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7 Best DigitalOcean Alternatives – Our Expert Picks in 2024

Suzanne Stewart Suzanne StewartWeb Hosting Expert March 18, 2024
March 18, 2024
DigitalOcean isn’t the most user-friendly host out there – and if you’re struggling, there’s only limited support included for free. There’s no live chat, phone, or email support, only a ticketing system. This isn’t just bad for beginners, but can also slow down the workflow of seasoned developers.

There are many alternatives to the powerful cloud hosting DigitalOcean offers, but not all of them provide a better experience. And you don’t want to spend a lot of time and hassle switching hosting providers only to end up running into the same problems.

I tested as many cloud hosts as I could in order to find out which ones offer better support systems and usability without compromising on overall performance. I managed to cut it down to the best seven hosts. I discovered Kamatera to be the best option of the bunch.

Short on Time? These Are the Best DigitalOcean Alternatives in 2024:

  1. Kamatera – Completely customizable cloud VPS with amazing uptime.
  2. ScalaHosting – Easy-to-use, beginner-friendly managed VPS hosting
  3. Liquid Web – Managed hosting with a 100% uptime guarantee and fast loading speeds.

See 4 More Great Options | Comparison Table

What We Look For in the Best Alternatives to DigitalOcean

In my search for the best DigitalOcean alternatives, I looked for these features.
  • Reliable uptime. DigitalOcean often has periods of downtime. I chose hosts that provide much more reliable uptime.
  • Better support. Since DigitalOcean is aimed at developers and advanced users, it provides very limited support. There’s no live support (unless you’re a large business that can afford the Premier Support plan), so all you get is ticket support, which can be slow. Many of the hosts below include much better support with their hosting plans.
  • Usability. DigitalOcean takes a fully hands-off approach and lacks many features which make hosting easier – something as simple as creating a WordPress site involves accessing your server through Secure Shell (SSH). Some alternatives on my list are more user-friendly.
  • Managed service. Managed hosting can be a fantastic time-saver for developers, so I’ve included hosts that offer partial or full managed hosting.

Kamatera 30-day free trial
Kamatera’s extensive trial allowed me to fully test its service
Kamatera offers powerful cloud hosting services, including fully scalable and customizable Cloud VPS hosting. Whereas many similar hosts, including DigitalOcean, offer rigid plans with different VPS configurations, Kamatera allows you to create a VPS that’s perfect for your needs by specifying exactly what resources you want.

To do this, Kamatera offers you server packages, rather than plans. For example, you can buy a server package consisting of 1vCPU, 20 GB SSD storage, 5 TB of traffic, and 1024 MB RAM for less than the price of a fancy coffee. That’s more than enough server to set up a small business or personal site. Kamatera isn’t for beginners, however. There’s a lot of tech knowhow needed. But for the low price and high performance, it’s a techie’s VPS dream host.

When it came to testing Kamatera’s overall performance and reliability, I came away impressed. With an average page loading speed of just over one second, Kamatera’s results are on par with DigitalOcean. While technical support is limited unless you pay for a managed service, Kamatera offers much more customizability and reliability than DigitalOcean.


  • Preinstalled cPanel. If you’re looking to get a site up quickly, you can pay a monthly fee for a cPanel license. It’ll come preinstalled on your server, and from there you can use the Softaculous app installer to install any CMS (content management system) or web script that you need.
  • Automatic daily backups. When creating your Cloud VPS, you can pay a small monthly fee to have your server’s data backed up daily to an external storage array. You can restore previous versions whenever needed.
  • Premium firewall service. While it’d be nice if more security features were included for free, Kamatera offers a strong optional firewall for your server at a low monthly fee. It can be fully managed and customized for your particular needs.
  • 30-day free trial. Kamatera’s long trial period includes access to one fully customizable Cloud VPS, which is free as long as your server costs don’t go over $100 for the month. You even get a designated account manager for the duration of the trial.
For more on Kamatera’s performance, read our expert review.

Hosting types Cloud, VPS
Data center locations 5 in US, 1 in Canada, 1 in Hong Kong, 1 in Israel, and 6 in Europe
Uptime guarantee 99.95%
Starting price $4.00

While VPS hosting isn’t for the novice website owner, any host who can make server management easier is a host worth considering. ScalaHosting actually provides its managed VPS plans at lower prices than its self-managed ones. That means site owners who find themselves in the new territory of VPS hosting after outgrowing their shared hosting packages will have little to fear.

