When searching for a VPS provider, I chose DigitalOcean not only because they were cheaper than my previous provider, but because they offer a wide range of tools that eases the load on a server admin. They offer Droplets, which are small or large VPS systems ($5-20) that can be resized at any time to adjust to your needs. This not only saves money on unused resources, but gives you far more control when doing things like creating a swarm using Docker or load balancing a web application.
While DO does offer Droplets that come packed and ready to go with many popular web applications, I chose to start from scratch with bare Ubuntu 19.04 servers, and install the LEMP stack manually, along with Docker, Docker-compose, and any other applications or tools I needed. This gave me a good opportunity to learn about configuring the tools that many servers seem to utilize, such as FTP, SSH, SSL, iptables, fail2ban, etc.
They do offer a powerful admin panel, which allows you to not only monitor your hosts resource usage but configure things like DNS, Firewalls, and Floating IP Addresses – which are a very useful tool for preserving DNS settings despite the possibility of a future back-end server change. It’s important to note that you can do much of the configuration from your servers CLI, and doing so gives good insight on how to troubleshoot any future issues you might run into with your applications.
Still – for running multiple web applications, a service like DigitalOcean that provides these features is ideal and allows you to focus more on learning in the areas you want to, while providing tools and documentation to help you along the way should you run into issues.
Try them out using my referral link and get a free $50 credit for 30 days – so you can feel free to make some mistakes when spinning these things up without having to pay!