Hosting trials and tribulations

I'll be hosting Curry Finder 5.0 with Digital Ocean. Previous versions used the free GoDaddy hosting that came with my domain registration, but I decided this was the time to get serious and start paying for a proper solution.

Digital Ocean is an all SSD setup, and their basic package is only $5/month, which seems crazily cheap, but perfect for development. I even scored $10 coupon on Twitter so it's been free for the first 2 months. $5 gets me a virtual private server with 512MB RAM, 20 GB SSD Disk and  1TB bandwidth.

I started with Ubuntu 12.04 and the default LAMP stack (installation instructions here) which includes PHP 5.3.10. However, I've been using MAMP 3 locally which includes PHP 5.5.10 - and some of the code I'd written wasn't backwards compatible (PHP 5.4 added array dereferencing), so I needed to upgrade the server version of PHP. Now, there seems to be a thriving Digital Ocean community, and each support article has plenty of comments attached, but these seem to be from people with a significantly greater understanding of the Linux world than I have, so finding a definitive solution was tricky. But, after a bit of searching I found this article which walks through the process. So a quick "snapshot of my droplet", half a dozen commands, and now I'm rocking' PHP 5.5.9. Easy!