ScalaHosting’s SPanel makes managing your VPS server and account easy and efficient.
One reason for this is ScalaHosting’s proprietary control panel, SPanel. Its intuitive nature and easy-to-use design  make server and site admin easy and efficient. It even includes Softaculous and all its 400+ apps, giving you the freedom to create your sites as you desire. SPanel makes your server and site management stress-free and worry-free, too.

ScalaHosting’s managed VPS hosting also includes an abundance of features, including free site migration so you can easily upgrade to VPS from your shared hosting without a glitch. ScalaHosting’s SShield, its proprietary security system, blacks 99.97% of attacks and gives you real-time notifications of any security breaches.

One big advantage of ScalaHosting is its affordability, and all that you get for the low prices. Its entry-level Build 1 plan includes 2 CPU cores, 4 GB RAM, 50 GB NVMe storage, all for a very reasonable price. Is ScalaHosting the cheapest VPS hosting provider? No. But it does offer some of the most affordable deals with the most value-packed features around.


  • Unlimited bandwidth with all plans. While other hosts limit the amount of traffic your VPS can handle, or only offer unlimited bandwidth on higher-tier plans, ScalaHosting starts everyone off with unlimited bandwidth.
  • Free SSL certificates. You receive a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for every domain you host on your ScalaHost VPS server.
  • Remote daily backups. ScalaHosting backs up your site’s data to a different server in a different data center from yours, ensuring you never lose an email, file, or database.
  • Cloudflare and caching to improve performance. Increase your site’s loading speeds with free Cloudflare integration via your SPanel control board. You can also choose OpenLiteSpeed and SPanel caching options for better user experiences.
To discover more of ScalaHosting’s features, check out our expert review.

Liquid Web support response time guarantee
Liquid Web’s support team is always available to lend a hand
If you’re looking for more streamlined, user-friendly hosting than what DigitalOcean offers, Liquid Web could be the host for you.

Each Cloud VPS plan is fully managed, which means that Liquid Web will handle the installation of your server’s core software, keep your OS updated and patched, provide security enhancements, and more. A managed VPS provides you with more security and full control panel support, too.

Liquid Web guarantees an amazing 100% uptime rate. It even guarantees fast initial responses to support requests. While prices are quite high, Liquid Web’s commitment to providing you with easy and reliable hosting will easily cure any lingering headaches that remain from DigitalOcean.


  • Managed WordPress plans. If you’re looking to take the hassle out of managing your WordPress website, Liquid Web also offers managed WordPress hosting through its subsidiary company, Nexcess.
  • Great control panel options. Liquid Web gives you the option of  managing your server via Plesk, InterWorx, or cPanel.
  • Impressive global performance. With great loading speeds and near-perfect uptime, Liquid Web has no problems when it comes to performance.
  • Robust security. All of Liquid Web’s servers include the Server Secure security solution for free. This automatically hardens your server and optimizes your security settings.
Read our expert review for more on Liquid Web.

Hosting types VPS, dedicated, cloud, managed WordPress, managed WooCommerce
Data center locations US, the Netherlands
Uptime guarantee 100%
Starting price $15.83

Cloudways managed hosting
Running a site is enough work – Cloudways takes care of the technical side for you
Cloudways isn’t a traditional web host. It’s a third-party hosting management service that allows even complete beginners to benefit from the top-tier performance of cloud hosting.

Choose your hosting service from some of the top cloud platforms in the world – DigitalOcean, Google Cloud, and AWS (Amazon Web Services) – and Cloudways will do the rest. You’ll never need to contact your actual host as Cloudways will manage your hosting, and provide security patches and updates, 24/7 server monitoring, and automatic backups.

Cloudways also provides a simple control panel and offers 24/7 support with guaranteed response times. You could even choose to host your site with DigitalOcean through Cloudways, allowing you to combine DigitalOcean’s powerful infrastructure with good management and support.


  • Staging environments. Every plan includes access to staging environments for free. These can be set up with a single click, allowing you to test changes without affecting your live site.
  • Unlimited website migration. DigitalOcean lacks a site migration service, but Cloudways will migrate your first site for free. You can also transfer an unlimited number of WordPress sites with the free WordPress migrator plugin.
  • Guaranteed support response times. Even the free tier of support guarantees a response time of 12 hours for normal priority issues, and three hours for high priority issues. If this guarantee isn’t fulfilled, you may be eligible for service credits.
  • Free 3-day trial. Cloudways allows you to try out its service without risk for three days, so you can see for yourself whether it improves your experience of DigitalOcean.
Read our full Cloudways review for more features.

