Drupal is a very advanced content management system, built with PHP and MySQL, it is highly advanced and customizable, allowing its users to create powerful custom applications and websites.
According to wikipedia more than 2% of all websites use Drupal as their back-end engine, including numerous top websites like: box.net, ftc.gov, Typepad, Golf.com and others.
What to expect from a Drupal web host?
Drupal is mostly used by developers, because the standard users may find it difficult to get started with. Even if the Drupal core use less server resources than Joomla or WordPress, you should consider the fact that when expanding the system with custom features, will definitely need more resources and probably advanced hosting technologies as well. Choosing a hosting provider could be difficulty for Drupal users, but is not impossible.
Features of the ideal web hosting plan for Drupal are:
- one click Drupal installation tool
- trained support team to solve issues related to Drupal
- online tutorials to help users set up their website
- tools to provide security and best performance
Top 3 recommended hosts for Drupal
The following web host offer all necessary features to run Drupal on their server and has been also recommended by Drupal.org official developer website:
#1 BlueHost Drupal Hosting
offer professional, flexible, easy to use shared web hosting, 24×7 US based support, unlimited storage and data transfer starting at $3.49 per month
#2 InMotion Drupal Hosting
from $29.99 / month VPS drupal hosting includes 4GB RAM, 60GB storage, 2TB bandwidth and 2 IP addresses
#3 HostGator Drupal Hosting
optimized cloud hosting for Drupal website starting at $4.95 / month including unmeterd space and transfer, 2 cores CPU, 2GB memory and more.
Anybody that wants to create a blog or a website has to choose a creation tool first, to use it for designing that blog or website. The most popular creation tool for websites is WordPress, but there are many others that deserve to be taken into account for their features and qualities. One of those creation tools you can choose is Drupal and in this article, we will explain exactly what Drupal is and how you can create a website with it. We will also talk about some of the best Drupal hosting options and websites.
What is Drupal?
As we mentioned already, Drupal is an open source Content Management System (CMS) you can use for free, similar to WordPress. It is created on the basis of PHP environments and you can use it to organize, publish and manage your content. To use Drupal to build your website or blog, you should have some basic HTML and CSS knowledge.
Drupal was first released in 2001 and has since become leading CMS in many different industries. Millions of websites have been created using Drupal and it has been steadily gaining more and more popularity as time goes by.
Why is Drupal so Popular?
There are many features that make Drupal a great choice for creating and managing a website. It is a very flexible CMS, more than any other. It is also extremely powerful, which means that you can use it to create big, complex websites. Since it is based on a PHP template, you don’t really need to have a great technological experience, although some basic HTML knowledge is required. So, let us take a look at some advantages and disadvantages that you will experience if you start using Drupal.
- It is a very flexible CMS that lets you handle numerous kinds of content, like text, video, blog, real-time statistics, and many, many more.
- Drupal has a great choice of templates for creating web applications. That means that you won’t have to start from scratch when you decide to create a web application, whether a simple or a complicated one.
- Drupal makes creating a blog or website and managing it very easy. It can help you with organizing, structuring, finding or reusing content.
- You will be given a great choice of interesting and intriguing templates and themes that will help you make your website beautiful and engaging.
- You will have a chance to add over 7,000 plugins to your blog or website and you will also be able to create your own since Drupal is an open source.
- Thanks to the built-in user interfaces, Drupal is able to translate everything.
- You will be able to connect your blog or website to other websites with search engine connection capabilities, feeds, etc.
- You will not be required to pay licensing costs since Drupal is open source software.
- You can share your content on any social media platform, including Facebook and Twitter.
- Drupal is not really such a user-friendly interface. That means that you will have to know some basic things about this platform if you want to install it and change things with it.
- Since Drupal is relatively new CMS that means it won’t be compatible with other software.
- When you compare Drupal to other content management systems, you will see that its performance is a bit lower. Once you create your website with Drupal you will generate huge server loads and opening your website with slow Internet connectivity will not be possible.
Website Types You Can Create with Drupal
There are many kinds of websites and blogs you will be able to create if you use Drupal and we will cover some of the most popular ones.
If you want to create a news portal or magazine, Drupal is the right tool for you. You can create all types of posts and you can list them in the order you choose using CCK and Views. Among many sites that are created with Drupal is New York Observer, but there are many other news portals that are created with this amazing tool.
Blog network creation is not that hard with Drupal. In fact, it can even be done out of the box without any added module required. In this case, you only have to use the built-in module for blogs. Wisebread, among others, is one of the most popular blog networks created with Drupal.
File storage site
To design a file sharing website with Drupal you can use Views and CCK, but also some modules, such as Filebrowser, Web File Manager and Media Mover. This kind of website can be extremely interesting for your customer files management.
