What’s The Best Drupal Hosting for Your Website?
Choosing the best Drupal hosting for your website is a tough and often all too confusing process. It’s tough to make a simple comparison because there is no such thing as an absolute “best Drupal hosting” There is only the hosting that is right for you considering all the tradeoffs.
Here’s a quiz that helps you balance all the usual tradeoffs to figure out what is the best Drupal hosting (updated for 2017 / 2018) for your website based on your preferences (or skip to the summary of choices).
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Disclosure: I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this site, including the ones mentioned in this quiz. My recommendations are based on my experiences as an independent paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Based on my experience working with many hosting companies, there are a few that are a good fit for most people. Here’s a summary of the companies included in the quiz.
Best Drupal Hosting Choices
|Name||Best if you want…||Features!|
|InMotion||…high-performance & independent-owned w/ great support & pricing.||See Features.|
|Pantheon||…managed hosting for developers w/ tools & performance to match.||See Features.|
|SiteGround||…high-performance, developer-friendly w/ global data centers.||See Features.|
|Cloudways||…professionally managed Drupal cloud-based hosting.||See Features.|
Considerations for the Best Drupal Hosting for You
First, remember that Drupal does not need “Drupal Hosting” per se. Often, those plans are simple upsells with no significant. Drupal only needs a Linux server with PHP and adequate memory.
You can run Drupal on really any hosting company offers Linux shared hosting. Now, if you need to max out performance for a fast-growing site with a pre-configured server, or want a support person that can login to your Drupal install and make changes – those features can be significant and might be worth paying for.
This Drupal hosting quiz takes all the most common considerations and maps out the answers to the best Drupal hosting choices based on my experience both running websites and consulting with a range of clients (you can read about my specific experiences on my reviews page). So take the quiz and see who fits your needs the best!
Here’s the considerations included on the quiz –
Everyone wants a good deal. But defining your budget helps narrow down your choices. Think about when you go to buy a car – setting a price of $10,000 will rule out the Ferrari.
The other thing to consider with hosting pricing is how long you are locked in for. Some hosts require that you prepay for a year (they’ll usually offer a discount though) and some allow you to pay monthly.
Everyone wants great customer service. But providing high-quality customer service across a range of support channels costs money. If you are comfortable Googling and figuring problems out for yourself, it might not be as important as pricing or performance.
Type of Company
Some people like the branding and resources of a large, established company. Some people like the personal touch of a small company. And some want something in between. And still others want a company that provides a highly specialized experience for something like Drupal. Some want the company to be involved in the community or an official Drupal host (as is the case with SiteGround).
Some people want a clean, smooth, user-friendly backend. Some don’t care about the design – they just want everything to be there and to function. And still others really don’t care about the backend – they want all technical options open for professionals (either a hired developer or customer support) to use as needed.
Even though everyone wants the best overall deal, when it comes down to it, there are usually tradeoffs. What’s the one thing that will really make your website experience awesome?
No server can handle infinite traffic – even Amazon and Google have gone down before. However, different hosting companies offer better server options that will help keep your site up when you go viral. If you are a small site with consistent traffic, this might not be important to you. If you are a rapidly growing site, this might very important to you.
Number of Websites
How many websites do you want to run on your account? For some, it might just be the one. Others might want a test site, a hobby site and maybe a personal site. Your choice can rule out some hosting choices.
Speed & Security
Some hosting companies take an active approach to speed and security of your Drupal website. Others leave it up to you as long as you aren’t affecting other account holders. Like customer service, more involvement usually costs money. If you are the type to keep your Drupal install updated with security software – then this might not be important to you compared to price or customer service.
You might also place an extremely high priority on speed & security where you want professionals to actively manage those aspects of your Drupal website.
Drupal Specific Services
Most any hosting company that offers shared Linux hosting with PHP can run Drupal. You do not need “Drupal Hosting” to run Drupal per se. On the other hand, some companies do provide useful Drupal related services such as emergency patching, specially configured servers & server management. Those may or may not be important to you (or not worth the cost).