how i host my stuff for free on digitalocean

I started using DigitalOcean in 2017 while working on a WordPress project. I liked their easy-to-use dashboard and ability to quickly deploy a Droplet with just a click. Everything worked seamlessly straight out of the box. After using their services for a few months, I noticed DO offered a referral program. If people signed up using my referral link, I would earn a few dollars in platform credit once they spent money. Seeing an opportunity, I added a simple text link to my site footer that read "Powered by DigitalOcean."

Over the years, that one small link has paid huge dividends. ~268 people have used my referral link to sign up with DigitalOcean and created droplets. I use those credits to continuously host everything from business sites to API backends at no additional cost. Having such a bountiful hosting budget is incredibly liberating as a tinkerer.

Years later, I still have that same referral link in my old site's footer. If you're a power user of any platform or service, I highly recommend looking for similar, harmless referral opportunities. DigitalOcean's program has enabled me to take my ideas further while paying zero for infrastructure - I can't recommend them enough.