Author: Mike Brown
Last Updated: 25th August 2019
As an experienced digital marketer and someone who has worked in the web hosting industry for over a decade I'd say I have a better understanding than most people when it comes to web hosting.
Below you will find our best Drupal hosting providers, performance hosting at an affordable price.
Best Drupal Hosting: Our Top 5 – April 2019
Web Hosting Company
Price/mo. (3-Year Plan)
USD $3.95 down from $11.95
USD $3.92 down from $7.99
USD $4.19 down from $7.99
USD $2.75 60% OFF
USD $1.45/mo 60% OFF
Drupal is one of the most popular platforms for ultimate flexibility and scalability. It’s a Content Management System (CMS) normally used by sites that attract high volume traffic. This includes important government websites, reputable e-commerce sites, and university sites too. It is basically the backend framework that has been used to develop some of the major websites around the world. But web hosting can affect the efficiency of Drupal. In that case, it’s important to get the best web hosting for Drupal in the market.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is basically a Content Management System or CMS. It allows site owners to design, manage, and organize the content on their websites. This content includes videos, pictures, and normal text.
Drupal has one advantage though. Unlike other CMSs such as WordPress, it’s not limited to blogs or e-commerce formats. In addition to this, there are no limits on how much a website can grow. The CMS features a lot of customizable features too. It has additional options to expand and scale the site based on your needs. Drupal is open source software. It’s publicly available to use for free. The CMS can be used to create blogs, e-commerce sites, community sites, forums, and many other web platforms.
Drupal is also considered one of the most flexible CMSs out there. With just one simple install, the CMS can easily run a lot of different scripts at the same time. Besides, the CMS can also be used for web applications although that’s not its primary purpose.
Who Should Use Drupal?
Drupal is generally recommended for websites that expect to grow fast and generate a lot of traffic. This is the main reason why the CMS is used to manage the websites of some of the biggest corporations in the world. Sony Music, eBay, BBC, Al Jazeera, NBC, Harvard University, Amnesty International, and even the White House are some of the most notable organizations that use Drupal to manage their websites.
In addition to this, the CMS can also be perfect for website owners who want to fully customize their sites. This is because Drupal is highly flexible. You get unlimited design capabilities and enhanced accessibly features that allow you to optimize site access for various devices. In essence, Drupal can be adapted to design any type of website with extremely successful results. Just make sure you have the best hosting company Drupal 8.
A Short History of Drupal
Drupal was launched as open source software in 2001. It was developed by Dries Buytaert. The name Drupal is actually an Anglicized form of the Dutch word “drupel” which means “droplet.” Since its inception, Drupal has grown massively to reach a global scale. At the moment, there are nearly 1,180,000 sites around the world that use Drupal as their CMS.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Drupal
Despite its popularity as a CMS, Drupal too has its own pros and cons.
Easy to Install - It takes only one click to install Drupal in any computer.
Open Source - It’s an open source software which means it’s free to use without any licensing fees.
Versatile - Optional modules can easily be added to help customize or modify website functionality in line with the client needs.
Highly Flexible CMS - It offers unlimited design possibilities. If you have basic coding skills, you can create any type of website you want.
Extensive Themes - Extensive themes are available too. In 2017, for example, there were a total of 2,400 themes available. This number has since grown immensely.
Scalable - Scalability is also something noteworthy. Drupal can be used to build sites that attract high volume traffic. No matter how fast you grow, the CMS will be perfect.
Modular Core - The Modular Core gives web administrators the power to override the default features in the CMS without affecting the core. This allows web developers to add a wide range of customized features to the website without affecting the efficiency of Drupal as a CMS.
Accessible - Drupal also offers superior accessibility features. The release of the Drupal 7 update enhanced this capability even further. The CMS can now be used to develop adaptable websites for people with disabilities.
Localization - Drupal is available in over 100 languages. This makes it easier for developers to create localized designs for their specific markets.
You Need to Learn Some Things - The installation and administration of Drupal CMS is not hard. You don’t need any special programming skills to do it. However, as you start to create high-level functional sites, you will need the input of a PHP expert who has advanced coding skills.
Updates Can Sometimes Cause Incompatibility - Drupal doesn’t provide backward compatibility. This means that large scale updates may render some themes and modules incompatible over time.
Too Many Options - Drupal offers a huge number of modules. Although this is a good thing, sometimes it can be very overwhelming for website administrators. The modules are also not easily organized. It takes time to find your way around them. Some are even outdated and incompatible with recent Drupal updates.
Security Concerns - Thousands of Drupal sites were affected by a large hack back in 2014. The hack was caused by an SQL bug. The weakness in the Drupal code that led to the breach was identified and fixed. However, there are still many administrators who are not 100% sure that the CMS can be trusted.
The Search Feature Needs an Upgrade - The search functionality in many Drupal sites is quite ineffective. Although there are a few modules available that offer better search capabilities, they are normally very hard to locate.
