Dave Bradford

Developer and picture taker.

Moving to Digital Ocean

March 10, 2014

Two months ago I moved this website over to the fine folks at Digital Ocean, who offer SSD based VPS servers.

I get the freedom to configure everything myself and experiment with configurations that aren’t supported with shared hosting. I came over from Linode another VPS provider who are brilliant, I wanted to test to see how easy it was moving everything over and see what Digital Ocean had to offer.

Basic Server Setup

Feross Aboukhadijeh helped me with most of the details with his guide How To Set Up Your Linode For Maximum Awesomeness. It’s focuses mainly toward setting up a Linode but you could apply most of the tweaks and setup to Ubuntu Server LTS 12.04.

I took a tip from my pal Danny and created a shell script with most of my install automated. In the future I’d like to look into Puppet as they seem to be the way to go for this kind of stuff.

Website Deployment

Sometime ago I moved this site over to Jekyll, a static-site generator that compiles your site from plain text files. It powers GitHub pages and I could host this site there for free however I have some Jekyll plugins that GitHub do not support.

I keep the source files on my machine and when I need to make changes or update I simple compile the site and sync the changes to my server using Capistrano, which allows you to create workflows for remote multi-server automation.

Although this isn’t necessary for a single server having a workflow to compile and publish changes to a remote location works wonderfully. I simply create the directories on my server, point my Capistrano workflow at the new destination and publish!

Digital Ocean have a great guide on setting this up.


Finally I updated my DNS records to point to the new server and waited. This has been the most painless server migration I’ve completed.

I put this down to Jekyll and way I can easily re-deploy my site to a new server without extensive configuration.

Digital Ocean offers a great service, overall I am pretty impressed with their performance. If your interested in trying them out, please consider using my referral link.