DigitalOcean Vs Aws – What Are the Major Differences

DigitalOcean is a one-of-a-kind cloud hosting company that provides cloud services to businesses, allowing them to grow by installing DigitalOcean apps that run simultaneously across several cloud servers without losing speed. DigitalOcean, which was founded in 2011, focuses solely on the requirements of developers. It has experienced a significant increase and has received substantial venture capital financing throughout the last years.

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is, on the other hand, a complete, developing cloud-based platform supplied by Amazon which provides a vast number of different branded IaaS and PaaS products. AWS cloud services are available to state agencies, educational institutions, charities, and commercial organizations. Amazon’s AWS is by far considered to be the industry leader; in particular, Amazon is projected to have as much processing capacity as the other 11 rivals altogether.

As we can see, both Digital Ocean and AWS are cloud service systems that provide database storage, computing power, and other features. Both are ideal for a variety of application needs and budgets. In this article, we are going to discuss what are the major factors that differentiate Aws vs DigitalOcean and which one should you use in which case. So let’s get started in order to find out more.

DigitalOcean Vs Aws – Main Differences


While we talk about these two cloud systems, it should definitely be emphasized that there are several major differences between DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services including Cost, scalability, performance, and interface. So we are going to analyze these crucial factors in detail down below.


In terms of price, DigitalOcean clearly outperforms AWS since it maintains its cost as simple as possible. It offers regular monthly prices, making the budgeting process much easier. AWS, on the other hand, has a pre-paid model for its more than 160 services. DigitalOcean’s cost for Droplets and other products allows you to know how much you’ll eventually end up spending in advance.
Furthermore, while comparing AWS vs DigitalOcean pricing, it should also be noted that DigitalOcean typically costs way less than identical or similar cloud computing capacity. Their base plan is $5 a month, and with hourly and monthly payment choices, this is why it is incredibly reasonable for small businesses and independent software developers to use their system.

On the other hand, AWS does not have as transparent pricing as DigitalOcean does. Sometimes it might be a nightmare to calculate costs in AWS correctly. It has different pricing for different countries and also, there might be a lot of hidden costs inside the AWS infrastructure which makes the overall cost very unpredictable for the user. Therefore, ​​the price has become a typical concern for customers contemplating AWS services. Since DigitalOcean is pretty straightforward in its costs, it is not surprising that the latter is an obvious winner in this DigitalOcean vs AWS price comparison.


Cloud computing is distinguished by its scalability. The power of the cloud to regulate the scalability of your system automatically is a big benefit for application availability. Scaling your app on AWS is rather simple, thanks to a multitude of complementary technologies that enable your web application to manage large quantities of traffic and address a worldwide audience.

Amazon Web Services was founded in back 2002 which means it was one of the very first in the industry. Therefore, AWS was the one that determined the general cloud computing concept and played an important role in the process of its development. Nowadays, Amazon offers its users 99% of all the functionalities that anyone might ever need when it comes to cloud services. And it is also not surprising that the performance of the AWS servers comes with the highest quality possible.

AWS offers more features and functionalities than any other hosting company, ranging from core technologies like computation, and storage, including databases to new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. This fact already implies that scaling on AWS is practically limitless. This is why in most cases, scalability is considered to be one of the greatest advantages of the Amazon Web Services cloud-based platform. Even though you might have to pay more with AWS cloud service, the latter guarantees your highest-level experience all the way in scalability as well as performance.

Apps served on DigitalOcean, on the other hand, can scale quite effectively and most likely with more ease. While DigitalOcean performance strives for simplification, it remains extremely adaptable, allowing your skilled development teams to construct an optimized solution for your apps. However, Digitalocean keeps its list of features short and the most used one. So even though AWS offers you a ton of features, you might not even use most of them.


Another essential factor that differentiates these two cloud systems is their interface. At that point, DigitalOcean is definitely very flexible yet, this does not imply that DigitalOcean is lacking functionality. It is an ideal cloud service for deploying and managing web apps. Apps stored on DigitalOcean are able to scale just as effectively as any AWS option, and most likely more easily. This is one of the major reasons why DigitalOcean often becomes a user-favorite option since it is extremely easy to navigate and has a very comfortable and user-friendly interface as well.

