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Welcome to the 2008 Hosting Evaluations and Recommendations Thread!

As has been tradition for a few years now, this is the thread to post your recommendations and experiences with Drupal hosts.

Before taking the advice of some random stranger, there are a few things to consider:

  1. How long has the person been active in the Drupal community? Are they a new account making their first post, or a seasoned developer with real experience?
  2. Do they actually have any Drupal sites running on the host in question? How long have the sites been hosted there?

And here are just a few of the things you should look for in a host:

  1. Speed! Specifically, database speed. Just logging into Drupal requires over 100 database queries, so SQL performance is critical.
  2. Reliability: If your site is down, you're losing business. Can the host handle your traffic?
  3. Shell Access (SSH): While not strictly necessary to install Drupal, having access to a command prompt will make your life much easier.
  4. PHP5 Support: Drupal 7 will require it, so if you plan on upgrading, make sure your host supports it.
  5. Usage Policy: Watch out for hosts that place restrictive limits on things like number of SQL queries per hour. These limits are often buried deep in the host's AUP, so read it carefully.
  6. Multi-site and Clean URL Support: Both very useful and very important features of Drupal. Most Linux-based hosts support these.

My personal recommendation:

So, which Drupal Host do I recommend? AN Hosting!

But can you trust me? Well, I'm no stranger to the Drupal community, I've been developing with Drupal since 2006, I'm a member of the Drupal Association, I run a number of Drupal-powered sites include Blamcast, Drupal Modules, and HighQualityPosters (all hosted on AN Hosting), and I developed one of the most popular Drupal themes in use today. I've also designed custom sites for many clients, including the Univeristy of British Columbia (also hosted by AN Hosting).

And what about AN Hosting? I've been using them for over a year now, and I host all my Drupal sites with them. I trust them to keep my business online. As an entrepreneur, my business is my primary source of income, so if AN Hosting was anything less than excellent, I wouldn't be using them.

As for the technical side, AN Hosting has everything I need. Fast servers, fast SQL queries, full SSH and FTP access, multiple sites on one account, no sneaky SQL query limits, Drupal's clean URLs work out of the box, and they have reasonable prices. Plus they have a 24/7 1-800 number support and better uptime than any host I've ever used before. I've written a full review if you want to read more about my experience with them.

And here's a brief list of places I don't recommend: Dreamhost (chronic SQL slowdowns brought my site to a crawl), Site5 (limit of 3000 SQL queries per hour is far too low for Drupal), and Siteground (lots of horror stories, just search the forum).

So now it's your turn: Got a story to share, a host to recommend, or a question to ask? This is your thread, go for it!

--
John Forsythe
Blamcast - Custom Drupal Themes and more...

Comments

HotDrupal.com’s picture

John,

I'm sure I can speak for a lot of people when I say I (we all) appreciate that you support the Drupal Association, I think all of us who get some value from Drupal should be donating to the cause. And thanks to all those other individuals and organizations who are putting money back into the project.

HotDrupal is an Organization Level members of the Drupal Association, and plan on contributing as we can to the Association.

I suggest everyone looking for a hosting company check to see if that company is supporting Drupal, and the Association.

Check the Drupal Association Organization Membership List for companies supporting Drupal!

Give your money to those companies, so Drupal can thrive.

Steve
HotDrupal - Web Hosting For Drupal Powered Websites

newms’s picture

Hi John, You've always got such wonderful things to say about ANhosting, I'm almost starting to wonder if you work for them. :)

JohnForsythe’s picture

I used to work for an ISP a few years ago, but I much prefer running my own business.. As for AN, I'm just a happily affiliated customer :)

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John Forsythe

NoviceDrupaler’s picture

Thanks for the tip. As an administrator without any PHP knowledge, I also need a host that I can just take my 2 MYSQL databases, and home/full backup .gz's from CPanel and plop them into CPanel on the new host,change the name server pointers, and be ready to go. I think that would work, right?

Also, I am looking for a host that does not host adult sites (or at least one that doesn't co-mingle adult and non-adult sites on the same server).

Any knowledge on those 2 issues? I am running 4.7 and no plans to upgrade until the summer.

I don't have much traffic (500-1000mb per month) and I ban all searchbots. But there might be some limited times when 10-15 people are hitting the homepage at once.

JohnForsythe’s picture

AN Hosting uses CPanel, so you shouldn't have any problem there. Your traffic shouldn't be a problem, either.

You might want to email them about your other question, I'm not sure what their policy is on adult sites.

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John Forsythe

webjourneyman’s picture

That would be opensourcehost.com. They have a policy of not allowing any adult sites and you can make a backup zip of your site and send to them and they'll set it up for you. Or set up an new CMS install from scrach. They are more expensive that the mega hosts but if you only got one site it's only a couple of dollars more per month or something. I've asked them to install 20 modules for me and they said, sure! Also they will donate a fixed percentage of your hosting bill to a open source project of your choosing (such as f.ex. drupal) if you ask them to.

There is a comment below mentioning technical problems, that's true I've been having those too and I attribute it to growing pains, perhaps it's not good for a customer when a host starts to grow bigger?

