Welcome to our blog! Today we will talk about the choice of a host for the Drupal site. This is a very important aspect that affects the fate of the whole project.
The host is a service for site layout on a server which works twenty-four hours a day. The more stable this server is, the better and faster your site will function. Choosing a host for website is not unlike buying an apartment – the better it is, the more pleasant it will be to live in it.
The worse the host, the more problems you will have. There will be errors and glitches that annoy the visitors and make your site difficult to promote. When regular malfunctions occur you should think about changing your host. But even the best host will not be immune to errors, DDOS-attacks and other problems.
What host is better for Drupal website
Many people want choose a free host for the site. Our answer is no. If you decide to create a serious site you should buy a host. Remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a price one way or another. The main disadvantages of the free host are:
- Mandatory and obtrusive advertising. You must somehow compensate for the free services, so the host uses ads to make money. So if the host decides to advertise on your website, you either have to deal with it or disable the advertising for a fee.
- Low permissible load levels. Your creativeness attracted readers, and if a few people began to go to your site every day you may start receiving messages that the load exceeds the permitted limit. The host will be suggest that you move to the paid version. It is better to pay for a good quality host from the beginning.
- Poor technical support. This is the most annoying aspect of a free host, but after all, you can’t expect to have free consulting. Host technical support should be operational and work twenty-four hours a day. In the case of free host, you usually get a reply long after issue is no longer relevant.
- Free domains. Whichever host you choose for your site, never use a "free domain". We will explain why later.
How to choose a website host for the beginners
If you are a novice, then this article will help you find your first host.
- Understand how much information you want to post and how many sites would it require. Figure out how much it will cost and choose several options. Of course, you should not choose an expensive host for the first time, so find out where you can host the site at a low price.
- Find out the location of the server. Some people believe that it’s more reliable if the servers are located in America or Europe. In fact, it is simply that the closer they are to the visitor, the faster site will load.
- Learn the price of all the service batches. Companies often offer cheap initial rate but then raise the prices the longer you stay.
- When deciding the choice of host for the drupal site, you should choose the one where the modern CMS is working without mistakes. Its operation is assured by the support of the programming language PHP and the database management system MySQL.
- Firstly test the host. You will sometimes be offered a free trial period. During the testing you can evaluate how fast the technical support responds, the ergonomics of the management and the work speed. Ask the technical support to move your site to the new host – a good host provider will do this efficiently and in a timely manner.If you do not like something, feel free to look for another platform.
- Technical support fix issues quickly (within hours), work seven days a week and, of course, be professional and polite. Pay attention to the ways you can contact to them. This could not only be by email, but also social networks, Skype and others. A free telephone line is a good sign.
- Read the reviews - this is a universal rule for any initiative. Read the reviews about the host on different resources. On the Internet, people are willing to share experiences and information on how to choose a good host.
- Do not pay the host too far into the future. If you are unhappy with the service, they may not return your payment. Hosts usually charge per day,so that you can pay for just a few days at first.
- Buy a domain separate from the host. Do not accept a free domain, otherwise the domain will belong to the host provider and you will not be able to move it. Also, it will only be free for the first year, and then the next year you will have to pay much more than it cost initially.
How to choose a host on technical characteristics and functionality.
You already know what to do while choosing a host, consider the functional and technical characteristics of a good host. The interface of the control panel is a very important point. There are host areas for administrators that are very complicated, but good host should have a comfortable, modern interface that is intuitively understandable to everyone.
- Backups. Any host should do backups daily, but not everyone does. Equally important is how easy it is to use these backups. Sometimes, for example, you can only recover the backup, but you cannot load them. This can be checked during the test period.
- The number of sites and databases, use of subdomains. If you plan to put multiple sites on the host or your drupal site will be located on multiple subdomains, find out what the limitations are. Usually you can find it in the description of your plan.
- The download of the files for host. A good host will have at least three options for uploading files to the server: FTP, SSH and a web-interface (file manager) that is comfortable and usable. Also, check whether the file manager is able to extract and pack archives.
- The amount of the disk space. For a blog, 100MB is enough. But every day will your blog will be increasing in size and the host will be filled with new images and files. Of course, everything will depend on how you save a place, but I think 1000Mb is enough for anyone. Note also that when you have to do the backup version of the site, it is stored in the root site. The site will fail to backup if you do not have enough space on the host.
- Operating System. I advise you to choose the servers that are running on the Unix-like operating systems (GNU/Linux, Free BSD). Some use Windows-host, but there may problems with it.
- Traffic. Most providers do not have limited traffic (this is also stated in the tariff plan). But there are those who cap it — for example, the rate may be 50GB of traffic a day. There is nothing wrong with this, you just need to estimate how much data you need. To do this, multiply the average size of your page (on the average 100 KB) on the number of views per month (you get this from Yandex. Metrics), and add 700 megabytes for robots, download of the backups and more.
- The load on the server (CP). Traffic may be unlimited, but the server load will certainly be counted. The load on the server reflects the time taken by a server to process php-scripts, and depends on the traffic and the functional site.
- Uptime. An important characteristic of the server on which your website is stored is the server uptime, measured in percentiles. 99. 99% means that the server was not working only 50 minutes out of the year. The closer to this figure, the better.
- As mentioned above, technical support, location and cost of the servers are also important considerations.
In general, choosing a host involves a lot of different criteria, and these are only some of them. The main rule, though, is to make the choice carefully because any host has its downsides that can affect the site.