By: Akshita
November 13 2018

Choosing an Expert Host for your Drupal Website

You might be a blogger, a startup, or a Fortune 500 but this question - which hosting would be right for me? - bothers you all alike. Once you have set up your website, this is the next big dilemma. 

Which hosting platform to opt for?  

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The best one to serve your needs will leave you with a feeling of happiness and benefits like reliable and high performing website. But a wrong one might end up getting you in a messy divorce. Where you are the one giving out huge sums of alimony, headaches, and lost data and files. 

Avoid getting into this divorce-like-situation with your Drupal website. Here’s who are the experts in Drupal specific hosting and what you must look out for. 

But Identify Your Needs First

An ideal choice would be the one which juxtaposes with your needs while giving you more and better services. Here’s how you could identify which type of hosting to opt for. 

  • Shared Hosting: Sharing of the server. Shared hosting is like using one wifi router in a room of 20. Since all of the people in the room are using it, the sum of money gets divided. An ideal solution for those who have just started or are into small businesses like blogging. 

    Shared hosting offers the best opportunity in a shoestring budget, and so you have to care less about one thing - and that is money. 
     
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS): A slightly better option than shared hosting, a VPS has a closed group of people sharing a server. So instead of 20, the number is now 5. 

    The bill gets slightly larger for each pocket, however so does the service quality. The benefits include larger consumption with moderately better speed. Instead of sharing a pool of resources, each site is allocated a certain amount to use. 

    VPS is an ideal choice for the small to medium site traffic websites. 
     
  • Cloud Hosting: A relatively new type, cloud hosting lets the number of individual servers work together so it looks like one huge server connected with many servers. Defining it better, let’s say 5 individual wifi connections are connected to a bigger moderator which doesn’t slow down the speed. In case one wifi stops, you can access other wifi connected through the moderator. 

    Benefits of cloud hosting over VPS is, in case there is a surge in your website traffic and it is beyond the limits of your server, a significant amount is, then, shifted to another server which can handle the visitors’ spike. 

    This allows you to manage the traffic spike without shelling out the extra bucks as in the case of a dedicated hosting. 
     
  • Dedicated Hosting: In all of the cases above you have to share the cloud hosting resources with other organization. In a dedicated hosting server, each one gets their piece, to an individual server. 

    This means each one of the room has one wifi and one person accessing it. Which implies each one enjoying unlimited access to data downloading. Coming to the pricing, of course, you will have to pay more than in any of the cases above, since you are the only one using it. 

    Dedicated hosting offers you greater freedom over the resources. And because you are not sharing the resources you can use the server to its capacity. Dedicated hosting servers are best known for their high-speed performance and best for the sites which drive huge traffic. 

An ideal candidate would be government, news-and-media, e-commerce websites, or other large business organizations. 

Another criterion to choose a hosting platform is on the basis of CMS specific hosting. 

Why should you opt for Drupal specific hosting, if one of the four options mentioned above can fulfill your criteria?  

Why Opt for Drupal Specific Hosting? 

CMS specific hosting options are safer and better because they are simply more compatible out of the box. Drupal specific hosting comes with a bundle of features. 

Here’s what you can expect from the Drupal-specific hosting options. 

  1. Complimentary Security: Nothing can tarnish your reputation more than hacking.  Securing the website doesn’t end with implementing general hacks on the website, but securing the server too. 

    Drupal specific hostings provide you with server-side security patches and pre-emptive upgrades to match up with the new upcoming versions. 
     
  2. An Enhanced Server Infrastructure: Security is important but your needs involve a  server that matches with your website’s infrastructure. The server that can take up that much load. 

    A Drupal specific host can provide a server infrastructure that is specifically optimized for running Drupal websites in a way that they were designed to run.
     
  3. Better Support: Your Drupal website’s needs are unique to the needs of a website on  WordPress. Drupal specific hosting provides you with options more compatible with the ins-and-outs of Drupal. They provide you with the:
     
    • Ability to use Drupal server CLI tools like Drush, Composer, and  Git.
    • Drupal specific solutions like Varnish and Memcache come configured. 
       
  4. Better Speed: Peak traffic can result in exhaustive to-and-fro of data from the server to the computer which can eventually wear-out the server. This extensive process makes it hard for the server to adapt to growing numbers of viewers visiting the site at real-time. 

    A Drupal-specific host will provide with solutions like configured Varnish. Varnish assists with scaling, by including additional software which helps disperse the bottleneck. 

Who are the Key Market Players?

  1. Pantheon

    Claiming to be the fastest hosting service in the world, Pantheon stands at the top of the list. Providing a super-efficient container-based platform, it is flexible, scalable, and fast. An apt choice for your Drupal website.  

    Since it is a Drupal-specific hosting provider it supports Drupal’s core architecture for the new configuration management, while letting you set up a development, testing and live versions of your website. 

    It also allows you to use Git version control system to move changes between your Drupal website environments.

    Pricing: You can also check out the pricing for Pantheon services.Three blocks in grey, blue, black color with text written on them

    Best For: Pantheon hosting is apt if you have a multiple-site setup or run a big, traffic-intensive website. 