PHPSlayer’s picture

Hey first time poster here, I just joined and have been experimenting with drupal as a solution for some sites I'm running on my own and at my job. I have been on godaddy for a few years and they been doing me good, but reading these forums I discovered there are better hosting deals out there. I been reading this forum for over a week trying to decide on a host, and it has been nothing but confusing!! I almost went with drupalvaluehosting and started to signup, but some items in the form raised a big red flag for me. So I went through the companies I bookmarked and search for comments on them in here and settled on hostgator, I got their business plan for $14.95 a month since I'm gonna run several sites. It was a big hassle getting signed up, they wanted me to call and verify my info and I was told my site would be up in a few hours but after 24 hours I called again and no one had done anything. But they finally got me fixed up last night. Since getting in I've been pretty pleased with their system, I love the cpanel its a simple interface with all the settings you need on one page. I've always found the godaddy system a little confusing, and SLLLOOWWW. Oh yeah and they are running drupal 6.1 and I installed it with their fantistico application, I may try to do it manually for my other site. So far so good, I'll let ya'll know how it goes!

escoles’s picture

I put myself and the company I work for on Hostgator in summer of '06, and it's mostly been pretty smooth. I have heard complaints from some people about how they deal with special requests, but I haven't had any special requests, so can't speak to that.

The live chat support is usually good and is far faster than phone.

They can be a bit hinkey about hosting commercial sites in add-on domains -- they really just want you to buy a reseller account, which is not a great deal from a price:features perspective but frees you to have reseller relationships with clients that don't directly involve Hostgator.

So, mostly positive.

I run ... thinking ... about 8 installs of Drupal 4.6, 4.7 or 5.x on Hostgator, and don't recall ever having a Drupal-related problem. Which isn't surprising. Anymore, there's nothing (that I know of) about Drupal that makes it at all problematic for a standard LAMP commodity web hosting vendor.

Hory’s picture

Why do midPhase and AN Hosting look so similar? Either they're owned by the same company and went for a similar look, or one is obviously copied after another. But which one? I'm suspecting AN Hosting since the graphics seem of lower quality than midPhase. Anyone know the truth? I don't want to pay design thieves :).

Edit: Nevermind, I've found out that ANhosting is a brand of midPhase.

JohnForsythe’s picture

Both brands are owned by a parent company called UK-2. Sort of like how Honda and Acura are both made by the same company (or BMW and Rolls Royce, if you prefer).

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John Forsythe

silverado’s picture

For just beeing "a happily affiliated customer"...nice post ;-)

JohnForsythe’s picture

I do want to clarify, just to be as honest as I can: The links through my site, Blamcast.net, are affiliate links. In other words, if you click through on my recommendation, I get credit for referring you there (similar to how a real estate agent gets credit for connecting a buyer with a seller). If you'd rather visit them without giving me any credit, here is a direct link:

http://www.anhosting.com/

If you check it out, and you like what you see, do me a favor and sign up through my link on Blamcast.net. I'd do the same for you :)

--
John Forsythe

infowarp’s picture

It's becoming quite common for hosts to have different brands. eg Bluehost and Hostmonster have the same owners.

I've been impressed with HostICan and they have an upgrade path to VPS if you need it.
You can also save $50 with the HostICan coupon

kolossus’s picture

I'm about mounting a site that's to serve as a music portal. Worst case scenario : 3000 people playing the same song.. tell me there's a host alive that can handle that... and i'm in!

DrupalValueHosting’s picture

ah! 3000 people playing the same song streaming from your site.....
You should require atleast 5 to 10 dedicated servers to handle that single song!

For everything else there is DrupalValueHosting :)

Steve

daniel sanchez’s picture

Not a recommended host. Many unhappy customers.

femrich’s picture

AN Hosting? Ok, I'll bite. I am currently hosted at OpenSourceHost (where I have been for one year). I was extremely happy with them until October 2007. That's when they "upgraded" their servers (leading to lots of technical problems) and simultaneously (it seems) changed their support team (perhaps they outsourced support?). My experience since then with them has been very frustrating. I get lots of downtime, sometimes for days at a time, and initial response to a support request, which used to be a few hours, is not about 18 to 24 hours.

Needless to say, I am shopping for a new host.

One of the benefits of OSH was that it would install drupal sites for its users. I am currently running a multi-site install of drupal as well as a couple of freestanding drupal sites, and I will need to migrate those to the new host. And I will probably need help with the setup. Is this something you think AN Hosting could handle? Or does anyone else know of other hosts up to the task?

JohnForsythe’s picture

AN Hosting does offer a free file and database transfer, which is generally all you should need to migrate. I don't think multisite will be a problem, I've set it up myself and it works fine.

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John Forsythe

Drisee’s picture

Hello. I've been producing a new site that we've been working on for a while. The site was created using Drupal. We're almost ready to launch and multiple people are experiencing problems with load time for the site, basically the site being slow.

I'm thinking that perhaps my host isn't optimizing our site to run drupal or something. I really don't know too much about this stuff so i'm trying to gather some advice. We are using Hostway as our host. We're on a shared platform. I'm assuming the problem doesn't have to do with storage space of performance since the site isn't even live yet so it must be something else.

John if you or anyone else can help me out it would be greatly appreciated as i'm pulling my hair out at this point.
thanks for your time. I'm hoping i don't have to switch hosts.

JohnForsythe’s picture

You might want to install the Devel module, it will show you how long each SQL query takes, page execution time, and other useful stats. Most likely it's going to be a slow/overloaded MySQL server that's holding you back, but there's always the possibility that some specific module is causing problems.

--
John Forsythe

bowwowadmin’s picture

Till they suspended my site for using more than 10% of memory. This is on a new site with very few hits.
now I'm going around and around with tech support just to get into my site. so my site is unreachable to fix. They just say to upgrade. So far they haven't given me any info on when the spike started or anything for troubleshooting.
I hope they respond soon. have one day down so far..

Eric

may the sun be on your back and Drupal in your face.

lynnpauls’s picture

We too have been suspended for using more than 10% of memory. Our site went down without notification - the notification came 12 hours AFTER the site was pulled. Not only did they shut down the url, they shut down all ftp access, access to the cpanel etc. We couldn't even get in to find out what was wrong. Now, it seems that a php error stemming from their initial install is the problem (we had them transfer our database over when we went to them).

