About the Blog

Its about anything and everything. I, Steven Hancock started this blog for a variety of reasons. I want to start documenting my life and sharing that with others, whether that's family, friends, strangers or my future self. I also want to start sharing my experiences with others in hopes that others can learn from me. Perhaps I can help someone set up an Ubuntu server, write a Django Web Application, or setup a Phonegap Mobile App.

That's it. I'm hear to share. Nothing more, nothing less. I will be covering a wide variety of topics so feel free to browse for the blog entries that interest you most.

DigitialOcean, a Cloud Hosting Service

September 28, 2013

I have recently been bombarded with advertisements and anecdotes about DigitalOcean. I have seen multiple Tweets about the hosting company as well as analyses on podcasts, all with positive reviews. Well I’m in need of a new virtual host, so I figured I would give it a try.

Sign Up

Extremely easy! Literally, enter your email, choose a password and away you go. Wow what a novel signup process! Most companies, especially those who have a product to sell, require a much longer signup form. Not DigitalOcean. Why not get the user to signup (so you have their email) before you ask for any additional information, like credit card?

Getting Started

There are various different “Droplets” (basically an instance of a virtual server) that you may create. I chose a simple 512MB, 20GB (Solid State) Ubuntu server setup but there are a lot of other options, like different instance sizes and different Linux Operating Systems with different versions of the OS available. You can even automatically install popular applications like a LAMP server, Ruby on Rails, or even WordPress.

Once your Droplet has been created its easy to login through console, restart, backup, and resize your instance all from the web dashboard. To login through ssh all you have to do is check your email and use the IP address, password, and user (root) that was sent to you by DigitalOcean when you set up the Droplet. Once you have logged in through ssh I highly recommend that you at least change the root password or create a new admin user and change the root user to no login.

$ sudo adduser newusername
$ sudo adduser newusername sudo

Login as the new user to make sure it works. Then disable the root account from logging in.

$ sudo passwd -l root

How Did It Go?

This is the easiest I’ve ever set up a server. That includes setting one up in my basement, setting one up on EC2, and setting up multiple servers for work. The ease of signup made the whole setup take less than 10 minutes. This is also incredibly cheap. I will be recommending DigitalOcean to anyone and everyone.