On the other hand, the interface of Amazon Web Services is considered to be very complicated and puzzled. There are too many services and functionalities provided by AWS, this is why sometimes it might become very difficult to comprehend fully what are each of these features and how they work, especially for beginner users.

Another reason why DigitalOcean is considered to have a very developer-friendly interface is the fact that it provides users with all kinds of data that might be useful for them. For example, developers can have easy access to the server information such as disk usage, memory, load, bandwidth, and so forth. The interface is so straightforward that people do not have to waste too much time and energy searching for appropriate information for themselves.

However, while we compare DigitalOcean features to the AWS it should also be noted that this information is not given to the users by default since their interface is much more complex and not so easy to navigate. So while developers are using AWS they usually have to spend extra time looking for detailed information about how the server works. On the other hand, DigitalOcean has a more straightforward and flexible approach at this point.

Permission Feature

One of the main features that distinguish Amazon Web services from DigitalOcean is its permission functionality which is called Identity and Access Management (IAM) in AWS. An IAM is a particular permission IAM identity that you can generate in your account. This is the specific functionality that affects what the identity can and cannot do in the system.

Permissions allow you to establish and restrict who has access to certain AWS resources and services. You might add a policy that describes the kind of accessibility, the actions which can be done, and the objects on which those actions could be conducted to give permissions to IAM roles.

IAM’s key advantage is that it enables you to generate unique usernames and passwords for particular users and assign access to them. On top of that, limitations can also be placed on requests. You can, for instance, enable the user to gain access to specific data but restrict the user the ability to edit this information due to the restrictions. This is why the permission feature of AWS makes their cloud service more flexible as well as safe and secure for the users. Therefore, It is unfortunate that DigitalOcean does not provide its users with this type of functionality and at this point, AWS definitely outperforms DigitalOcean’s cloud service.

Aws vs DigitalOcean – Which One to Choose In Which Case?

We have already analyzed the major differences between AWS vs DigitalOcean so now let’s talk about which one is better in which case. As we have already mentioned, DigitalOcean has a more minimalistic and flexible approach with its easy-to-navigate interface so if you are a tiny startup searching for a convenient solution, DigitalOcean is the perfect place to be. This is due to the fact that it provides users with the major and most common functionalities you are looking for in cloud services. Besides, you probably want to choose a more budget-efficient option for your small business, therefore, this is another crucial reason why DigitalOcean might be the ideal alternative for you.

On the other hand, If you are a huge organization that needs all of the features in one environment, Amazon Web Services is unquestionably the greatest option. AWS’s position as the unchallenged leader in the cloud computing industry, as well as its international reach in at least 36 AWS regions and over 50 edge locations, are one of its most significant benefits that you should take into consideration while choosing between various cloud services.

It can be said that DigitalOcean is not a direct rival to Amazon. Its target audience consists of small-scale developers and enterprises that want a fast-growing start-up with a high-performance server. Therefore, before you make a final decision you are recommended to look through all features and functionalities they provide and analyze your business needs accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DigitalOcean cheaper than AWS?

DigitalOcean is often far less expensive than equivalent or comparable cloud computing capacity. Their standard plan is $5 per month, and with hourly and monthly payment options, this makes their system extremely affordable for small enterprises and independent software developers to use.

Is DigitalOcean good for Hosting?

DigitalOcean performance seeks simplicity while being highly customizable, allowing your talented development teams to build an optimal outcome for your projects. So if you have a startup at an early stage of its development you are recommended to employ DigitalOcean’s cost-effective cloud hosting service.


Written by Keti Getiashvili

Based on an interview with Tornike Khachidze 

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We are a 150+ people product design, software development, and growth marketing agency from Tbilisi, Georgia. Delivering hundreds of successful projects for industry-leader enterprise companies and startups earned us 100+ international awards, partnerships with Laravel, Vue, Facebook, and Google, and the title of Georgia’s agency of the year in 2019 and 2021.

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