Since 2013-2014 I was using Chicago based Steadfast for my dedicated hosting . They were top notch and no complaints except the rising hosting bills which is normal.
But when my apps at that time were mostly desktop apps (adobe air based) all i need was basic membership with WordPress logging and download pages, i thought I should switch to smaller ones so i can save some dollars. I was paying nearly $150 with stead fast , their premium service was very good.
Then i spied my competitors and moved to Reliablesite.net and were paying like $129 per month with a better configuration. Reliablesite was also very good , no complaints at all… This time i was having few php/laravel based apps sold for jvzoo marketplace (online marketers) they were mostly like content automation/curation apps. With slowdown in my “product launches” where i focused mainly on growing existing apps and not creating new ones which are tough to maintain, i was attracted by cloud players and wanted to moved to cloud hosting from dedicated hosting to cut cost and improve site speed etc (that was my thoughts though)
I took the bite and finally decided to move to digital ocean, my only concern stopping me was couple of my apps that are in old php version and some libraries, though im a tech person im surely not a server admin guy… i was scared about the temporary movement issues and if i can handle it. Luckily got a good admin (via fiverr) and for like $25 he moved couple of sites to digital ocean and used him for all my other sites also.
It worked very well now im paying like slightly less than $60 for which i was earlier paying $129.. thats more than 50% in deduction.
There is some trade off here, like in dedicated sites i dont use cpanel so its all command line, but having cpanel for like $35 monthly doesnt help me that much. Except for adding new domains and set up nothing it helps me. So digital ocean command prompt was easy (and in some cases quicker than cpanel)
So currently im using 3 droplets in different locations, US eastern, and US central and then India Bangalore for my India based websites (helps a lot in extremely high speed loading )
So far i think i made a good decision and i also regret how much i was paying every month last 5 yrs (like monthly $60+ at least) just to having lot of unwanted RAM and unwanted CPU etc under wrong assumption that it was helping my customers.
At least I got it now and im only improving with respect to optimizing my droplets.
When it comes to digital ocean if you want to do some maintenance you need to pay a developer do it like coding work and im paying it, but even when it was needed once in a while, it will certainly not go beyond $100 per month as of now.