Drupal is a common open source CRM that makes it easy to manage a large website. When you are building a new site using Drupal you could assume all web hosts are equal.
Being open source there isn’t any reason you couldn’t install Drupal on any VPS or dedicated server you decided to pay for monthly.
What if some web hosts offered features or exceptional packages that make them a better choice though? In this article, we’re going to look at some of the things to look for in a host when you are using Drupal. Do you know what else you could be getting from a host beyond the basics?
The first thing you’ll need to understand is what makes an excellent hosting platform for Drupal. Luckily Drupal’s system requirements are easy to meet. Its compatible with all of the major web servers, Apache, Nginx, and IIS. Drupal also requires a database server and natively supports MySQL, MariaDB, Percona Server, SQLite, and PostgreSQL.
With an additional module, Microsoft SQL is supported as well. Finally, you’ll need to be running at least PHP 5.5.9 or higher. While the system requirements aren’t steep, it is essential to understand that these are minimum requirements. Your hardware requirements will scale with website traffic. The more traffic you have, the more CPU/RAM your web server will need to maintain performance.
The next thing to look for in a Drupal hosting company applies to people using Drupal already. Some hosts offer free migration support for existing Drupal installations. These hosts are a clear choice when you are just moving Drupal installations from host to host.
Some providers even have experts do the transfer for you. Having a guarantee your site will be transferred quickly and be working when the transfer is done can be priceless when juggling a web host move and other priorities. Siteground is one such provider that is suggested on Drupal’s site. Click the link below to look into one of their great Drupal hosting packages:
Siteground is an excellent option for Drupal users as they have some features you won’t get on other hosts. In addition to site migration, new Drupal users get one-click installation and unique features such as a custom interface for Drupal Git and an in-house caching system they built for Drupal called SuperCacher. This combined with excellent support in the form of Drupal experts, 24/7 support, and sub-10-minute ticket response times you can rest assured you’ll be well taken care of if you choose them as your web host.
Another thing to look at when looking at Drupal hosts is raw performance. Some hosts specialize in server setup and configuration focused on performance. If you are using Drupal on a large commercial site a host that knows the challenges this brings and understand the configuration settings needed to cope with extremely busy sites can save you time and trouble in the long run even if the monthly cost might be a little bit higher. Any host can let you install Drupal but are they doing anything to make it run well? A2 Hosting provides optimized hosting packages with Drupal preinstalled.
A2 Hosting’s Drupal offerings are a great value in hosting. The installation they provide you with an exclusive A2 optimized Drupal setup with the optimum performance and security settings. Also, their exclusive “Turbo Servers” on their SwiftServer platform drastically improve page load times and overall site performance. A2 Hosting has been a player in the web hosting business for almost 20 years. With their long history in the industry and their optimized Drupal installations, they make an excellent choice of host.
One other thing to consider a web hosts history with Drupal. Not every web host specializes in its use, and not every host has the unique features like the hosts mentioned above. There are a few hosts who have been able to leverage their long history with Drupal to build reputations for having Enterprise level reliability. One such host is Acquia. Having been founded by the creator of Drupal itself, Dries Buytaert, their long relationship with the project has allowed them to create the Acquia Dev Desktop, and they are the host of choice for Enterprises that use Drupal.
Acquia is one of the more well known Drupal hosts in the industry. They started with a spotlight on them simply because of who their founder is. They have a huge support staff and are responsible for keeping up websites for everyone from huge corporations to government entities. Their dev tools allow you to develop and deploy your site from your desktop easily and their scalable cloud infrastructure will keep your website running reliably. While they are a more expensive solution, their features, support, and reputation make them an excellent choice for your large scale projects.
Choosing a good Drupal web host can make your life much easier. A lot of web hosting companies will install Drupal or let you install it. Pick a host that goes the extra mile for you. The hosts we’ve highlighted in this article all bring something unique to the table. All of them are a better choice for you than a cheaper run of the mill web host that gives you server space and tells you to install Drupal and lets you go on your own. When it comes to software, everyone has access to it's all in the services and unique features that the hosts give you.
A final note, try to choose a host that contributes to the Drupal foundation. Several of the hosts mentioned in this article do and that is one way Drupal receives funding to support development. It's good practice to support the projects you make use of. Your support ensures that development on Drupal can continue. Without the Drupal community, you wouldn’t be reading this article at all.