When it comes to social networking abilities, Drupal is one of the best CMS out there. Drupal can offer a very strong user management system even out of the box. However, if you want to create a real social network, using modules is a must. You can find a page with a list of all social network modules for Drupal in the Drupal documentation. Imbee and GoingOn are just some of the popular social networks created with Drupal.
Video or image sharing site
When it comes to video sharing websites, this requires a lot of resources. However, if you do decide to create one, you can use FlashVideo module. It is a powerful module that will allow you to create a YouTube clone in a certain way. You can also give Media Mover and SWF Tools a try. For instance, the MTV UK site was created with Drupal.
When it comes to images, Drupal is ideal for amateurs that love photography since it can offer you a chance to share images in groups or associations. The Image module is the tool to use and it is a very strong module that allows you to design websites similar to Flickr. MyFinePix is a great example of image sharing site that was created with Drupal.
Web Hosting for Drupal – Things to Focus On
Before you decide that you want to create your website with this tool, you need to focus on a few things so you can make a fully informed decision about the right web host for you.
In order to run Drupal software, you will need a completely compatible server. That means that you need to be extremely careful when you purchase a web hosting provider that can offer you a copy of Apache web server, MySQL database server and PHP programming language. Also, you need to choose the right version for your version of Drupal as well. That is why you should find a host that can provide you with the latest version. That way you can be sure that you will have complete safety, stability and dependability.
The first step in working with Drupal is installing it and there is no way around it if you want to enjoy all of its advantages. If you have some knowledge of FTP and MySQL, installing Drupal on the server will be easy for you, but if you are not experienced with these programs, then you could struggle with the installation. In this case, the smartest way to go is finding a package that provides a one-click installation for Drupal. A lot of hosts have tools that can automatically create a database you require in order to store CMS files. They can also automatically install it on the server. This process is actually very simple, so it would be wise to choose this alternative if you are not a technical expert.
Database is what drives Drupal, as is the case with the majority of open source CMS platforms. That entails that you have to create a database that will serve as back-end support if you want to run Drupal. To ensure that your Drupal will run indeed, you need to focus on a package that has plenty databases. This way, you can be sure that you have all that you need if you decide along the way that you need a blog platform, a shopping cart or any other app that is database-driven. Finding a hosting package that has more databases will allow you to have a peace of mind when it comes to running Drupal.
The number of domains is also very important when you consider the right web hosting package for Drupal. You might need only one; however, many require multiple domains to satisfy their needs and demands. For instance, if you wish to run Drupal along the standard website for your business, one domain will not be enough for you. You can overcome this by choosing a different solution, one that offers more than just a single domain. That way you will be able to pay for just one account and organize all of your sites from a single location.
A very committed and lively community is one of the many things that come with Drupal. Since it is an open source app, there isn’t an official support for it. That means that if you wish to use this software, you will have to depend on the community for any assistance you might need. Finding a web host that has an established community is a great plus if you are only starting out with Drupal.
Even though Drupal code is one of the most dependable when it comes to CMS platforms, it can still show some worrying performance issues if your web host doesn’t have an appropriate infrastructure to support the platform. Your web host must have reliable equipment and a large network that will provide stability. That way, you will be able to relax about your website’s performance or even whether it is available at all times.
Web Hosting for Drupal – Best Web Hosts
Now that you know what are the most important things you should expect from your web host and now that you know just how important finding a perfect web host is, we will focus on a few of the most reliable web hosts for Drupal website.
BlueHostGet Started »
Bluehost can offer you a great range of Web hosting solutions, as well as a great range of prices. It also has a great uptime and simple interface, so it is a good choice for starters. It has intuitive software for website creation, so you will be able to design an engaging and stable site for your business.
InMotion HostingGet Started »
One of the best web hosting providers that is compatible with Drupal is InMotion. This web host has great uptime and it has simple and user-friendly building software. InMotion will provide you with a great variety of features that will come in handy when you build your website. If you decide to go with InMotion, you will be able to use unlimited email, regardless of the plan you choose. Also, it has a lengthy guarantee that warrants a refund if you want.
HostGatorGet Started »
HostGator has many options for you to choose from; especially when it comes to web hosting plans that will fit any budget you have set. It has a lot of useful and reliable features that are great for building a Drupal site and what is even more important is that it is extremely easy to use. One thing that stands out is a great customer service. As well as InMotion, HostGator also has a great uptime, which makes it ideal for a powerful CMS like Drupal. It is probably the best choice for beginners since it is so easy to use.
With this, we come to the end of our article about a great CMS that can help you build a powerful and reliable website. Drupal is one of the safest choices when it comes to website building and managing and whatever your needs are, going with it will surely be a smart choice.