We had been trying to deal with tech support - I talked to a nice fellow on the phone at the 1-866 number and was informed that the tech responsible for this was "over with the servers and not available by phone" - this, coupled with some email written in very broken english, made me curious. When the site did go back up (more than 12 hours AFTER they promised), I checked the logs and the first access was from the Ukraine - I ased for an explanation and was told:
"Our support is based in US and Ukraine, it has two offices. That's why you saw ukrainian IP address in the logs".

Also - we were going to go dedicated hosting with their affiliate company but, as of January 1, they have split with them and so do not offer anything more than VPS at this time.

I was recommending them, I am an affiliate but I'm not sure I can any longer.

Lynn

jtjones23’s picture

My work site was down for 6 hours while my boss was trying to look up some information. The site is not that busy (250 visits/day) and they admitted it was not a high-traffic issue. Support was good at communicating but they (Midphase in my case) simply were not able to keep the site up (3 times it was down for over 3 hours in a 8 month period). The site was built and the host was chosen by my predecessor and I really didn't want to go through the hassle of switching host but I couldn't take the downtime any longer.

After switching to pair.com (where my personal sites have been located for 8 years) in October 2007, I've had 0 problems and pair's servers are significantly faster. Yes, Pair's prices are significantly higher but IMHO the service is higher too.

JohnForsythe’s picture

I have similar stats with AN. There were 3 days since I signed up (over a year ago), that I had problems, including the one day where it was down about 6 hours.

Let's take a look at your numbers, though. 8 months is roughly 6000 hours. Let's say you had 10 hours of downtime over 8 months. That means your site was up for 5990/6000 hours, or 99.83% of the time.

To put it another way, 9983 out of 10000 attempts to reach your site would have been successful. Only seventeen times out of ten thousand would there have been an issue.

That's about what I expect for a $5/month service. Compared to some other shared hosting I've dealt with, those numbers are very solid.

That said, you're right, there are high-priced places like Pair that can boast better than 99.83% uptime.

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John Forsythe

infowarp’s picture

I think you'll find ANhosting changed ownership in December.

Andrew
Web hosting coupons

JohnForsythe’s picture

Yeah, I mentioned above that they're owned by UK2. They're still in the same location, with the same servers and staff, but now they have a bigger bank roll and greater purchasing power, so I expect to see even better offerings from them soon.

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John Forsythe

Xylocopa’s picture

I signed up for an account with ANHosting based on the recommendations of this board, and while I was initially pleased with their service, I'm sorry to say that my experiences with them have been very disappointing.

I run a fairly vanilla Drupal 5 site with a few extra modules (ubercart for ecommerce, CCK, views), nothing too demanding. We tend to have fewer than 100 users per day, and most of my pages can be easily cached, so performance should be about as good as Drupal gets.

A few months ago, pages started loading slowly, and the Devel module revealed that mySQL was taking ten seconds or more to execute queries that should have taken a few milliseconds. Worse, the mySQL server would sometimes drop out entirely, leaving my site visitors with a page full of error messages. Tech support was responsive but each time they claimed the problem was fixed (usually by killing off someone else on the server), it would reappear. This went on for a few weeks, until I got tired of asking them to fix things *one more time*

I asked to be transferred to a different server, which they did, and it resolved the problems for a little while. Unfortunately they decided to upgrade Apache and PHP on the server right in the middle of the day, without informing me, and the installation of PHP was configured wrong, so it took down my entire site for hours (including cPanel so I couldn't even read the error logs). Since then I've been getting intermittent server errors and mysql dropouts and my uncached pages are taking minutes to load, if they ever do at all. So it's clear that this problem isn't just limited to the one server I started on.

Of course they won't give me a refund for the year I prepaid because from their point of view, the site is up, even if it is displaying nothing but "The mysql server has gone away" or "500 Internal Server Error", so they don't have to follow through with their uptime guarantee.

I don't even want to think about all of the potential customers and visitors who have given up on the site because the pages won't load or display nothing but error messages.

I must say I'm unhappy with their support, which, although they always get back to me promptly, seems unable to resolve any of the issues with their servers. Their support guys are in the Ukraine and their servers are somewhere else and they don't seem capable of doing much actual troubleshooting, just moving people around to different servers and hoping that the problems will go away.

So, despite the fact that I prepaid for a whole year (including an SSL certificate) I must say I'll be looking to move my site elsewhere ASAP.

JohnForsythe’s picture

I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out for you. I ran into a similar issue when the switch to suexec was made (there was a notice on the server status board that upgrades were taking place, but like most people I don't check it often). The tricky part with a host that doesn't limit CPU or MySQL throughput is that occasionally you'll get a site sharing your server that takes a beating from a spambot and slows things down for the rest of the sites. I've seen it a couple times, and tech support has been good about resolving it quickly. An alternative is to switch to a host that locks down the server by placing hard limits on CPU time, but then you get those annoying 'site exceeded CPU quota' messages. Such are the trade offs of low-cost hosting.

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John Forsythe

JCL’s picture

I've looked at AN Hosting and it looks like they probably run Linux/Apache web servers only (although I've sent them an email asking to confirm).

Can anyone recommend a hosting company that will run Drupal 5.1 on IIS6 using MySql 5.0 for the database? This is the environment used on our in-house test server to build a commercial site we are ready to launch. We're not really Linux/Apache knowledgeable.

femrich’s picture

I notice a "paid affiliate advertisement" has now appeared, not just at the top of this thread, but actually within it (below the head, above the content).

I understand there's a place for advertising even in open source online communities. And from the content of the ad, it sounds like this one even might have been a carefully selected advertiser. But I find the placement of the ad--not just in a sidebar, but actually within the entry itself--disturbingly intrusive.

