Who’s the Best Web Host for Drupal Sites?

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We Rock Your Web provides a list of things to look for in a web host that are optimal for deploying Content Management System environments such as Drupal.

Hosting Qualities to Avoid

Given the huge number of hosting companies out there, it’s easier to narrow down quality hosts by taking these three factors into account:

  • Less Users Is Better – Don’t pick a host that advertises having hundreds of thousands of users on cheap shared hosting plans – that’s a recipe for server problems. You’re best off picking a smaller host with less users.
  • Higher Cost Is Better – While this may sound contrary to intuition, the reasoning is that quality hosting cannot be supported reliably by cheap costs – the costs will be cut somewhere, and you will feel it, be that in downtime or poor customer support. Higher cost hosts usually detract malicious users as well, who are looking to maximize resource usage per dollar.
  • Search for User Experiences – This one is a little more difficult. While you can do a Google search for “hostname sucks,” there will always be people posing on either side and submitting false reviews and opinions. So finding a true unbiased review takes some time. Make sure the review doesn’t sound overtly one-sided, and gauge’s the review’s relevance to your needs. In other words, which hosting package did they use? What did they use it for? Problems they experienced may be unique to their situation and not apply to you.

CMS Hosting Qualities to Look For

Now that you know what not to look for in a host, here’s some things you should keep an eye out for when selecting your next CMS host:

  • Sufficient Number of SQL Connections – You don’t want simultaneous SQL connections per user limited too much – as this will give a ceiling (allow only a certain number) to the number of Drupal users on your site.
  • Limited Storage and Bandwidth – While high numbers of storage and bandwidth may look attractive, they will also attract users looking to take advantage, and may result in overloaded servers experiencing higher downtime rates. In other words, if you choose a smaller host with less users and smaller storage and bandwidth numbers, you will most likely experience a higher level of performance as the server is less likely to be overloaded, and you will avoid dealing with malicious users that seek out high storage/ bandwidth packages they need to run their scripts.

An Example of a Hosting Company That Fits the Bill

While we encourage you to do your own research, there is one hosting company in particular that fits the above criteria that we don’t hesitate to recommend. DreamHost. Customer service, performance, and reliability are all excellent. You’ll need to pay a bit more and won’t have as much storage and bandwidth as some of the cheaper hosts out there, but the lack of headaches and problems will more than make up for this.

Our Readers get $50 off Dreamhost!

When you sign up for DreamHost using this link, you will automatically get the maximum discount ($50 off) your first order.

Our Annual Website Hosting Reviews

While Dreamhost is great, we review a host (ba dam dam 😉 of other companies and update our reviews on an annual basis. Visit our website hosting comparison to find a hosting provider that may meet your unique requirements and needs better.

Whom Do You Host With?

Feel free to chime in below with hosting recommendations of your own, experiences with CMS (Drupal and other) hosts, etc. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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Smaug The Swagger
Less users are not always better, but it really depends on which type of hosting you are talking about. If you are talking about Shared hosting, then sure less users is better. But if you need a dedicated hosting or cloud hosting, then number of users shouldn’t be a concern for you. For example, AWS EC2 is an efficient cloud hosting, I know because I am using it on Cloudways. AWS EC2 has a huge number of customers, but this doesn’t affect their performance.
Anonymous
Thanks for the Drupal hosting tip. I’ve tried several hosts myself and after multiple prolonged periods of downtime am going to give Dreamhost a try. If anyone’s interested, you can use the promo code CWD50 to get $50 off.
Anonymous
As the coupons share in last post expired, I have new coupon codes to share with you now. The following new released coupon codes will save you $25, $50 or $100 for your order, depending on the order amount you placed. The code is CWD50.

Anonymous
Hi, I have experience with several hosting providers and I feel Dreamhost is one of the best with a top quality/price rate. Further you have a lot of features and full control of your settings – make sure you sign up for a VPS (Virtual Private Server) and use coupon code CWD50.

Anonymous
Hi,

I have a great experience with net4.com. Anyone can try net4 for web hosting because I am 100% satisfied with their services.

Anonymous
Kinda lost here…but the article did a good job of enlightening me.

