Where to Buy the Best Drupal Hosting?

There are many of you looking to buy the best quality Drupal shared hosting or the best quality Drupal hosting of some other web hosting type. If you are still reading this, you might be the one. What actually are you looking for? We will try to help you to choose among the top quality Drupal web hosting providers and make you satisfied with your choice. Why don’t we just say “The best Drupal hosting is such-and-such”? Because, the best Drupal hosting is not the same for everyone. How is that? It would be the same as if you are looking to buy the best vehicle, or even better, to buy the best computer. If you are lucky enough, or better informed, and you know, for example, that you need not just any type of Drupal hosting, but you need shared Drupal hosting? In that case you know that you need not just any vehicle (or computer), but you need a car (or personal computer – PC). This metaphor should illustrate how complex this question is.

Below is the table with selected web hosting providers. The table compares the shared hosting plans (shared hosting packages), which support the Drupal CMS.

Table 1: Comparison of Shared Drupal Hosting Plans (short version)
Full comparison table is accessible here.

Top Quality Web Hosting Provider Shared Web Hosting Package (Hosting Plan) Web Hosting Price - Long Period (Free Setup) [$/month] Web Hosting Disk Space [GB] Hosting
Bandwidth (Traffic) [GB/month]
    1y 2y 3y    
Host Gator Hatchling Shared Web Hosting 6.95 5.95 4.95 350 3000
Baby Shared Web Hosting 9.95 8.95 7.95 600 6000
Swamp Shared Hosting 14.95 13.95 12.95 1000 Unmetered
Host Monster Professional Web Hosting 7.95 6.95   1500 15000
Bluehost Professional Web Hosting 7.95 6.95   1500 15000
Site5 The Ultimate Plan Web Hosting 8.50 6.95 6.00 750 7500
+ Turbo Package Web Hosting 11.50 9.95 9.00 1000 10000
Siteground Drupal hosting - Shared Hosting 6.95 5.95   750 7500
HostICan Base Host - Shared Hosting 7.95 6.95   600 6500
Tera Host - Shared Hosting 11.95 10.95   1000 Unmetered
midPhase Mega-PHASE Shared Hosting 7.95     350 3500
Pro-PHASE Shared Hosting 11.95     400 Unmetered
AN Hosting Mega Plan-All Inclusive Hosting 6.95     500 5000
Mega Plan PLUS-AI Web Hosting       750 6000

The web hosting market

The web hosting market, in general, is established long time ago and the competition is very strong. On the other hand Drupal CMS is young, especially in terms of Drupal hosting market. Since the Drupal is becoming more and more popular and the Drupal community spreads rapidly (roughly doubled last year), around the Drupal hosting the whole new niche web hosting market is developed.

Some startup web hosting companies are trying to enter the web hosting market through the Drupal hosting. They are usually offering many additional Drupal related hosted services, like Drupal installation, free Drupal themes or some Drupal customization. Some of them are already very well established, doing business for couple of years now, like Bryght for example. However, here we have focused on big hosting companies, with many thousands of hosted domains and with proven track record.

Who is the Drupal web hosting provider?

Is it hosting provider whose site is driven on Drupal CMS? Or is it the hosting provider who advertises and sales the Drupal hosting and offers additional Drupal related hosing services? The Drupal hosting provider is the web hosting provider who offers hosting plans which satisfy the Drupal hosting requirements. In short, you should check for PHP/MySQL support (preferably PHP 5 and MySQL 5).

Where to buy a domain name?

In spite the fact that many of top quality web hosting providers offer a free domain name registration for lifetime, we would recommend you to buy domain name at some independent domain name provider. The reason is simply in the possibility that one day you will maybe think about web host change and than you will be happier if your domain name is not related with you web hosting company. The pricing for domain name is about $10-15/year, and that kind of money will not save your budget for sure.

Which are the main features to examine when choosing the web hosting provider?

You are all looking for professional, reliable, proven company with good technical support. When shared hosting is in focus the main feature for quality web hosting is resource ownership. Avoid buying cheapest web hosting and shared hosting at resellers for slightly lower prices. In order to make a profit, they often sell resources to more customers then normal, which is called overselling. It is normal to look for the cheapest web hosting, but sometimes some of the important web hosting parameters are overlooked. It is not a good idea to sacrifices the functionality of your web site for lower price. Above listed web hosting companies are not resellers, but host owners. All of the selected top quality web hosting providers are hard competitors among themselves and trying to attract as many customers as possible and the same is true for the other web hosting companies which are not listed in table above. To do that they often have amazing offers, but sometimes real offers slightly differ and are not exactly as advertised. Therefore, before you purchase web hosting, be sure to read the TOS (Terms of Service). One of the most important part in TOS is about limitations in customer’s use of hosting resources.
Here are the parameters which should be considered when choosing the web hosting plan:
Disk space – estimate your storage space needs before choosing the web hosting provider. After you select the optimal web hosting package, check if the Terms of Service of selected web hosting company are in accordance with your needs. Sometimes, the web hosting providers have limits on specific content types.
Traffic – which depends on number of visitors and your site content. Usually, in the very beginning (startup web sites) the traffic is very low and rises in time. For startup web sites the web hosting package with low data transfer could be chosen. You should monitor your traffic regularly in order to upgrade your web hosting package before you excide the limit.
Response time and download speed – there is no guarantee of any kind for shared hosting plans in terms of server response time and download speed. Database performance is very important for Drupal, but unfortunately there are no reliable data that you could relay on.
Number of supported web host domains – if you plan to host more then one web site, or you plan to use SSL certificates, consider choosing the web hosting package which includes more then one domain name support. In the full comparison table you can find the cologne with this information for all shared hosting packages listed.
Script and Database Support – all of selected top quality web hosting providers offer PHP and MySQL support. However, if you will need more then one MySQL database check the last cologne in the full comparison table.
Automatic Script Installation – all of selected top quality web hosting providers offer automatic Drupal installation. For other installations check at web hosting companies web sites.
Uptime guarantee – all of selected top quality web hosting providers offer 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, if you check the details in their Terms of Services, you will find that there is possibility of more then 0.1% downtime (about 8 hours in one year), in which case you might be offered some compensation.
Money Back Guarantee – all of selected top quality web hosting providers offer money back guarantee. It is usually period of 30 days, and sometimes little bit longer (45 days – Hostgator or 60 days – Site5). In this period you can test the service and if unsatisfied ask the money back. If you have purchased domain name, shared hosting setup or some additional service, that money will be deducted from the whole sum. The Siteground will deduct $24.95 even if the setup was not paid.
24/7 Support – all of selected top quality web hosting providers offer 24/7/365 phone and e-mail support. Most of the companies offer live sales chat also, which is helpful when you want to check some particular detail before the purchase. ANhosting uses a virtual sales agent which will offer you a discount when you try to leave their website.

Conclusion

You can find examples of significant oscillations in quality of service, especially when shared hosting plans are analyzed. Moreover, you can find examples of opposite opinion on the same aspect of some web hosting provider service. Some of the best recommendations are written by the hosting providers themselves, and some of the worst reclamations are written by their competitors. Some people expect to much for few bucks worth service and are disaffected, and others are willing too easy to say something like: “My site is hosted at the highly recommended, best top quality web hosting provider”. The selection of above mentioned hosting providers is based on exhaustive online research of many resources with plenty reviews and personal comments. It is important to understand that there is no perfect web hosting provider and you can find negative comments and reports for each of them. Furthermore, when buying Drupal hosting through these links you are helping the Drupal Theme Garden to get a credit from these hosting companies and to continue with contribution to Drupal community and to be even better Drupal theme live demo service in future.