If you've never setup a server before, you might be wondering what type of server and host you should use. Here's what I prefer and why.
The main types of servers
First of all, there's three types of servers:
- Dedicated server
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS)
A dedicated server means you own the server. You have complete control over it and it also has the most performance and security. This is the most expensive option.
Shared hosting is essentially a dedicated server shared between multiple people, but has provides you with significantly less control, security, and worse performance. This is the cheapest option.
A VPS is essentially the middleman between shared and dedicated hosting. You're still sharing a server with other people, but it provides you with greater control, security, and performance. This is the second-most expensive option, but it's still super cheap.
Personally I've only ever setup VPS servers. I've never needed a dedicated server for my projects. There's never been a time I've needed to use shared hosting because a VPS is still very cheap and is significantly better.
My chosen server host
I originally used Linode because it's cheap, easy to setup, and had everything I needed. But once I learned about DigitalOcean I've used them and haven't moved back.
Linode and DigitalOcean essentially provide the same service, but overall DigitalOcean is significantly better because of how user-friendly it is:
Its dashboard is modern and very easy to use. They also provide many other extra building blocks for setting up your server infrastructure, such as great developers tools (including an API) and object storage. They're even adding support for Kubernetes, although it's not something I've ever needed to use myself.
Linode has many of these things too, and so do many other server providers. I mainly use DigitalOcean because of how easy it is, and also because they're innovating and I trust they'll be even more solid in the future.
Although this is an honest post and isn't sponsored, if you do end up using DigitalOcean I'd appreciate if you use my referral code. It'll give me credit for my usage :)