Finding a good hosting company

Finding a good hosting company

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I have been using Drupal professionally for over 10 years and ever since the beginning, I wanted a private Drupal site where I could test things in a relaxed production environment - this site.

I also needed a good hosting company: affordable and with ssh access, php and so on. At the time I chose A2 hosting and I got my site up and running.

I stayed with them for over 10 years so obviously it is not a bad company. But a year ago at DrupalCon Amsterdam 2014 I listened to a presentation about how the Drupal community tends to be using outdated PHP versions (guilty as charged) and the benefits of the newest versions. Especially the op-code cache in PHP 5.5 was a good reason to upgrade.

Using cPanel I could myself chose the PHP version and A2 hosting offered 5.3 as default and 5.5.0 as the newest option (although 5.5.18 was available at the time). I switched to 5.5.0 but although opcode caching was available it was not enabled.

About a year later I attended ZendCon 2015 and got enthusiastic about PHP 7. With 7.0.0 stable just around the corner, I again looked at cPanel to see what PHP version I could upgrade to. PHP 5.5.0 was still the newest option.

I asked A2 hosting for an upgraded PHP version since I could not even install Drupal 8 (minimum requirement PHP 5.6). I was told that would cost me extra.

I felt insulted. As a paying customer for over 10 years I was asked to pay extra to get a PHP version that would not be outdated. I started to look for hosting companies that would specificly target the Drupal community and to my surprise I found ... A2 hosting! They had great hosting packages with the latest PHP for less than I was paying for my outdated account. That was not how I wanted to be treated as an existing customer.

I started comparing other hosting companies. There are a lot of alternatives in the low price range and they all tend to offer "unlimited" everything. Obciously that kind of "unlimited" comes with a catch. I reasond that serious companies would be the one NOT offering unlimited deals and that narrowed the alternatives.

Eventually I chose my current hosting company: SiteGround. I had not heard of them before but they where offering the latest beta of PHP 7.0.0 to all their costumers and a Varnish reveres proxy service. This was the most PHP friendly hosting company I could find in this low price range. SiteGround is specialized in Wordpress and Joomla hosting but they are also a great alternative for Drupal sites. Bandwidth and storage are limited but reasonably so.

Please use this link to familiarize yourself with SiteGround's hosting offers: SiteGround web hosting.

I participate in their affiliation program and I benefit if you use the link on my page. I chose SiteGround because I found it to be the best alternative for me.