Drupal’s System Requirements
Originally, Drupal was developed to operate on the LAMP stack platform. This is basically a web platform that features four open source systems. They include the Linux operating system, the MySQL relational database management system, Apache HTTP Server, and the PHP programing language. This is a stack of important systems that work together. LAMP has been described as an optimal solution for developing dynamic and highly flexible websites. Don’t forget Drupal hosting best too in this.
It’s also possible to run Drupal on the Windows Internet Information Services Web Server. However, only versions 7 and beyond are compatible. The CMS can also be configured with the Nginx web server.
Website owners who still don’t have a hosting account can get hosting solutions at Drupal Gardens. The Drupal Garden is basically a place where you can test a few modules and explore different themes just to see how things work out.
You will not be allowed to upload themes or import sites. Think of it as a platform to try out various designs and modules before you launch them live online. Once you are ready to launch, it’s advisable to create a hosting account. There are many providers that can offer the best hosting Drupal.
How to Use Drupal for Expanding Websites
Despite its complexity and robust architecture, Drupal is considered the most ideal CMS for large websites. The CMS is designed for websites that will be getting massive volumes of traffic or those that are expected to grow rapidly over a very short period of time.
Drupal has been used to provide a framework for very important government sites in the US and the UK too. The scalability options are simply endless. In addition to this, the website can be customized and adapted to various needs. This makes it the ideal CMS for different types of websites around the world.
Running Multiple Scripts
It’s also important to know that Drupal is flexible enough to run a diverse range of scripts. For instance, unlike Joomla, Drupal is not primarily designed to support web applications. But there are many people who are using it for this purpose. Not many other CMS platforms including WordPress can deliver this kind of flexibility.
Drupal can be installed using five simple steps. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a computer expert to do this.
Here is a complete guide:
Download the installation file from the Drupal website
Create the settings.php and files directory.
Create a database for the Drupal installation
Set up the web server
Now run the Drupal installation script
These steps look quite technical at first, but once you get additional information you will realize that they are actually quite simple.
Here is a full breakdown of some of these steps:
1. Downloading the Extract
The installation file is downloaded from the official Drupal site directly. The file will be compressed so you will need to extract it to a different folder in order to get its content. There are a lot of software solutions that can be used for extraction.
2. Setting Up Settings.php
Drupal will only work if you provide information about where the database is going to be. The settings.php file is designed to achieve this. There are many simple guides online that can help you set it up in just a few minutes.
The other three steps are quite self-explanatory and should be easy to complete once the setting.php file is set up.
Modules are basically Drupal’s version of plugins. WordPress is one of the most popular CMSs too in the market. If you know a thing or two about it, then you have probably come across plugins on WordPress. On the Drupal platform, these plugins are known as Modules. The modules are designed to help you create important features specific to your website.
Installing Drupal Modules
Drupal is built using PHP. A Drupal module is basically a PHP file. It’s designed to add functionality to any website. However, installing Drupal modules is relatively harder than installing WordPress plug-ins. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Start by perusing through the various modules available and select the one that you want
Make sure you’ve selected the “.gz” file
Download the module to your computer
Go to the Drupal Dashboard
You will see an option to install the module from there
This process is a little longer. In platforms like WordPress, you can install plugins in one click. Although Drupal doesn’t offer that feature, the process is fairly easy to accomplish even for people who have no background in computers.
What to Look for in Drupal Hosting
Hosting is essential in running websites online. If you are using the Drupal CMS to develop your own website, then you are required to get the best Drupal 8 hosting that meets your needs. Hosting varies though. There are many platforms that offer free services while others charge a small fee each month.
Although the idea of free hosting seems attractive, it’s not always the right option. If you have a website that has the potential to grow in the future, you will be better off with a paid hosting service that delivers more features.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Start with a Cheap Web Hosting
In case you are new to Drupal or even CMSs in general, then you can start off with simple and cheap hosting solutions. A lot of beginners normally go for a free hosting service at this stage. But there’s no need. The features are not worth it.
Just pay a small fee and you will get the best shared hosting for Drupal. A cheap hosting plan won’t cost you much and it will allow you to experience the full force of Drupal as a CMS without any hosting limitations.
2. Hosting on Shared, Dedicated or Cloud Servers
Drupal can be hosted on dedicated, shared, or cloud servers. However, the servers will need to have PHP support. In addition to this, you may also need to make sure that the hosting plan you have chosen offers at least 10 MB of disk space. Cheap hosting plans tend to offer very minimal disk space. If your site is big, you can find yourself limited with such plans. Try to go for the best Drupal web hosting that costs a little more.
3. Recommendation for Larger Sites
Larger Drupal sites might require VPS or dedicated server hosting solutions. Shared hosting will not deliver the performance needed for such websites. The great thing is that the best hosting for Drupal sites can allow you to migrate hosting from one plan to another based on your changing needs.
Drupal is one of the major Content Management Systems in the world. Whether you are looking to build a simple website or a large one, the CMS will handle everything you need. However, make sure you also get a good hosting service. The best Drupal hosting provider can make a huge difference in the performance of your Drupal site.