I encourage drupal.org to keep adverts--even those from people we love--separated from content. Let's move this one to the sidebar, where it belongs.

JohnForsythe’s picture

It's probably a good idea to mention that in this thread.

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John Forsythe

femrich’s picture

Good tip. And I suggest anyone considering SiteGround on the basis of the ad up above (as of this writing) read that thread carefully. A word to the wise...

looped’s picture

I've been maiahost.com customer for more than 1 year and I must say they really do a great job so far ... will they continue - I hope so.

webjourneyman’s picture

An hosting's sales copy (and your overt sales pitch) sounds good but they have in the past canceled users account due to too much CPU usage, that's ironic since they claim that they are "Designed to provide more disk space, bandwidth, domain support and hosting services than your website will ever need." Is this an honest statement just because they don't mention CPU?

JohnForsythe’s picture

That's the nature of shared hosting. If someone is using so much CPU power that it slows down other sites, the hosting company has a responsibility to do something to protect those other customers. If a provider says they won't shut you down for using too much CPU, they either don't care if you slow down other customers, or they're not telling you the truth. That said, AN Hosting doesn't shut down sites automatically (ie: CPU throttling), as far as I know, they deal with it on a case-by-case basis.

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John Forsythe

djorn’s picture

After being a fairly happy customer of Site5 for almost three years, I no longer recommend Site5. When I first signed up, Site5's customer service was very responsive. They had a quick turnaround time with knowledgeable staff. Whenever my site became inaccessible because another account was using up too many resources, they actually responded to tickets within an hour letting me know exactly what the issue was (i.e. "another account got hit by a botnet"). However, recently, my site has become inaccessible for a total period of three hours on several consecutive days, and they could not tell me what their plan was to prevent this from happening again in the future (nor could/would they tell me what had happened).

While probably an industry standard, they define downtime as the server not responding to pings. However, if the MySQL database is "down" (i.e. overloaded), they do not consider this to be downtime. In my opinion, this makes the meaning of their downtime guarantee meaningless. A server can be up 99.9% of the time, but slow to a crawl.

I was willing to put up with these periodic outages since this is shared hosting and I was prepared to expect this. However, I decided that it was time to move on since my contract period had expired and I was unwilling to commit for another two year period.

A few additional points to consider:

They have not carried through with their upgrade plan to MySQL5 (they are still on version 4 after aborting a planned upgrade to version 5 over a year ago and keep telling customers "only a few more weeks before we upgrade").

Also very important to realize is that the Date module and Calendar module now require MySQL timezone tables to be installed. When I contacted Site5 to see if they could do so, they notified me that they "could not make serverwide changes on a user basis". This I understand for unusual requests, but the timezone tables are, from what I can tell, part of a "default" configuration of MySQL. If you plan to have an event calendar, do not use Site5 as the latest versions of the Date and Calendar module are no longer able to run on Site5 servers.

The PHP memory limit is 16MB (again, standard for a shared host), but keep in mind that if you need to use CiviCRM it recommends (requires?) a minimum of 32MB.

When I first signed up, they advertised a fancy, full-site backup and versioning system (i.e. you can take a snapshot of your account at periodic intervals and restore to any given snapshot) that was "coming soon". They finally have dropped all mention of this backup service from their advertising after it never materialized.

They do provide shell access and access to the compiler (gcc 3.1 or 3.2) which I found extremely useful.

They run PHP4 and PHP5 and you can pick which you want with the .htaccess file

DrupalValueHosting’s picture

Hi Brad,

Please let me know.(email below), if we can invite you to benchmark DVH's speed and performance on a free test account at DVH.

Configuration at DVH:
1. PHP limit of 64MB (16 to 32 GB ram per server)
2. Enterprise Grid backup (simlutaneous copies of your entire account on RAID 5 storage mirrored at both Seattle and Dallas Data Centers)
3. PHP 5, MYSQL 5 (Timezone Tables are default config in Mysql 5),
4. DVH provides Shell/SSH access for free (Compiler access not provided though...)
5. Server uptime of 100% in last 80 days >> with real time server load tracking
6. We host many sites which have come to us after their earlier hosts could not handle their traffic (e.g. Digg effect!)
7. In a user benchmark DVH beat the Media Temple Grid Service hosting package with a 300% better performance and at only 20% of the price!
8. Above all a Good User Experience!

PS: + a 50% discount for members of drupal.org

Regards,
Steve

steve [at] DrupalValueHosting.com

kiwisites’s picture

FreeHostia.com is good to Begin With - Try with their free plan then upgrade
Good customer support, and fully compatible wid Drupal

Kiwi

joaobarcia’s picture

It seems that when you host Drupal on freehostia you can only login with IE... I've tried seven different browsers on two Operative Systems.

Check it out:
http://drupal.org/node/163030

trevjs’s picture

I signed up with freehostia earlier this week, and until I read this post I wasn't able to sign in. Logging in with IE works fine all of a sudden. Thing is, is that their tech support was telling me that the problem was related to server updates.

Jim Ruby’s picture

Hi, can you give any update on dvh, wile my sites stay running nicely, I get core files in my public_html folders, my whm panel does not work, I have one cpanel that is not working properly and my support tickets are going unanswered.
When I first signed up with dvh things were great, but right now the growing pains seems to be capsizing them.
Here is hoping dvh support comes back as they were very good to me.

marazmus’s picture

DVH is dead. No answers from support, 2-week tickets, no emails, 500 errors...

