DigitalOcean Is Now the Third Largest Hosting Provider, WordPress Droplets Account for 23%


In just under two years, DigitalOcean has managed to sail past competitors to become the world’s third largest hosting provider, according to a recent report published by Netcraft. The company’s SSD-based cloud hosting products cater to developers and other tech-savvy customers.

As of November, DigitalOcean counts a total 187,866 active users running a cloud server (or “Droplet”), thanks in large part to the company’s affordable pricing structure, which starts at $5/month.

How many DigitalOcean customers are running WordPress?

I spoke with Tyler Hoffman, a DigitalOcean representative, who reports that the the company hosts 13,000 active 1-click WordPress droplets, a number which continues to grow each day. “These WordPress sites account for 3.74% of our total active ‘droplets,’” he said.

These figures are based solely on users who have deployed DigitalOcean’s 1-click WordPress images and do not take into account any custom WordPress images. The total number of WordPress droplets is likely much higher. In fact, at the end of October, Netcraft reported that “more than 23% of the active sites hosted at DigitalOcean are running WordPress, compared with less than 10% of all other active sites around the world.”

At the moment, the company doesn’t seem to be actively trying to attract WordPress customers. Nevertheless, Hoffman reports that WordPress customers are on the rise. In October 2014, DigitalOcean users launched an average of 220 WordPress droplets per day via the 1-click method, roughly 6,600 per month. As WordPress currently powers more than 23% of the web, it will be interesting to see how much of that market the company will be able to capture.

Netcraft reports that DigitalOcean is currently netting more than 68,000 new customers per month. In general, developers seem to appreciate the speed of deployment, the simplicity of the hosting interface, and the API for managing droplets and resources.

The company is still relatively new to the hosting industry and caters heavily to developers, which makes its rise to being the third largest provider all the more remarkable. Although DigitalOcean’s products don’t necessarily cater to the average non-developer WordPress user, the company seems to have no problem adding WordPress customers to its user base.


36 responses to “DigitalOcean Is Now the Third Largest Hosting Provider, WordPress Droplets Account for 23%”

  1. I tried hosting a wp site on their service, but the lowend option wasn’t enough to handle a basic wordpress version. Kept running out of memory. Ymmv, but I ended up moving the site back over to my shared dreamhost account, and haven’t had any troubles since.

      • Yes I did create a swap file. This was on a site with NO users! Like I said, it was probably because I did zero config and spend zero time on looking into issues aside from the swap file thing. With the next tier up ($10/month) things might have been better. Might have been better with nginx too. I’ll definitely try them again, as I like the concept, so we’ll see what happens!

        • Getting a VPS requires some initial setup, otherwise it’s useless. As an example, I’m running several different droplets with many WordPress sites (my own and of my clients), one of the droplets is still a $5 one, it hosts 6 small WordPress websites with total count of approx 200 users, 4000 posts and pages, 12 Gigs of media files (mostly pictures). The total daily visitors / views averages between 4-12k / 10-30k (for all 6 sites combined). On one single $5 droplet. And there are still server resources available for at least 2 more sites like this. The setup is pretty simple – Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x32, 512Mb swap, latest mainline Nginx, PHP 5.5.9 with OPcache as FPM, MariaDB 10 instead of standard MySQL, Memcached. All WordPress installs use Memcached Redux plugin for persistent object caching and some plugins for full-page caching (Batcache, WP Super Cache etc – depends on a site). Once set up, everything just works. I only have to update software packages from time to time, it takes few minutes.

      • I did the swap thing after the first time it ran out of memory. Helped a little bit, but was still frustrating whenever the client when to try to do something the site was down (and this was a basic install of WP, nothing special at all). Might try again one day with nginx :)

    • You can not compare Digital Ocean harware with normal shared hosting.
      Your experience its bc. there was not optimized software – ngix, cache, varnish, memcache …
      You can have the best hardware in the World but reading from SSD can not be faster than from RAM – cache on worse hardware.
      So use Digital Ocean is great, but you have to use some managed service or yourself or hire someone who can configure good server.

      • Yeah I didn’t mean I was displeased with the service, for $5/month you can’t complain too much :) But also if the budget is $5/month I’m not looking to hire someone to do server tuning either. I’m just saying the “out of box” experience wasn’t what I expected, and I didn’t have the time or budget to deal with it. Not faulting them at all.

        • Hey Jason!

          We recommend using the 1GB Droplet ($10/mo) for wordpress sites (at minimum). We also have a bunch of tutorials that can help you with Nginx, should you need it:


          I’m sorry you had a less than ideal experience. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you’d like some DO credit to try again sometime [].


  2. Well, I have worked with Digital Ocean… I have payed with my paypal but I would say they are prety cheap at price for vds on ssd that are offering to us, consumers. I’ve tried 512 droplet and a 2 Gb and 2 virtual core on my wordpress blogs. I manage to install very fast wordpress blog with one click install on the ubuntu 14.04 machine. Beside my wordpress blog on vds from Digital Ocean I tried a gaming server counter strike global ofensive, with 20 slots that it was working like a charm.

  3. I use Digital Ocean via Cloudways – managed service. Digital Ocean have powerful servers and Cloudways put there powerful software + great support … I can put amazing websites :)
    Satisfied with that service and its another category than any regular shared hosting …

  4. I have tried WP Engine, Bluehost, Dreamhost, Synthesis as well as quite a few VPS hosts and Digital Ocean is the best host I have tried.

    In my experience I have a more stable, usable and fast website by using Digital Ocean, ServerPilot and WP Rocket than any of the above.

    The only downside is that there is no WordPress specific support but in my experience you have to learn to take care of most complicated aspects of configuration even with the managed hosts.

    So, thanks Digital Ocean!

  5. I just came across DO last month, and they are definitely quite powerful; cheap too, from what I see. However, I’m a bit lost when it comes to operating from the Ubuntu command line. Any recommendations on a freeware version akin to cPanel or Plesk that can be used as a GUI on DO?

  6. That ‘68,000 new customers per month’ actual new ‘customers’ or it it 68K new ‘sites’ per month? I assume each customer could create multiple sites and Netcraft doesnt have access to Digital Ocean’s client list.

  7. Been torn between WP-Engine and DO and still on the fence. It really is kind of hard to make a decision when both seem to be quit good. Still kind of scared, don’t want my site to go boom then have to set it up all over again if it goes south.


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