Hosting types Cloud
Data center locations US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Japan, South Korea, India, China, Singapore, Bahrain, South Africa, Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland
Uptime guarantee N/A. Cloudways relies on its third-party platforms to maintain site uptime.
Starting price $11.00

5. Amazon Web Services – Great Performance and Reliable Uptime

Copy of DigitalOcean Alternatives
Amazon’s flexible service is perfect for a variety of use cases
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the biggest available today, serving megacorporations like Netflix and offering some of the best performance and reliability out there. However, you don’t have to be a multi-billion-dollar company to benefit from its powerful infrastructure, as AWS does have some affordable cloud VPS plans that are perfect for hosting sites or apps.

The Amazon Lightsail service is its budget option, providing scalable cloud VPS hosting at cheap prices. This comes with some nice benefits, such as the automatic configuration of your server’s network and security, and the availability of pre-configured development stacks such as LAMP, NGINX, and Node.

On the other hand, this host probably isn’t the best choice if you’re a beginner. While there’s plenty of documentation available to help you along, the free ticketing support is slow, and you should expect to pay a premium if you need advanced technical help.


  • Static IP and DNS management. Included in all Lightsail plans are a static IP and DNS management, at no extra charge.
  • AWS Trusted Advisor. All AWS services have access to the Trusted Advisor tool, which tests your server for any basic security and performance flaws. It will then help guide you on how to best rectify them.
  • One-click installations. The Lightsail plans also include the ability to install various OSs, CMSs, and development stacks with one click. These all come preconfigured and ready to use.
  • Extensive free trial. AWS offers you a three-month trial of its Lightsail service, which empowers you to test the cloud VPS for a maximum of 750 hours of runtime per month. Furthermore, you gain 12 months of access to AWS’s free tier, giving you the opportunity to delve into several of its powerful cloud solutions.
For more on plans, see our comprehensive AWS review.

Hosting types Cloud
Data center locations 6 in the US, 1 in Canada, 8 in Europe, 2 in Australia, 10 in Asia, 3 in the Middle East, 1 in South Africa, 1 in Brazil
Uptime guarantee 99.99%
Starting price $3.50

6. Microsoft Azure – A Secure Cloud Hosting Solution with Impressive Free Support

Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
Microsoft Azure’s virtual machines are perfect for hosting sites and apps
Microsoft Azure is another big contender on the cloud computing scene. While it isn’t as big as AWS, it has some unique offerings that stand out against DigitalOcean. You have a choice of Linux or Windows with a ton of different configurations available.

Sadly, my tests revealed performance to be a little disappointing, with Azure proving to be slower than DigitalOcean overall. It’s also not an easy host to use if you’re just getting started with website hosting, as it can be quite confusing to navigate its backend.

However, Microsoft Azure shines when it comes to security. It offers a wide range of free security features, including server monitoring, a web application firewall, and the Azure Security Center, which assists you with preventing, detecting, and responding to threats. If you’re looking for a more secure solution than DigitalOcean, Microsoft Azure could be the host for you.


  • Great knowledge base. While Microsoft Azure can be difficult to use, its extensive knowledge base can guide you along while you learn the interface.
  • Responsive support. When I tested its free ticketing support, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response within minutes. There’s a presales chat bot and Azure also offers premium support levels for even faster response times and broader support coverage.
  • Managed databases and storage. Microsoft Azure offers a premium managed SSD storage service specifically for its virtual machines. There are also premium managed SQL database plans available, which include automated backups and patches.
  • Extensive free trial. Microsoft Azure offers a 30-day free trial with $200 credit to test its services. After this ends, you can still use many of its features for 12 months, including a virtual machine for up to 750 hours of runtime each month.
For performance results, see our Microsoft Azure review.

Hosting types Cloud
Data center locations US, Canada, Brazil, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, Norway, China, Singapore, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, UAE, Hong Kong, Poland, and Qatar
Uptime guarantee 99.99%
Starting price $0

7. Render – Developer-Oriented Hosting to Optimize Your Productivity

Render cloud hosting for web apps
Render allows you to build and run all your websites and apps from one platform
If you’re a developer, Render may be a good choice for you.