RIO5000’s picture

Dissapear

3 weeks now

:S

--------------
http://www.rioserver.com

djorn’s picture

I switched to DrupalValueHosting when my Site5 account expired (I already had decided on DVH before Steve even replied to my post), and wanted to post back with my initial impressions. I've been on DVH for only a week, so I'll update this post (or add another comment in the thread) a few months later with long-term impressions. So far I've been on DVH for a week and have been very impressed with their customer service. They've been very responsive to issues I've had getting my Drupal site up and running on their servers. From what I can tell, their philosophy is to make sure that their servers provide the "optimal" (well... as optimal as you can get on a shared host) environment for a Drupal website. The one exception is FFMPEG not being available, but that's quite understandable because it is a very resource-intensive program.

Site5 tends to be quite snappy with minimal Drupal installs, but once you start piling on modules, it slows to a crawl (granted, some degradation of performance is expected as you add more and more components), but on DVH it still loads quite quickly. I'm not sure if it's because DVH allows PHP to take up to 64 mb of memory while Site5 limits it to 16 mb? Either way, I'm very happy with the speed of my site.

alpinejag’s picture

I too used to love Site5 and am switching very soon. You covered pretty much all the reasons I don't like them anymore. DVH looks like where I'm headed also.

Site5 did have Flashback active for a while and was a fantastic tool. They ended up disabling it because it used way to many resources on the server.

williamche’s picture

John,

Your enthusiastic recommendation of ANHosting really piqued my interest as I'm currently looking to replace DreamHost. ANHosting appears to have just 1 hosting plan listed on their site, their "All Inclusive Web Hosting Plan" at $6.95 a month. I just want to make sure that that is the plan you are using to host all your sites, and that they do not have other plans at higher costs that offer better bandwidth and CPU resources...

Thanks

-w

JohnForsythe’s picture

That's the plan I'm using, they don't offer anything more expensive as far as I know.

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John Forsythe

Heine’s picture

Be aware that the 'enthusiastic recommendation' may be precipitated by being paid for a referred customer. The link provided in the original post is a so called 'affiliate link'. See also the subsequent comment by the OP: http://drupal.org/node/205195#comment-690302
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The Manual | Troubleshooting FAQ | Tips for posting | How to report a security issue.

Tour’s picture

Can anybody recommend a host for a large(r) site with 5000+ hits per day and many modules? AN seems to be the front-runner right now- I'll buy the extra bandwidth if necessary, but I also need to know if they separate adult/non-adult sites. I'll call tomorrow if nobody knows and get an answer for us all...

femrich’s picture

I've seen the issue of separating adult and non-adult sites come up from time to time in hosting threads. It seems some people prefer not to have their sites sit on servers that also host adult sites. What is the concern here? Performance? Security? Morality? I'm curious...

Tour’s picture

There are adult sites that flood search engines with spam submissions, so the search engine bans the IP address. If you're sharing that IP on a shared server, you'll be filtered out too.

JohnForsythe’s picture

That's a myth. A very large portion of the internet is hosted on shared hosting, and banning a single IP could affect thousands of sites. If Google dropped an IP, they would create huge holes in their search index, wiping out far too many legitimate sites for them to actually consider doing it. It just doesn't happen. If it did, you would be hearing loud complaints by thousands of enraged webmasters (and hosting company owners!).

I have even read specific quotes from Google engineers saying they do not ban by IP, but I don't have time to search for that link right now.

When Google bans, they ban by domain. Their entire system is built on domain trust (pagerank), and blacklisting a domain is a very effective weapon for them in dealing with spammers.

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John Forsythe

seanray’s picture

I have worked with ANHosting before, and I know it's really not good if it's not bad. Why not try HostMonster? I am its customer, and host my Drupal site there, and it runs pretty fast. And what's more right now, Drupal has been integrated into its script installation application, which means you have no need to upload Drupal and can get it installed by a simple click there. And this also avoid the web site configuration problem you might meet at the other web site, HostMonster has done all for you.

Top Web Hosting Review

GN’s picture

I have a Hostmonster account, too, and usually it works OK. However, sometimes their support is quite irresponsive to user requests. Right now, I have one support ticket submitted on Feb. 23 and one on Feb. 27, and I haven't received any response at all from HM's Helpdesk till now. It's quite annoying if you need several days just to addon a domain with external ns's to a subdomain...

GN’s picture

After one more nagging reminder, HM's helpdesk finally responded, and said they added on my domain to a subdomain... However, it does not seem to work (the NS's are already pointed to HM's IP address, but the HM server does not recognize the request, and does not show the home page). With my previous addon domains and subdomains, it all worked at once. Is something rotten in their state?

seanray’s picture

hi GN,
I usually use the Live Support online of HostMonster, you can "talk" to them for your question. This is the most effective way. I very rarely use their email support, which might take you around 12-48hours.

And about addon domains, this could be done via the Control Panel they provide.

As far as their operation state, I believe they are still quite helthy. Although, I have moved my most popular web site out of their service ( because of I need a dedicated server), I still put many small web sites and one small business sites in one account of them. Thing is still going well.

Best Drupal Web Hosting | Reliable Affordable Web Hosting Review, Guide and Awards

bennybobw’s picture

I've been using webfaction for a couple of sites for a while now and I'm really happy with it. It's flexible and fast. They have almost anything you can think of installed (PHP 5, Mysql 5, Rails, Django, etc.), full ssh access, and you can compile and install anything you want in your home directory.

This is *NOT* and affiliate link. I'm just a happy customer who wanted to share the wealth with others.

The only bummer is they use a separate server for email, so you'll have to use the SMTP Authentication Module if you want to send email. I'm thinking about writing a cleaner / lighter version of the module.

Flying Drupalist’s picture

This thread is ridiculous and unfair. ANHosting is the first post here and obviously has the advantage in recommendations. If the OP wants to promote ANHosting he should start a new thread for AN, not under such a patently false title as 2008 Hosting Evaluations and Recommendations.

