Drupal Hosting and linode.com

 At this point, I have hosted web sites with several companies and had enough experience to want to write some opinions on the various hosting options out there, especially in relation to Drupal-based sites. If you want to see a little compare/contrast then read on.

 

So, over the last few years, I have done some hosting on my own boxes as well as through the following hosting companies:

  • NearlyFreeSpeech.net
  • Register.com
  • GoDaddy.com
  • Linode.com

First, I have to say, avoid Register.com at all costs. They will not stop hounding you to add features and/or renew your sites. They are a horribly intrusive company, with a poor service offering price-wise in comparison to other companies' offerings. It seems to be run by former Mcdonald's executives who couldn't get enough of the, "Would you like fries with that?" up-sell mentality. GoDaddy is similarly to be avoided, for a deluge of marketing and attempts to sell features that are not needed. Even if you are savvy enough to wade through it all, their service offering is average at best. 

Next, I love NearlyFreeSpeech.net (NSF) hosting, but it is not for everyone. It offers a very basic, very low-end hosting, but for bargain basement prices. It is kind of like going to Chinatown and picking up some cool digs for 1/4 the price you would expect to pay elsewhere. It can handle a basic Drupal or WordPress blog with not much problem, and you will probably only pay about $10/year for the entire hosting unless you garner a lot of traffic. However, tack on some advanced plugins, e.g., CiviCRM and NSF is unable to keep up. 

In steps Linode.com. I heard about them via word-of-mouth and from reading this post on drupal.org Their basic package gives you your own virtual server, with some available imaging scripts to install your setup of choice. There is even a ready to go Drupal install. I went ahead and just used the LAMP script (runs on Ubuntu) and everything worked great. They just bumped up the memory from 360 MB to 512 MB for the smallest plan, which is only $19.95/month. My client wanted to go with something cheaper initially, one of those $5-10/month plans which offer 'unlimited' bandwidth on a shared box, but I convinced him to go with Linode after showing him that the 'unlimited' plan was limited to 29 connections to Apache at a time. The DNS manager has been great for porting over a bunch of sites and setting everything up. So far, I am very happy to have recommended them, and I believe the extra $120/year is going to be paid off in spades by ease of use and full shell access. 

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