Getting started with Node.js on Digital Ocean

I have evaluated and used multiple hosting options, PaaS like openshift, Heroku and Iaas like Digital Ocean, Linode and Amazon EC2 and finally have zeroed on Digital Ocean for their simplicity, cost effectiveness and most importantly availability of rich documentations and tutorials.

Pros and Cons of PaaS IaaS has been discussed in many places so we will not go into that discussion here. This is quick refence guide for getting started with Node.js on Digital Ocean.

Digital Ocean has rich set of tutorials for getting stated with different stacks (LAMP, MEAN, crude Node.js etc). Here are set of tutorials which you can follow to get started with Node.js.

  • Get started with Initial Server Set up with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. These steps are self explainatory and does not need any further clarification.

    • Step One — Root Login
    • Step Two — Create a New User
    • Step Three — Root Privileges
    • Step Four — Add Public Key Authentication
    • Step Five — Disable Password Authentication
    • Step Six — Test Log In
    • Step Seven — Set Up a Basic Firewall
  • Install Node.js. This step will install latest Node.js. Some times you might need some specific version of Node.js. For example, Ghost blogging platform wont run of latest Node.js version as its not yet supported. Ghost official website recommendeds >=4.2 <5.* (Node v4 argon LTS). Please check this tutorial if you want to install specific version of Node.js.

  • Now basic server set up is done and Node.js is installed, now you need nginx server. Follow how to install nginx tutorial to install ngnix.

  • Now you are all set. Follow how to set up Node.js tutorial to set up very basic Node.js application. Once you have done with this step, to get more comfortable with Node.js on ubuntu server, follow creating you first Node.js tutorial . This will give you more hands on and will increase your comfort level.

  • Setting up domain on Digital Ocea is super simple. Simple follow this tutorial to get it done.

    I faced an issue with domains. My website was working perfectly wine with https://example.com but it was not working for https://www.example.com. If you also face this issue, please go to Droplets->Add Domain–>Manage Domains and add a ‘A’ record as ‘www’ (without quotes), select your droplet and click on create record. This will resolve your issue.

  • (optional) You can make your website secure by following this tutorial.

  • (optional) If you are getting started and would like to host multiple Node.js websites on the single droplet, follow how to set up multiple virtual blocks tutorial.

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