He's probably making a lot of undeserved money off of affiliate links here.

If Drupal really want, it can compile a list of known hosts somewhere, with all the hosts listed on the first post. The responsibility of making such a thread should not be left up to a ridiculous partisan like the OP.

rolyroly’s picture

I would recommend my webhost.
I have been with them for more than 4 years and is still hosting my site with them. They are very responsive to all my support questions. I seldom run into any problem and server uptime is very good. After all, they have been in the hosting business since 2001. I would say their service is reliable and come highly recommended. Check them out at http://www.mxhub.com .

duplo’s picture

I tried signing in for them. The auto merchant software refused to take my credit card, saying VITAL information was invalid. I tried a chat with a sales person, but this did not solve the problem. I ended up going for MM hosting which seem to have a better deal. My site is there for 24 hours or so, with no major problems.

-- Duplo

iMountain’s picture

Greetings Drupal People

Just to be clear, I work for www.iMountain.com and thought I'd let you all know we also fully support all Drupal versions. Yes, we meet all the requirements plus we allow multi-user sites and plenty of CPU power. We're expensive but that's because we don't overload our servers. Our shared clustered hosting is quicker than most VPS'. We support everything from shared clustered to VPS to semi-dedicated to fully managed dedicated servers. And we're powered by the Sun.

No we're not a fly by night company, our business group has been in business for 26 years and at this current location for 20 years.

But enough of that, the real reason why I'm here is to get involved with the Drupal community. We've been using Joomla for ages. Drupal has really grown up so we're jumping on the bandwagon. We're developing a site right now on Drupal + eCommerce + a myriad of plugins. The ease and clean organization of Drupal is impressive.

kls010’s picture

Thanks to Iron Mountain who just helped my web partner and I move our 20 sites (all bar 1 being Drupal). Just from the amazingly smooth move to dedicated hosting and an incredibly friendly support network, I highly recommend them as hosts.

I am editing this post to add a link to our portfolio site incase anyone thought I was being a bit suspicious randomly posting a recommendation (didnt think anyone would want to see the sites as none are for profit). We have been using Drupal for nearly 2 years now. We were with Bluehost before but completely outgrew them although they still make great registrars (better than some other companies I have to use). Iron Mountain have still been wonderful since the move.

www.darcyliciousdesigns.com

adboy316’s picture

Hello John,

Does AnHosting have auto install for Drupal?
www.ezapples.com

JohnForsythe’s picture

There is an automated Drupal install via Fantastico, but Drupal should not be installed that way. Using the real Drupal installer will guarantee you can upgrade properly in the future. Drupal's installer has come a long way since the 4.x version, you should have no problem installing Drupal 5 or 6 without using Fantastico.

Here's a simple guide: http://drupal.org/node/128399

Also, I'd like to avoid turning this thread into "AN Hosting Q&A with John". If someone has a question for me specifically, please use the contact form.

--
John Forsythe

escoles’s picture

It's great for quick trials and for creating rough baseline versions of a system that you later replace with a "real" install.

Absolutely true that Fantastico completely wipes out any additional modules, themes, etc., every time you "upgrade" your Drupal install. So it's pretty brute-force. But for some things (like Moodle and Typo3), it's the only way I've ever gotten a CMS install to work.

I use Fantastico to do base installs, then strip out the Fantastico tracking files and make clones of the installs. Then I can just upload the code, import the SQL for the database, tweak the directory permissions, and I'm good to go on a new Drupal site that's pre-configured the way I need it to be. The approach duplicates some of the newer functionality, but then, I've been doing it that way for several years now, since before that functionality existed.

GN’s picture

Last time I wanted to save some time on Drupal installation with the help of Fantastico, it ended up with my site being unable to display Cyrillic content.
To make it work, I had to edit the database and change charset for the tables from latin_swedish to Unicode. Drupal is built for Unicode content - so why the hell Fantastico thinks the database tables for Drupal should be latin_swedish?

lefnire’s picture

Please don't take offense to this if I'm wrong John... but I think this guy is paid by ANHosting.

(1) Looking for reviews on ANHosting, i see you talking about it everywhere. You've also got an ANHosting ad block on your site. Either you are a very very strong proponent of their service, or you're being paid. Nothing against you hosting ads & forum-marketing, I just want to make sure people take those words with a grain of salt if that's the case.

(2) I was actually sold by your comments on anhosting and bought their plan. I've had a pretty bad experience. My site crashes every other day -- literally, I've counted every other day. Support responds to me every other week. I had to guide them through setting up my domain over the course of 30 emails (gmail counts).

I don't mean to bash, but I did feel the need to tell others to research a bit before going with ANHosting... I've since seen some pretty bad reviews, and I would not choose them again.

----------------------------------
World travel destinations
Web development & design podcast

JohnForsythe’s picture

No offense taken, I mentioned above that I am an affiliate. Everyone needs to make money, and based on the links in your sig, you're no different :) The small amount I do make gives me time and resources to work on projects for the community, like my DrupalModules project.

That said, I recommend them because they work excellently for me. I rely on them to host my web design business at blamcast.net, and have for over a year. If they weren't any good, I'd be out of business a long time ago (and so would they).

There are hundreds of hosts with affiliate programs, many of them paying higher commissions than AN, but I go with AN Hosting because I'm confident they're the best choice for the vast majority of Drupal users.

You can find negative stories about any host, just type "hostname sucks" into Google, and you will find it. I base my position on real world performance with my business, and things like my Drupal 6 performance test just go to further show why I like them so much. They're even a member of the Chicago Better Business Bureau (with a 100% resolution record, BTW).

