Moving Away from AWS
Recently I moved forward.cat from AWS to Digital Ocean, but it wasn't an easy choice, as both options have some strengths. Let's compare both alternatives.
Amazon Micro Instance
Processor: 1 CPU, only short 'bursts' allowed Memory: 613MB Storage: EBS storage, remote Transfer: not included Price/mo: approx. $11
Amazon's Micro instances, with remote spinning discs and capped CPU, are quite underpowered. However, EBS automatically replicates your data, so there is no need to do backups.
Also, Amazon has great services and products for all needs: DynamoDB, RedShift, IP management tools, etc.
Digital Ocean Smallest Plan
Processor: 1 Core Memory: 512MB Storage: 20GB, SSD Transfer: 1TB included Price/mo: $5
Digital Ocean smallest plan is clearly cheaper and more powerful, as it has an SSD drive and the CPU is not capped. The downside is that it has less memory and you'll have to pay 20% of the cost of the machine to have automatic backups.
In any case, if you pick such small machines, remember to use a 32bit operating system. This is because having so little RAM we won't need 64 bits to address it, and furthermore all the memory pointers will use 64bits, unnecessarily wasting memory. As an example, Ubuntu 14.04 AMD64 uses 115MB after booting, while the i386 version only uses 72MB.
Given the lower costs and better performance of the latter I decided to switch, and so far I'm very happy with it. It's running a couple of websites and still has room for more services if needed.