There were a number of reasons for this, but largely it was to consolidate hosting of various hack apps alongside my blog. I had various apps hosted on AWS, Pagodabox and Fortrabbit. Lots of these were just little hack apps which I wasn’t really happy to pay for hosting. Recent changes to Fortrabbit and Pagoda meant I could no longer host there for free so I decided to throw them all up onto a Digital Ocean server powered by Forge.
I’ve used Digital Ocean at work before and it’s a great service, but I can’t really be bothered to do server admin on hack stuff and Forge makes that whole process a breeze. It took about 30 minutes, but in that time i’d purchased and set up both the Forge and Digital Ocean accounts, migrated this blog from AWS, and moved the first of my hack apps (bestbeers.in) across. With the quick deploy feature on Forge i’m able to deploy updates to my apps via commits to Github. This gives me all the power and convenience of Pagoda and Fortrabbit deployments.
Pricing wise, i’m able to host my blog and all these other little sites for around $20pcm total ($10pcm for each service). This is roughly what I was paying for my AWS account too but i’ve got much more flexibility here. I never liked AWS much, and their console is horrible. It took me almost as long as the rest of the work just to try and work out how to terminate the EC2 instance. Safe to say i’m not sad to see them go.
In terms of Pagodabox and Fortrabbit things are a bit different. Both have been really handy services for me and I still use Fortrabbit for a couple of things at work. Pagodabox is in the middle of a big infrastructure update, and good luck to them with that. They’re just not suited for this purpose, but i’ll use them both again i’m sure.