I just renewed my account for another year, and based on the continued strong performance, they're still the leading hosting choice, IMO.

BTW, You're absolutely free to recommend alternatives, that's what this thread is supposed to be all about. :)

--
John Forsythe

chelfyn’s picture

just to say that one can't judge something like this with anecdotes on a chat thread. most replies to John's recommendations of AN come from people who have had problems with them, actually making AN Hosting (my current provider and they've been great so far) seem like there are more complaints than praise, simply because people are *responding* to john's praise of a good service. I have had hosting in several places now, and so far AN is the best I've received for such a low price, but we really should get a poll going, get some numbers and some ratings. Anecdotes != evidence people :)

finally, I left Siteground as they were slow as hell on the admin side. just an anecdote though, but worth adding to the pile, eventually it will look a bit like evidence...

pathscollide’s picture

If you can put up with some slowness and downtime, I think Dreamhost is a great environment in which to develop your Drupal site. Their control panel is well designed (a hundred times better than cPanel) and their SSH environment is permissive.

HOWEVER their reliability and performance suck. MySQL performance is particularly unreliable. So I'm not sure I can recommend them for a production site - unless you're lucky enough to end up on a good server in a good cluster (but even then, you could still get hit by a stupid billing error).

I'm still looking for a host that can match Dreamhost's features and price, but will better performance and reliability. I'm trying out Hostgator; performance seems good but it's a much more clunky environment (restrictive jailed shell and clunky cPanel).

Any other recommendations?

GailSusan’s picture

I just migrated my Drupal blog to Drupal Value Hosting and have been delighted with the price and the level of support. I am pretty clueless about Drupal and had a webmaster who did all the design and technical work prior to this. For a very small fee, Amit at DVH was able to obtain professional support for me to migrate my blog to the DVH platform and kept in touch with me throughout the process.

I can't comment on performance issues as my blog hasn't been on their servers long enough for that. I can only say that DVH has been very responsive and I'm very pleased with my experience so far.

1kenthomas’s picture

(Post date: 30 March)

GailSusan

Personal information

History

Member for
1 week 4 days (=30 March)

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk’s picture

Please be informed that I signed up with Hostgator to host my drupal-powered web site since 2-11-08.
As of today, I could not install my application in their servers:
Reason: register_global is enabled.
As of today, I have requested for money stolen from my account ($22.90) and I am yet to hear from the owner, Mr. Brent.
Greg

MiMe’s picture

I had the exact same problem, but I contacted the support who created a php.ini file in my account with register_globals off.

lefnire’s picture

There should be a poll. Can drupal.org do polls?
Web development & design podcast

JohnForsythe’s picture

Polls only tell you who is most popular with the people who bother to vote in them. Polls can't be audited for accuracy or honesty on the part of the voter.

Polls rarely tell you who is best. Just look at how many bad politicians get elected ;)

There is also strong motivation for unscrupulous hosting companies to do everything they can to manipulate poll results (IE: mass email their users offering discounts in exchange for votes).

Worst of all, polls are anonymous. There is no way to tell who really voted for what. 10 votes from core developers vs 1000 votes from people who don't even use Drupal on a regular basis. You can't sort out the informed votes from the uninformed.

--
John Forsythe
Drupal Modules - Find the module you need for your project!

lefnire’s picture

Flying Drupalist’s picture

I suppose this is opposed to self-styled experts who flaunt their affiliate links?

Sorry John, but making threads like this means that you are a person without integrity and unworthy of respect.

JohnForsythe’s picture

Thanks, personal attacks are really what was needed. This thread was far too friendly.

What next? :)

--
John Forsythe

andrewblack’s picture

I'm here not recommendation some host, but i need to know that someone here know about lanehost.com. I search about lanehost review form other forum is bad, but i want to know from Drupal Community.
Thanks

parrottvision’s picture

I came here looking for help to find a good host. It just seems to be an AN Hosting thread. Why not have a section with host names, a 5 star voting option for members to vote, or a table with host name and then the option to comment just on that host. Hosting is a big deal for Drupal considering how heavy it is so a worthy topic in a better format.

I feel like posting my own affiliate link to AN Hosting here just to see if J would approve...

navigales’s picture

Drupalvaluehosting an excellent hosting.

After four months working with Drupalvaluehosting my experience is very positive.

I migrated my sites from DreamHost. I tried different platforms: Drupal, EzSystems, Mobable Type, Gallery2, ..., and in all cases is much faster now. With Drupal 3 times faster.

During this time my score of 8.5 out of 10.

You can try in http://www.somontin.info

regx’s picture

If you look at the cpanel demo on ANhosting, you will see that it has the Midphase Logo.

Why not go straight to the source and use midphase? Midphase has more plans than ANhosting like dedicated servers. I have managed several dedicated servers via Midphase and have been happy until they recently switched to SingleHop and then switched back. When that happened I bought a godaddy pro-reseller account and started purchasing dedicated servers from myself. The servers are better because I can purchase better hardware for less, but the service isn't anywhere near that of Midphase. With godaddy I get 2 -24 hour ticket response times instead of 2 to 15 min with midphase. So if you need support Midphase is very responsive.

Just my 2¢

My personal Drupal site.
http://www.regx.dgswa.com/html/index.php

JohnForsythe’s picture

AN Hosting isn't a reseller, it's a brand belonging to Midphase. Same company, same support team, but different servers. In my experience the AN Hosting servers are generally less loaded than the Midphase servers. The Midphase brand tends to attract a different kind of customer due to their frequent "unlimited bandwidth" sales.

