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I don't have a domain name. Should I obtain one before setting up a development server on Digital Ocean?


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Nope. You can access your server via its IP address just fine. Or, obtain a free Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) from <a href=“http://www.gnutomorrow.com/best-free-dynamic-dns-services-in-2013/”>Best Free Dynamic DNS Services in 2013</a>.

Only if you want to use a name instead of an IP address.