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The Top Advantages of Using Drupal Hosting vs VPS Hosting

Several top web hosting companies offer Drupal hosting packages but it’s important to understand exactly what they mean by ‘Drupal hosting.’ Most of these hosting packages are actually shared-server hosting with settings optimized for the Drupal CMS. A few companies go further and optimize hardware and protocols for Drupal websites as well. These hosting configurations are often advertised as Drupal-optimized web hosting.

While traditional shared-server hosting is a great option for your Drupal website, you should also consider the advantages of running your site on a Virtual Private Server (VPS.) By using VPS hosting you will have a lot more control over the server settings and you’ll be able to configure it to optimize it for your Drupal site first-hand.

Drupal Optimized Hosting

The aforementioned shared-sever hosting plans marketed as Drupal web hosting are generally a great choice for any Drupal website. When a web host optimizes your server specifically for Drupal, they take into consideration things that will make your website run faster and more smoothly.

Such companies also include pre-installed software that ensures compatibility with each newly-released version of Drupal. This makes it easy to install Drupal on the server without having to install a lot of prerequisite software. If you’re looking for the simplest option for hosting a Drupal website then this is likely the choice you’ll want to go with.

VPS Hosting for Drupal Websites

For those who want more control over the configuration of their web server, VPS is the clear choice. Running your site on a Virtual Private Server will allow you to create your own configurations where you can choose what you think is best for your own specific Drupal website. 

This also reduces bloat on your server, as you won’t need to install dozens of software packages that your own instance of Drupal won’t be depending on. VPS servers are also better for SEO, because there won’t be any neighboring websites to impose on your resources or harm your server’s rankings in search engines. This is because your website will not have to share an IP address with other random websites whom may have been blacklisted or down-ranked by certain search engines. 

Another advantage of VPS Drupal hosting is that you can decide how much resources you’ll need when choosing your hosting plan. If your resource needs change over time, you can simply expand your storage or increase the processing power of your VPS by upgrading your plan or reallocating resources. Having a shared server limits your ability to do this, as you would be sharing physical resources like memory and CPU power with dozens if not hundreds of other websites.

Advantages of Drupal Hosting

There are several other advantages of traditional Drupal optimized hosting to consider before settling in on a VPS hosting plan. One major factor when choosing a web host is cost. You can generally get shared-server hosting for Drupal websites for less than $15 per month. VPS hosting is a bit more expensive, generally costing $25 per month or more.

Other factors to consider before choosing your Drupal server include the speed and uptime of your host. Traditional Drupal optimized hosting packages generally offer a high level of guaranteed uptime, in the 99.9 percent range. VPS hosting may require you to be more responsible for the uptime of your server, considering you’ll have administrator access to all virtual server configuration options. Check to see if your host offers unlimited storage, high transfer speeds, and a good uptime guarantee before choosing any plan.

Drupal optimized hosting companies may also offer support for the Drupal CMS. This is a huge advantage over VPS hosting, especially if you aren’t an expert in Drupal or PHP. Check to see if the tech support at your host is qualified to answer questions and troubleshoot issues that may arise with your Drupal CMS, templates, extensions, and other software related to your Drupal site.

Hosting Settings for Drupal Websites

If you’re going with Drupal optimized hosting over a VPS hosting plan then you’ll also likely have the advantage of a one-click install. This is a great benefit to look for, as installing Drupal manually can be a bit trickier than other CMSs like Joomla or WordPress. Having a one-click installer will allow you to point and click your way through your Drupal installation while creating administrator accounts and databases. 

If you have a VPS hosting plan you may need to install Drupal manually by uploading the compressed installation files through FTP. Once the files are uploaded you would need to decompress them and manually configure corresponding databases for your website. There are guides for manually installing Drupal and the process won’t be challenging if you’ve built websites before, but you can’t beat a one-click install.

Drupal optimized hosting and VPS hosting for Drupal websites are both great options. It comes down to how much control you want to have over the server configurations, and whether or not you mind sharing a server with other websites. Drupal-specific tech support is a great feature to have as well, and may not be available through VPS hosting providers. It’s a good idea to check what steps your host has taken to optimize its servers for Drupal against this official Drupal Optimization Guide. VPS users can use the guide to setup their own servers for optimal speed and Drupal compatibility.

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