for moving my hosting was so I could enable HTTPS on my site – something that any developer can do for free using a great tool called LetsEncrypt.
Once I had my initial server setup on Digital Ocean, making the switch to HTTPS literally took a couple of hours. If you want to find out more details about how easy the process is, I’ve written an article explaining exactly how I went about it.
I can’t stress enough how straight-forward this is to do.
Switching your site to HTTPS is a no-brainer; Google use it as a ranking signal for their search results and securing your site using HTTPS is also a requirement should you wish to enable HTTP/2 on your server (which you should be looking to do in the very near future, if not right now).
While I was configuring my new hosting, I also decided to try out a CDN to serve up my site. The service I now use for this is CloudFlare.
So far I’ve been pretty impressed at how easy it has been to setup and use, although it’ll be interesting to see if that’s still the case when I change any of the front-end styling or assets.
If you’re interested in any of the things I’ve mentioned above, then check out the posts that I’ve written that explain the subjects in more detail:
Article posted on the 20th July 2016