Drupal Hosting : Compare Hosting
Oops! No Hosting Plans Match Your Search
You've selected a combination of features that none of the web hosts we profile offer. We suggest you remove your last filter or reset & start again.
Ask Our Experts
Need help with your hosting? Tell us exactly what you are looking for and we’ll do our very best to help. Please allow one working day for a response.
Please fill in all fields.
Thanks! Your request has been sent. We'll reply within 24 hours.
Recommended Host for Drupal
What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open source content management platform that can be downloaded and used free of charge. It consists of a core group of files that are standard on all installations, plus plugins and themes that are added to customise it. The name is an Anglicised version of the Dutch word for 'droplet', and that inspired the teardrop logo.
What Can Drupal Do?
Drupal is often mentioned in the same breath as WordPress and Joomla!, but each tool is subtly different. All of them are content management systems (CMS) - they let you organise text, images and videos for the web. However, Drupal's strength is in its complexity and robust architecture.
Drupal is best for sites that are expected to grow, or experience high volumes of traffic. It has a strong following amongst media clients, large ecommerce stores, top universities and household brands. Drupal also provides the framework for many US and UK government websites.
It's also known for being highly flexible, so companies can easily run a diverse range of scripts from one Drupal install. Unlike Joomla!, Drupal is not designed to support web applications, although some users do set it up for this purpose. And while WordPress is more logical as a blogging platform, it's not designed to scale up and out like Drupal.
The Evolution of Drupal
The Drupal source code was originally written as an internet forum application. Its founder, Dries Buytaert, a PhD graduate in computer science. Buytaert now runs a company called Acquia that specialises in Drupal support and employs 300 people. It was Acquia that assisted with the transition of the whitehouse.gov website to the Drupal platform.
From humble beginnings, Drupal now powers at least 2 per cent of websites globally. It is owned by the Drupal Association, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting Drupal.
On the modern web, Drupal is built to support content. It lets companies index and display custom content types in a limitless number of ways, so you're not limited to normal blog or ecommerce formats. This is why many businesses adopt Drupal over the alternatives.
Drupal Pros and Cons
There are a few downsides to Drupal:
- It's less popular than its competitors, so you'll find it a bit more difficult to pick up. There are currently just over a million sites known to be running Drupal, and you'll find fewer guides than you will for WordPress
- The learning curve is pretty steep if you want to go beyond the basics
- You will need PHP skills (or hired helpers) for anything complex
- The add-on modules can be complicated and difficult to implement (depending on what you're trying to do. They are also less organised than WordPress' plugins
- Big upgrades can render all of your modules totally unusable
- There's been a really big hack (see below), so confidence in the platform is dented
However, website owners stay loyal to Drupal because:
- Most web hosts provide it as a free one-click installer
- Developers have tried to make it more usable, and are actively investing in getting feedback
- It's very flexible, particularly if you can code
- It's designed to be shaped to fit your own purposes
- It scales up well, even with very large amounts of content; Drupal 7 has been re-coded with speed in mind
- It has been used to develop some very high profile sites, including Sony Music, eBay, Harvard and Al Jazeera
- User roles and permissions are sophisticated
- Plugins, known as modules, extend core functionality and make Drupal more versatile
Drupal is designed to be installed on the LAMP stack - Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. The current version is number 7, and Drupal 8 is in active development at the time of publication.
It can also be installed on Nginx or Microsoft IIS (Windows).
The core installation takes up 15 MB of space. Remember: you'll need more disk space for themes, modules and content.
You'll need to check that your database is on the same machine as your website files. This isn't a requirement as such, but it makes a big difference to resource usage. If your database is located elsewhere, you might find that your host objects to Drupal without sophisticated caching in place.
If you don't have a web hosting account, you can try Drupal 7 as a service at Drupal Gardens. Note that you can't upload themes, import sites or add modules to your sites, so if you want those advanced features, you'd be best off setting up your own Drupal site on a web hosting account.
In October 2014, a large scale SQL injection hack rendered tens of thousands of Drupal websites insecure. The hack took advantage of a vulnerability in Drupal 7's code, and it meant hackers could create a backdoor that could not be detected or patched.