  2. Acquia Cloud

    Acquia Cloud is a dedicated Drupal cloud hosting platform. Since Acquia is a Drupal agency, Acquia Cloud provides you with Drupal specific tools and features to accelerate you build, test, and deploy your Drupal cycle.

    It is scalable, secure, and performance intensive. 

    It’s development platforms provide you with Drupal best practices, making it easy to set up your Drupal website and get running. It also provides you with a trial, where you can get started with it and pay when the website is ready to launch. 

    Price: The pricing varies from region to region with cheapest in the US. Here are the Acquia Cloud pricing details: 

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    Best For: Medium to large enterprises

  3. AWS

    Amazon Web Services (AWS), a product of Amazon, is a cloud hosting platform offering Drupal specific hosting. Its extensive database storage lets you build sophisticated applications which are flexible and scalable. 

    With its compute power, content delivery, and other functionality your businesses can scale and grow forever. 

    AWS provides various services which can be used to host Drupal 8 in a distributed environment, such as EC2 instance, RDS Instance, S3 Bucket. 

    Price: Here are the AWS pricing details

    The overall cost of hosting a Drupal CMS on AWS will vary depending on your usage The monthly pricing can range anything from $4.32 to $4760.64 per month given that the cost for hosting your Drupal site on AWS ranges from $0.006 to $6.612 per hour. 

    Best For: Medium to large enterprises.

  4. Siteground

    Providing one-click installation, Siteground offers free Drupal migration. 

    Built on super-fast servers with SSD drives, the packages involve a host of features to ensure security like daily backups, free CDN, 24/7 uptime monitoring of the servers and infrastructure that run your site among others. 

    Ensuring faster performance it adds Dynamic NGINX caching which can dramatically boost your Drupal performance and loading speed.

    Price: Here are the Siteground pricing details:

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    Best For: Small enterprises
  5. Platform.sh

    Providing fail-proof deployments, high availability, multi-app, and multi-cloud support, Platform.sh gives you added security. Hosting some of the largest Drupal websites, it offers sovereign cloud for added data privacy in Europe

    Giving access to Drupal specific tools, it provides you with Git driven infrastructure.  For a faster Drupal site, it gives you built-in Redis and Solr support, Drupal Console, and Drush support. 

    Keeping up with the latest technologies Platform.sh also lets you practice continuous deployment without letting your website break. 

    Among its many features, it offers zero user charges, access to free hosting, everything on SSDs. 

    Price: Here are the Platform.sh pricing details:

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Best For: Agencies of all types and sizes. The prices are apt for your needs.

Free hosting might not always be a great idea. Why?

Although free is always enticing, not every time it can leave a pleasant experience. Free hosting means you are sharing resources with other websites. As mentioned above shared hosting can leave the website down with a spike in traffic or slow down or unresponsive, in worst case scenarios. 

In other cases, poor customer services forced ads, slow speed can lead to a poor user experience with huge bounce rates. Limited storage space and no automatic backups can leave you frustrated too.

Who Else Can You Look Forward to? 

The others in the list include:

  1. Contegix

    Contegix provides cloud hosting with application lifecycle management, and managed services to all markets from start-up to enterprise. 

    Delivering secure websites, Drupal hosting solutions range from compliance with FedRAMP, PCI, and HIPAA. Further, it supports point and click code, database, and asset deployments from development to production environments.

    Contegix acquired BlackMesh.  

  2. Sevaa Group

    Providing a secure and flexible server architecture for your Drupal architecture, Sevaa group provides managed hosting for your Drupal website. With 24x7 support, automated development workflows, and a 100% uptime guarantee Sevaa provides SSL certificate provisioning and installation. 

    With managed backups of production web & database server, it also provides streamlined source control with Git Hosting and continuous deployment and integration. 

  3. HostPAPA

    With easy one-click installation, HostPAPA provides Drupal dedicated hosting. Providing free SSL certificate, migration, domain, Global CDN, it gives a 30-day money-back-guarantee and much more.  

    Focussing on speed, performance, and security, integrated accessibility features and SEO optimized URLs are just some of the many features it provides. 

  4. A2Hosting

    Offering ‘Turbo Servers’ which A2Hosting claims can make your pages load up to 20X faster than traditional hosts! Drupal features such as Memcached and OPcache come preinstalled. 

    Providing auto-configuration so you get the best performance and most secure settings. The pricing starts at $ 3.92 a month. 

  5. GlowHost

    Providing dedicated servers for Drupal 7 and 8 websites, GlowHost services start from as low as $9.95 (shared hosting plan). 

    With one click Drupal installation, Drush integration it provides 24*7*365 support to your website.  

Conclusion

In case of a newbie, shared hosting is always the best option.

Fixing on one hosting option is not an easy decision, especially if your website is built on Drupal. Dedicated hosting is always a better option since it saves you from a lot of mess. In order to streamline your development cycle with Drupal security and development cycle, Drupal-specific hosting options are the best option. 

Planning to build your Drupal websites or confused which hosting option to opt for? Contact us at [email protected] and let our experts help you out.