Just to give you an idea on Digital Ocean. I've only ever used shared hosting so it was a little daunting but here is a quick overview of what I've done and how easy it was to do.
There are promo codes on twitter for it, I got myself a $10 one, which is two months, in terms of setting it up, it really was very quick.
I've been using it in conjunction with serverpilot.io. They basically set your apps up, they load, MySQL, PHP-FPM, Apache, Nginx, you can choose what version on PHP to use within your app, configure SSL etc (I'm in the process of doing that now). They basically make sure the website is secure and maintained with updates.
I used their guide on installing phpmyadmin and Memcache, so far it's been pretty good, the main issue Im having is moving my SSL because its on my old host and set up to be there,
So, I haven't done a lot with digital ocean, but so far their customer service is quick and very helpful. I've set up SSH keys to my droplet and used them to help create new SSL keys. The biggest thing for me was using and getting FileZilla to work, I really feel like I need that GUI interface to upload and adjust files/ permissions/ the file itself etc.
I have yet to install elasticsearch or JDK on the server. I've spent a long time making various mistakes, to the point where I even deleted my droplet and just recreated a new one. I think i've got 90% of my Yii site to work., part of the reason I think i'm having trouble is i'm accessing it through the ip address and not the domain as that is all waiting for SSL certs to be reissued and the other half is .htaccess/ yii id to be using just https.
It's been interesting, a little overwhelming at times. But I think it's very fair to say that with server pilot that you can have a good base setup for PHP website very very quickly and your sever will be looked after security wise. Installing PHPmyAdmin is a 5 minute job, memcache a 1 minute job. ServerPilot is $0 a month for it's base plan too.Works on a few different cloud BPS providers too.
My site does also appear to be really pretty quick, not sure if that's due to using the ip address or not. I'm not even using memcache currently.