Opinions on AWS vs DO Page Speed / Performance

I have been getting second throughs of running a small ghost blog + discourse community startup I have on Digital Ocean that is already up and running and thinking of using AWS services instead and restarting from scratch (not going to lose much). I have a $150 AWS account credit due to expire next year, and I have not used AWS. I am currently paying out of pocket for Digital Ocean though. I want to understand AWS because I know AWS is popular among customers & companies in web dev, I figure now may be the time but also maybe I am exaggerating the benefit in my mind of having to go through and switch things.

The big focus of mine is page speed and performance, which often falls with CDN + A Host. I am accustomed to CloudFlare, but not so with AWS CloudFront. From my understanding, the way S3 + CloudFront works seem in theory way faster than DO > CloudFlare. If DigitalOcean + CloudFlare is the fastest load, I will stick with DO. My concern is I am struggling right now in getting CloudFront to work because it appears if one thing is wrong the entire CloudFront + EC2 + Route 53 + SSL Certs setup says “lol u suc I no work”. I been chasing my tale for a solid 8 hours so far in trying to spin up an EC2 with the above-mentioned services (with EC2 as origin server instead of a S3 which is causing most of the problems because the documentation is poor with this setup config) and Discourse to test CDN performance over DO + CloudFront without mucking with the S3 just yet, because I know that’s another thing.

So at this point is this an omen for me to stop and keep paying the 10$/mth with DO or is there a tangible performance benefit using AWS + CloudFront + S3 (like this site) over my current setup of Digital Ocean + Cloudflare. Should I push a bit harder it or call it a rainy day for now?

Also, I am aware AWS is a bit more expensive, but my understanding if you are smart about stuff it comes out quite similar to DO in terms to web hosting, possible even cheaper due to things like you can use S3 storage smarter than you can use Digital Ocean Blocks (or maybe I am misguided)

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Only way you can properly figure this out is by monitoring. You are at luck we have a plugin:

For a low-mid traffic site digital ocean is probably going to be just fine, but you should use a CDN. If you want less server time opt for high CPU droplets.

Amazon offer an army of servers to pick from, depending on what you pick it may be slower or faster.

Also nothing stopping you from using CloudFront and S3 on Digital Ocean.


If you just want to use your AWS credits and keep it simple, use Amazon Lightsail like you would use Digital Ocean.