RT Cunningham


It’s Time to Move My Website from Droplet to Droplet at DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean droplet According to my control panel at DigitalOcean, I’ve been using my current droplet as a web server since July 16, 2016. That was a couple of days before I redirected the name servers for my domain name from Media Temple to DigitalOcean.

It’s time to move my website to a new droplet. DigitalOcean recently upgraded their hardware and their plans and my older $10 droplet is almost the same as a new $5 droplet.

Droplet Differences

My current $10 droplet has 1 GB memory, a 30 GB disk and I don’t remember the bandwidth limit. A new $5 droplet will have 1 GB memory, a 25 GB disk and a 1 TB bandwidth limit.

I started with a $5 droplet, which only had 512 KB memory, and I don’t remember the rest. For whatever reason, 512 KB wasn’t enough. I resized it permanently to a $10 droplet before I saw a non-permanent option was available. I’ve lived with that mistake for well over a year.

When the time was right, I could have switched to the cheaper one again. I didn’t bother because the price difference wasn’t a big deal. I’ll be a fool to ignore this opportunity.

DigitalOcean has a page that will let me install a LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP) stack with one-click on a new $5 droplet while activating it. I may or may not replace MySQL with MariaDB. I may or may not disable it altogether. My current website setup doesn’t use a database.

Droplet Changes

I’ll once again go with an Ubuntu server even if I don’t know which version it’s at. It was at 16.04 in 2016.

The last time I secured my website with Let’s Encrypt, I had to use a convoluted routine. This time I can use the “certbot” package.

The new server setup will be fresh. All the nonsense I accumulated on the current one will be gone, which is good. I think anyone maintaining a server should start over every couple of years. I’ll be starting my move sometime next week, when I have the money to prepay for a month or two.

DigitalOcean added network level firewalls in June of 2017. They upgraded the hardware and plans this month. I want to say this is the last move I’ll ever make but I’ll probably be lying if I do. If DigitalOcean comes up with other major improvements, I could be enticed to move yet again.

If I start feeling depressed again, it will definitely be my last move (before shutting down completely). I hope I won’t sink to that level again but I can’t predict the future.

Update: January 26, 2018

The move is complete. DNS propagation used to take up to three days. Now it’s less than 24 hours. Here’s a tool that verifies it: DNS Propagation Checker

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By RT Cunningham
January 18, 2018
Web Development