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Recommendations for good host for growing Drupal site

Posted on 2010-08-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-14
Hello,
I have recently been told by my shared host that they cannot host websites with databases >500MB. I am therefore looking for a new host, able to handle a medium sized/ growing drupal site (and potentially some other, smaller sites).
The site has a mysql database c. 1.2 GB and growing. Around 1 - 3k unique users/ day. The site is low bandwidth, but relatively database intensive. It is likely to grow further in size/ traffic over coming months.

I am trying to identify a managed host that is reliable and scalable and struggling to find much in between enterprise level/ cost solutions and very cheap shared solutions (not that I am ruling either of these out).

Key things I need  or want include:
- Fully managed, I don't want to configure servers myself.
- Supports Linux/ Apache/ Mysql/ PHP. Works well with Drupal sites.
- Able to handle large databases, with speed & high performance.
- Ideally scalable, so solution will be able to handle much more size/ traffic. Or with a simple upgrade path (eg to dedicated server) as the site grows.  
- Very good administrative interface, ideally cpanel.
- Very reliable, responsive tech support.
- Cost is a factor, but willing to pay for good solution that justifies the cost.

Very grateful for any positive (or negative) recommendations on specific hosts or any general advice or pointers. Thanks
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Question by:dannyddd
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by:Thomas4019
ID: 33440984
I would check out this company, http://mediatemple.net/. They definitely cost more but with a site as bust as yours it's probably worth it.
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Expert Comment

by:TheChemic
ID: 33492804
I use liquidweb.com.  They have several hosting options available.  It sounds like a VPS would be ideal for you until growing pains require you to go to a dedicate box of your own, which liquid web also has available in the future.

There are 1000's of hosts available that would meet your needs.  I chose liquidweb because:
-they're growing (which means they probably wont fold or merge in the near future)
-they do not outsource hardware resources to other companies or countries
-they do not outsource support to other companies or countries
-they are 100% American owned
-they respond quickly to requests
-they speak English

Like you, I also have sits which are growing.  I have gone from a shared box, to a VPS (currently) and now I am going with colocation with a server I just bought off of ebay, which liquidweb will manage for me.  So, if you're an American, and you want to help out our economy, liquidweb would be a great choice.
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danyell earned 500 total points
ID: 33497502
I use eApps (https://www.eapps.com/).  I used to run my own Web-hosting business so I tend to be pretty demanding (bordering on obnoxious) when it comes to this stuff.

eApps offered the least "gimmicky" new-customer discount.  Most important (for me), eApps offers a virtual private server (you have root access, can compile/install software as you see fit, etc.) for about $11/month, which was comparable (once you've read the fine print) to the Drupal-grade shared-hosting packages I found elsewhere.

Disk space, bandwidth, IP address and other apples-to-apples measurable features are on the generous side.

Unless you have system administration skills, and/or are intent on "pushing the envelope" with Drupal (weird experiments, unorthodox cron jobs, 3rd-party software libraries etc.), a virtual private server might be more trouble than it's worth.

I can't speak first-hand to what eApps offers in shared hosting packages.  I know they offer them, but I don't have one so I don't want to extrapolate.

When I shut down my hosting business, I recommened two hosting companies to my customers:

DreamHost (http://www.dreamhost.com/), and
Pair Networks (http://www.pair.com/)

I recommended those 2 based on 1st-hand experience with their customer service and tech support.  DreamHost is particularly good (and patient!) with relatively un-techie hosting customers.

For Drupal hosting I would give pair Networks a slight edge over DreamHost.  The core NOC team at pair Networks seems a bit geekier (in a good way) than DreamHost.

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:danyell
ID: 33589205
Hi dannyddd,

did you ever sort out your Drupal hosting decision?

If not, care to update us on how your decision-making process has evolved?  What's in your consideration set?  Have new questions come up?

If you have decided, might you consider closing out this question?  And awarding some points to Thomas4019, or myself (or some split)?

Thanks!

d.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dannyddd
ID: 33589374
I appreciate all the advice and especially danyell's. I have heard good things about Eapps and may consider them, although I believe they specialise in unmanaged VPS hosting. I am really looking for a managed solution.

I still have not found an ideal solution but am leaning towards Rackspace Cloud sites, although this is relatively expensive and does not give cpanel access. Basically it looks like I will be unable to get all the features I want in a host and will have to compromise.
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