A while back I wrote a post about the dilemma of moving away from shared hosting to VPS (unmanaged) hosting and dealing with domain-specific email addresses.
I’ve been migrating a number of web sites to a “droplet” with Digital Ocean.
There are many benefits to this:
- Complete control over the environment – pick your own Linux distro, db engine, web server engine, PHP version, etc.
- Cost – For $10 on Digital Ocean, you get more RAM, CPU and storage than for most VPS servers for $30 or more.
- Flexibility – at Digital Ocean, you can spin up new “droplets” in about a minute, using a snapshot of a current droplet if you need to scale, etc.
I’ve started looking moving the sites I’m hosting on a Hostgator reseller account to a Digital Ocean cloud VPS. I’ve already moved over my personal sites to a the base $5 VPS. The lone issue is what to do with the one client I have who uses their domain’s email thru Hostgator (as well as future clients). I set up all of my other clients (including myself) with Google Apps email for their domains prior to Google no longer offering a free version.
I’ve never set up or maintained mail servers before, so I’m not excited about the prospect of doing that now, as critical as email is for most businesses. I wish there were cloud hosting services that could spin up a small VPS just for email after entering a domain name and making a few DNS updates. Maybe there are and I just haven’t found them yet.
I could just maintain a Hostgator account that only handles email for multiple domains, but seems a bit klugy.