It's the year 2014, and the Ubuntu Budgie project had just begun to kick off under the name Budgie-Remix.
Shortly after that, joining the team to take care of any web technology-related tasks, we ran the site by leveraging the WordPress.com service (giving us free hosting). As time went on, we had found that the service did not come without limitations compared to running the service independently on our own.
Being a student at the time, I had taken advantage of the GitHub Student Developer Pack, which included starter credits for DigitalOcean to begin experimenting with their service. The credits were an invaluable tool to allow me to become comfortable with the offering before going all in. The first thing that I noticed was the apparent priority DigitalOcean places on ease of use with its web console. Let's just say I had all the bells and whistles up and running quite rapidly. The ample documentation and tutorials available were a treasure trove of knowledge, especially for those who are first-timers with terms like VPS, DNS, MYSQL, SSH, etc.
Most of the features are easily accessible from the main panel, and you can quickly learn more via the excellent documentation. Having the capability to back up your data fast, deploy a new server via an API and rapidly restore is significantly easier than doing it manually. When uptime is critical for a busy website, these time-saving mechanisms are essential.
Thanks to Dustin, we were approved in 2017 for open-source project sponsorship. All of our infrastructure (outside of the tools and processes provided by Canonical) are deployed to DigitalOcean services. This has been an invaluable sponsorship of which we sincerely thank DigitalOcean for. It has been critical in allowing us to scale our infrastructure, experiment, evaluate tools and improve our processes. They have proven repeatedly to be an active member of the open-source community by providing these sponsorships well beyond just our project.
It has indeed been a service that has been a joy to work with and cannot recommend it enough.