By - Craig Mullins

Best Drupal Hosting Web Servers: Cloud, VPS, and Dedicated Options

Your site’s success is limited by its hosting reliability. For a great investment, here are the best Drupal hosting web servers for your site.

For the highly trained web designer, no other Content Management System is as feature rich as Drupal.

The CMS, which has over a million live websites, may not be anywhere near as popular as WordPress, which has some 75 million and counting. But that’s only because it’s a specialized system intended solely for the cream of the crop of the web design world.

However, as knowledgeable as they may be, there’s always been one niggling question that keeps the Drupal designer up at night: which Drupal hosting service and server type is best for you?

Let’s settle the score once and for all.

Drupal Hosting
Drupal Hosting

What is Drupal?

Before we get stuck into a best Drupal hosting review, let’s take a quick look at what Drupal is and how it compares to its competitors.

Drupal is the third most popular CMS in the world today, behind Joomla and WordPress, respectively. All three platforms are open source. Drupal is the most complex of the three, requiring knowledge of programming languages such as PHP to use.

Consider the following:

  1. WordPress, easy mode, 75 million users, made for bloggers and individuals
  2. Joomla, medium, 2 million users, made for e-commerce/social networking
  3. Drupal, hard, about a million users, made for advanced designers

Why Would You Use Drupal?

The three competing CMS’s have numerous similarities.

For example, all three systems are open source, are written in PHP, have a user-friendly interface, support the relational database management system MySQL, have a one-click install feature, have either plugins or extensions and have a large community which provides support.

However, Drupal is different in that it’s more complex nature requires more technical expertise.

  • Drupal’s interface is more crowded and complex than others’ due to its vast array of options
  • Drupal’s thousands of modules (A.K.A plug-ins in WordPress and extensions in Joomla) need to be installed manually, unlike other CMS’s.
  • Drupal users might have at least a rudimentary understanding of CSS, HTMP, and PHP to be able to use certain features.
  • Drupal requires greater technical control, including root file access.

So, if Drupal is harder and more complex, why would anyone actually want to use it?

The answer is simple: it provides a higher degree of functionality.

Drupal web designers can harness this powerful system to do much more than they could with its competitors. Let’s look at a few examples.

  • It loads faster, which in turn improves SEO ranking, traffic, and conversion rates.
  • Its robust architecture allows for rapid growth
  • Its flexible nature allows it to support multiple scripts and added functionality, especially for designers who know how to code
  • It has tonnes of powerful modules
  • It has sophisticated user roles and permissions

Thanks to these advanced features, Drupal has become the CMS of choice for large organizations. Examples include eBay, Harvard Sony Music, and Al Jazeera.

Drupal Hosting Server Types

Choosing the most appropriate server type for your needs is a crucial step towards optimizing your online business.

Do you want a shared, cloud, VPS or dedicated server for your Drupal site? It really depends on what you want to do.

The smallest sites can get away with only using a free Drupal host. The downside to these is that resources are extremely limited and they may even include adds.

Shared hosting is the next step up, with plans running as cheap as a couple of dollars per month (watch out for those renewal fees!). Shared hosting is individual portfolios and other sites, as well as small businesses.

Cloud hosting is much faster than shared and is particularly powerful for its scalability. This makes it a favorite for websites who expect to receive large spikes in traffic such as media who specialize in viral articles or e-commerce sites with popular short-term specials.

Finally, VPS and dedicated servers offer considerably more resources because they aren’t required to share with other users on the host. The big companies listed above use a dedicated Drupal hosting to achieve the create the best possible experience for their massive user base.

The Best Web Hosts For Drupal

The other key aspect to consider is the web host. Each offer competing plans aimed at a distinct kind of user.

For many webmasters, the primary consideration is cost. Therefore, it’s important to factor in added extras such as free domain names and free SSL certificates when comparing for the price.

Shared Hosting with Bluehost

Bluehost is super popular with WordPress users, which is hardly surprising considering its one of the few providers to obtain an official WP endorsement.

Nevertheless, there’s no reason why you can’t use Bluehost with Drupal as well.

The company offers a number of a number of plans, including cloud, VPS, and dedicated. But it’s the super cheap shared hosting that pulls in the crowds, probably because it starts at a crazy low $2.95 per month (more on renewal).

On the cheapest plan, you get a 50GB of SSD space, a free SSL, and free emails, which makes it excellent value overall.

The downside is that the customer support could be better.

Dedicated Hosting With A2

Want the best of the best?

Then sign up for a dedicated hosting plan with A2, a high-end web host known for their blazing fast speeds.

A2’s dedicating hosting plans are priced between $140 and $290 per month, depending on how much juice you need. Regardless of the chosen plan, you’ll get their Turbo Server Boost which improves page load times by up to 20x.

Other less expensive plans are available, all of which have a focus on optimizing speed.

Cloud Hosting With SiteGround

Drupal designers after a more scalable service should take a look at SiteGround’s fully managed cloud hosting plans.

Starting at $80 per month, it’s not the cheapest cloud hosting service out there but it does deliver the goods. You’ll get 2 CPU cores, 4GB of memory, 40GB of disk space, and 5TB of data transfer on the cheapest plan.

Drupal specific services such as a SuperCacher, Git Integration, and a Pre-Installed Drush add to the appeal.

Choosing The Best Drupal Hosting Provider and Plan For Me

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of Drupal hosting. Ultimately, it really depends on your business needs. Check out the above options to see if any of them align with your future goals.

For other tech-related articles such as securing VPNs and DNS’s and the latest cryptocurrency news, check out the Craig Mullins blog.

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