Moving from Shared to VPS: Goodbye Dreamhost, Hello Digital Ocean

I happened across a promo deal with this startup canadian company, offering seemingly crazy “one-time cost” VPS hosting. And I thought, what the heck I’ll go for it. So $35 later I’ve got my own VPS. Which is a scary thought since I’m prone to break things… except on a VPS that’s not a problem! After I broke and re-imaged the server a few times I was starting to get the hang of things. I’ve never been a complete novice when it comes to command line stuff (after all I am a web geek), but I’ve not at all a “sysadmin”. Boy did I have a lot to learn!

At any rate I thought having a VPS was fun, plus it was amazing how fast things were. I honestly didn’t know that WordPress’s Admin area could actually so responsive and quick. I was hooked. I decided “I want this for my main sites”, and so I proceed to make that happen.

However, I wasn’t going to pin everything to this startup, so far they’ve been great, and the VPS I bought from them is still up and running perfectly, but I definitely wasn’t going to throw up my 7~ year old sites on a brand new company like that.

I’ve always known about Linode, it has sort of been “When you’re ready for serious hosting, go to Linode” in my mind. I had actually been set to sign up with them, even if they were a bit more expensive but eventually I decided to go in a different direction. There’s a newer VPS provider that’s been making waves lately called Digital Ocean. Their prices certainly can’t be beat, but one of the other draws they have is that they offer SSD hosting. And damn are they fast, I can’t gush enough about how freaking fast they are! It was definitely worth the “hassle” of having to set things up myself.

So far I’ve been with them for a few days, and through the use of rsync, mysql dumps and imports, and a nifty search and replace windows program (to fix mysql database path stuff), all my big sites are back up and running on my super fast VPS. I’ll likely make a few posts regarding the technical aspects of moving hosts, since aside from some of the Digital Ocean tutorials/articles, most Linux “How Tos” are extremely confusing and/or out of date and/or just obtuse.

I would like to give a shout out to Dreamhost, my previous hosting. Shared hosting is a great place to start off, and their custom panel is definitely a painful loss. Having to do things manual now is quite a pain, and don’t even get me started on setting up email!  I actually found Dreamhost to be extremely useful in helping me prepare my move. The fact that they offer you shell access for shared accounts was a godsend, I couldn’t imagine having to manually download my file hosting sites and then slowly uploading them to my VPS over days, or even a week or longer.

EDIT: For anyone interested in Dreamhost, feel free to use my KUPATRIX promo code, it’s one I setup ages ago, offers a free domain for as long as you’re with Dreamhost, and has a discount, though I forget for how much

The one thing I was surprised about was that there were no specific articles about moving from Dreamhost to Digital Ocean, I would have figured DO would have had one themselves, or at least someone somewhere had written about it. At the least I figured I would post a few articles on my experiences.

3 thoughts on “Moving from Shared to VPS: Goodbye Dreamhost, Hello Digital Ocean

  1. The only thing to keep in mind is that DO is unmanaged, so while it is super fast; you have to do everything manually. From setting up email, figuring out DNS, to even just adding a subdomain or something. I’m not fully convinced it’s worth it, actually; but the speed is hard to deny even if it can be a hassle to setup. I’m planning one last ‘experiment’ — and if I can’t get everything going the way I want it too, I just might end up back on Dreamhost or another host.

  2. Hey, have you written about your experience moving from Dreamhost to DO?
    I am considering the same and any info would be nice.