First of all, Render is fully Git integrated. You can deploy changes to your site directly through GitHub/GitLab, making your workflow simple. Render also provides support for popular development frameworks, Dockerfiles, APIs, background workers, Cron Jobs, and private networks. It additionally offers fully managed PostgreSQL databases with automated daily backups for less money than DigitalOcean’s similar service.

On the other hand, while Render provides a great knowledge base to help you get started with the platform, my experiences with email support involved long waits or no response at all. There’s also a free community forum that also includes waiting. Render charges for other support, however, which may be better. There’s chat support included in all of Render’s paid plans. Enterprise customers even receive access to a private Slack channel.

Overall, Render provides a developer-oriented cloud environment that’s much easier to work with than DigitalOcean.


  • Persistent block storage. With Render disks, you’re able to store persistent data across deploys and restarts. These are simple to set up, and are perfect for databases and content management systems (CMSs).
  • Private services. If you want to create a database or cache that is inaccessible to the public, you can easily create a private service. The data will only be accessible by the other services on your Render account.
  • Unlimited static sites. Render, unlike DigitalOcean, empowers you to freely create an unlimited number of static sites, complete with a fully managed TLS certificate and unrestricted collaboration capabilities with its Organization and Enterprise plans. Please note, however, that there is a monthly bandwidth limit of 100GB on the Individual plan.
  • Free plan. Render’s Individual plan is free, so you can sign up without the need for a credit card, and try its services completely risk free. Cron jobs on the Individual plan, however, are a paid add-on.
Still curious about Render? Read our review for more.

Hosting types Cloud
Data center locations US, Germany
Uptime guarantee No legal uptime guarantee
Starting price $7.00

Choose the Right DigitalOcean Alternative for You

The best DigitalOcean alternative depends on your particular needs. If you’re looking for complete customizability in your hosting environment, I’d recommend Kamatera. Its performance is on par with DigitalOcean, and through its Express service, you can deploy preconfigured servers in minutes.

If you’re just getting started with VPS hosting, ScalaHosting is the host for you. Its beginner-friendly SPanel, along with lower prices for managed plans than unmanaged means it has all the VPS hosting novice needs.

However, if you prefer to have a more hands-off approach to hosting, Liquid Web’s core-managed plans will save you the time you’d normally spend on maintaining your server. And if you ever run into any hiccups, Liquid Web’s responsive customer support is available around the clock to help out.

If you’re still unsure, you can check out the following table for a side-by-side comparison.

Standout feature Free trial? Managed Starting Price
Kamatera Fully customizable and scalable cloud VPS plans 30 days Available $4.00
ScalaHosting Fully managed VPS hosting at affordable prices No Fully managed available $20.00
Liquid Web Fast loading speeds and near-perfect uptime 14 days (for Managed WordPress only) Core managed, fully managed available $15.83
Cloudways Fully managed cloud hosting with 24/7 support 3 days Fully managed $11.00
Amazon Web Services Fast, reliable hosting with free trials 3-month and 12-month free trials, plus always free plans for selected services Available $3.50
Microsoft Azure Extensive security with responsive support 3-month and 12-month free trials, plus always free plans for selected services Available $0
Render Reliable cloud hosting focused on developers 7 days Fully managed postgreSQL databases available $7.00


Can I host anything on a VPS?

VPS hosting, like that offered by ScalaHosting, includes guaranteed resources, a more secure platform, better reliability and performance, and is more customizable than most other types of hosting. So, yes, you can host almost any type of website on a VPS host provider.

What’s the difference between a managed VPS and a core managed VPS?

With a managed VPS, the hosting provider’s tech team handles all server-related tasks and any configuration requests you might make. With a core managed VPS host such as Liquid Web, the tech team typically only acts if you either make a request or if an issue comes up, such as a server failure. You are responsible for much more of your server’s administration.

How secure is cloud VPS hosting?

Cloud VPS hosting providers like Kamatera go to great lengths to keep your server secure and your data private. Kamatera’s cloud firewalls protect against malware, viruses, DDoS, spyware, intrusion attacks, and more.

Are there any disadvantages to VPS hosting?

Yes, a few. VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting and unless you opt for a managed VPS hosting provider such as Cloudways, it can be quite technically challenging. Your site’s increased security, greater available resources, and improved performance, however, makes it worthwhile.

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