I really do not have a lot of knowledge when it comes to the technical side of web development. I have a good idea of what an effective and efficient website looks like for content, but as far as what goes on behind the scenes, I am largely clueless. For that reason, I found this article to be pretty useful and it explains some things that may not seem intuitive for the newly-minted web developer. Obviously, the best website in the world with all the features, functions, and other bells and whistles will not be worth the code it’s written with if the server is unable to support the hosting duties required to operate. Here are a few of the things that stood out to me.

The first thing was that you should avoid web hosts that boast a large sum of users. Instinctually, I would think that the more websites a host is supporting the more reputable they are and therefore a safe choice for my website. Clearly, this is not the case. What I did not understand was the finite nature of web hosting services. The servers that they utilize only have so much capacity and if a web host service is advertising that they have thousands and thousands of users without stating the capacity of their equipment, then you are right to suspect just how well they can take on another. I cannot tell you what parameters to look for, because situations vary from company to company, but I will say that if a company is simply out to maximize their profit margins by overloading servers, you will likely be the one that suffers in the end.

Anonymous
The point that stood out to me was to avoid the low cost web host service. To me this just seems like good business. I have worked in sales for a number of years now and I was always responsible for selling high quality services and products. Generally speaking, good things cost more, they take longer to make, and they are more costly to make. Rarely in any industry are there shortcuts to quality. Sometimes innovation will provide a better way to accomplish a goal, but this is rare and in the case of web development the standard holds true. You truly do get what you pay for, and if you are shocked by how inexpensive a web hosting service pretends to be, then your instincts are probably correct. A cheap web host service will likely not provide you with the extended services that are oh so necessary when you need them the most. Customer service is probably the key component of it all. Unless you are hosting your own website, which is extremely costly and difficult, then you want and need to be able trust the men and women behind the scenes taking care of your investment. In the long run, cheaper services are usually more expensive because the cost of repairing them when things invariably go wrong is far greater than just getting it done right the first time.

The last thing that really stuck out to me was that having a limit to the storage and bandwidth for individual websites is actually a beneficial thing. Again, this comes back to the fact that web hosting is a finite resource that must be managed well in order to operate effectively. If there were no limits, or very high limits, other users could chew up valuable bandwidth and storage capacity therefore limiting the availability of such resources for your website. It would seem intuitive that having no limits is a good thing, but that intuition would be wrong.

Anonymous
I wanted to add one final thought from this article that I found to be useful. The section talking about reading reviews I thought was a very good point. The topic was reading reviews about web hosting services and how to read between the lines of the people who write them.

It is common knowledge now that using the internet to review any product or service can provide valuable information. But what is not necessarily common knowledge is how people can take advantage of reviewing systems for either the gain or the detriment of the product or service in question.

If you have ever worked in retail service or sales, you know that sometimes a customer will just not be happy no matter what you do for them. In the information age we live in, this means that those people not only can spread bad word of mouth with their friends and family, they can now go out and tell the masses just how evil and awful your company is. It is an unfortunate byproduct of having such a wonderful tool at our disposal, but it is a reality.

On the other side of the coin, companies can have employees go out and write overly positive remarks to mislead potential customers into believing they are better than they really are. It is a common trick of the trade these days, especially if the company has a large volume of negative reviews dragging them down.

The important thing to take away from these things is that you need to be able to identify a legitimate review from a review that was done with some kind of ulterior motive. You must suspect everything you read as being either an advertisement for or against a certain company and see what you can do to weed through the nonsense and get to the real data that you need.

I also think it is important to go into an honest evaluation of any company, product or service with an additional key understanding. Understand that most of the reviews you will see online are likely to be negative. The reasoning behind this goes back to the old expression that happy people do not call city hall! In other words, it is much easier to complain and make your frustrations known. Many times if someone buys a product or service and it works essentially the way it was supposed to, that is the end of it in their mind. They have no reason to go online and write a happy, feel good review. There is no motivation.

On the other hand, someone who feels injured, damaged or taken advantage of may have a lot of anger. They want to do everything they can to get back at the nasty company that took advantage of them. Of course, what goes along with these emotions is (oftentimes) a complete lack of balance. While they feel used, maybe they did something to the item which did not allow it to work properly?