Create server on Digital Ocean

Misago requires a server with at least 2GB of memory to work. At first this may sound excessive, but unlike shared hosting providers where memory usage is tracked per app, on VPS every single program running on your will add to the limit.

The good news is that 2GB of memory is enough for even larger and active Misago communities, so you will not have to worry about hosting costs growing any time soon.

Creating the server

Go to Digital Ocean website. Sign up if you don't have account or login if you do.

You will now see DO's cloud management panel. Click the green "Create" button and pick "Droplets":

Create Droplet

If this is first time seeting the name "Droplet", don't be confused: it' just a Digital Ocean name for "server in the cloud".

Picking droplet image

You will be asked what image to use to create your droplet. Under "Choose an image" select "One-click apps" and then "Docker":

Picking Docker for droplet image

Note that version numbers after "Docker" may differ from ones on screenshot. This is okay. First version stands for docker version. "ce" means Community Edition. "on 18.04" means that OS will be Ubuntu 18.04.

Droplet size

Next, move to "Choose a size" - there will be quite a few available, and Digital Ocean may suggest the "$40" "Standard droplet". Pick the $10 droplet that gives 1 CPU and 2 GM of memory instead:

Picking droplet size

Why not pick one of "CPU Optimized Droplets"? Those give you much more CPU power than standard ones, but majority of web applications don't do anything that requires a lot of CPU power. Instead, they receive HTTP connections, execute simple and short-lived tasks, read some data from database, put together html document and send it back to user. Likely the heaviest lifting your site will do will be generating thumbnails for user-posted images, but that will not be happening non-stop, and still is far less intensive than, say, encoding 1.5tb video files for streaming.

Choose a region

Scroll page to "Choose a datacenter region". You will see a list of flags and region names:

Picking droplet region

Sadly, there is no "right" choice here. As rule of thumb the closer the site is located to the users, the faster it should load for them.

For example, picking Frankfurt, Amsterdam or London should guarantee best response times for people in Europe, but site may take little longer for users from US or Asia. Likewise picking Singapore or Bangalore should be better if your users will be coming primarly from Asia. My site will be directed to users from Poland, so I'll pick Frankfurt for region.

Additional options

After picking region, next one will be "additional options". Here we will select IPv6 and Monitoring. The former choice enables use of IPv6 addressing for droplet (but doesn't mean it will be assigned IPv6), and latter will allow you to later monitor your server from Digital Ocean cloud panel:

Picking additional options

Finalize and create droplet

Final step for Droplet creation is selecting how many droplets we wish to create, and how those should be identified:

Picking droplet number and hostname

Make sure droplet count is showing "1 Droplet". Customizing "hostname" is optional, but will make it easier to recognize your droplet in Digital Ocean panel, so I've decided to change mine to misago-forum:

Customizing hostname

Lastly, click the large "Create" button at the bottom of the page. You will be taken back to your dashboard, where you will see your droplet on "Droplets" list:

Droplet is being created

When droplet creation finishes, the progress bar will be replaced with IP address assigned to it:

Droplet is ready

You will also receive an e-mail with access credentials for your droplet:

E-mail with droplet details

Next guide: Point domain at your server‚Äč