--
John Forsythe
Drupal Modules - Find the module you need for your project!

sonicthoughts’s picture

I've been so impressed with performance and quality of the DVH team, however There has been LOTS of downtime. Unfortunately, they have not been forthcoming about this and try to sweep it under the rug. It's a real shame because i thought I finally found a solid service at a great price.

rgracia’s picture

So following your recommendation I signed up for hosting with AN and after having installed Drupal code 5.7 I am unable to enable Clean URLs. You mention that you have sent several clients their way and you have designed some of your drupal sites with them too. Are Clean URLs enabled for any of them?

JohnForsythe’s picture

Clean URLs work fine. There's two reasons why you might be having problems:

1. You didn't upload a working .htaccess file
2. You're trying to put Drupal in a subdirectory but didn't change the "RewriteBase" line in your .htaccess file

Check out this handbook page I wrote: http://drupal.org/node/256410

If you're still having problems, send me a message.

fhsm’s picture

First off , I’m new to Drupal and all I can say is wish I’d tested it out a long time ago!

As for hosting, does anyone have any experience with WestHost? They have an interesting looking spring special running offering a pseudo vps model. I’ve seen generally positive reviews about them and mixed Drupal specific reviews about them from a few years ago, but I don’t see much current Drupal-centric opinion.

http://www.westhost.com/spring-special.html

Thanks.

Bitik Adam’s picture

I've been iweb.com customer for more than 3 month and I must say they really do a great job so far ... will they continue - I hope so.

Bitik Adam | Oyun indir

PixelClever’s picture

I used to use and recommend AN hosting, but then several months ago the company got bought out by another company and service went downhill fast. I started having problems and when I tried to talk to support I discovered that they have outsourced their Tech support to the Ukraine. The Ukraine! To top it off their is no way to talk to a tech on the phone. Their phone support people have absolutely no access to the servers!

Drupal Theming and site design http://www.translationdesigns.com

JohnForsythe’s picture

Email tech support has always been located in Europe, it's never been a problem for me. I've also never had a problem getting things taken care of on the phone, but I'm fairly self-sufficient when it comes to technology. You can't really expect $100/hour support quality from a $6/month host. Their support is superior to most at the price level, trust me, I've been through several really bad hosting companies before finding AN last year.

Overall, the service they've provided me has been as good as ever, and my sites still serve thousands of pages every day without fail. For me, that's the most important factor.

--
John Forsythe

seanray’s picture

The service of ANHosting is not so good as what they have been before being acquired by UK2.Net in the early of this year. But it's still pretty good. One issue I found with ANHosting recently is that the connection speed of it outside US is not as fast as HostMonster, it's quite obvious when I travel to Asia. It's much slower. But, any way, I am still quite satisfied with the thing other than it, at least now.

Best Drupal Web Hosting | Reliable Web Hosting | Web Hosting Coupon

andydev’s picture

Second year for me hosting with Servage and had great experiences using Drupal with them.

For eu6.35 a month you will get:
510gb space (25gb more if you use the coupon)
5010gb transfer
Unlimited email accounts
1000 mysql databases.
Unlimited domains and subdomains.

and also, you get a domain name for one year (or an extension of a current one)

They even have autoinstaller for drupal, which is great just to run some test sites (10 seconds, and you have a sandbox!)

Every support call I've made, they've given quick and informative replies.

I have already 3 names registered with them.

Use this link to get 25gb more space:
http://www.servage.net/?coupon=getfreespace25gb

rgracia’s picture

Has anyone successfully activated Clean URLs with Drupal 5 on AN Hosting? I get the option disabled and the test fails. I was under the understanding that Drupal "works out of the box" with this hosting service.

rgracia’s picture

Outrageous! After two weeks using AN Hosting we get our account disabled tonight because our web site is too popular. We are a microfinance non profit organization. How popular can we be?!?!?! After emailing Midphase (parent company) support, this is what they answer us with:

-----------------------------

Please take my apologies but we had to close your account again. It is because your website used too much system resources and overloaded the server. Once your website was blocked the average server load went down from 20 to 2.

I can't say which section of your website causes the problem exactly but according to my investigations drupal installed in root of your website generated too many php processes. We can't host such site on our shared server. So I can offer following solutions for you:

1. Upgrade your account up to VPS and leave the website without any changes
2. Remove some most popular sections of your website to make it less popular and disable some modules installed by you for your drupal.

Please advise.
--------------------------------

I am not sure what is the reason behind their actions but this does sound to me like a serious legal problem. I wonder how many clients have been treated the same way and have not had any other options but try to find another host and start over. I am glad Drupal is taking this issue seriously and taking more time to evaluate what appears here as 'recommended'.

As for me, I may lose my job based on a lousy recommendation of a host. After all, what can I say to my superiors. Ohh, it was recommended at Drupal's web site. This is truly, sadly disappointing.

JohnForsythe’s picture

If your site was causing load to go to 20, I can only assume you uploaded some disastrously poor coding... No server can withstand that kind of overload, and I'd suggest you'll get the same reaction from any hosting company. Even a dedicated server would fail to be useful at 20 load. Any knowledgeable server administrator will tell you the same thing, just ask around.

I'm sorry to hear your tale of woe, but it's not a problem with the service, it's a problem with whatever you were trying to run. Fire your programmer ;)

--
John Forsythe

rgracia’s picture

It's a simple drupal site with a handful of approved modules enabled. We have published some papers on the field of microfinance that have been covered in ny times and wall street journal recently, and the site has been getting a lot of attention, but O don't see how that could be a problem. After all we were on their cheap package of $7.95/mo so you get what you pay for in the end. The code is perfect...it's Drupal 5.

JohnForsythe’s picture

I can tell you a properly configured site will have no problem running.

Check http://www.tayzonday.com/

You might know him, he's the Chocolate Rain guy. His most popular video has 24 million views on YouTube. He's been featured in a national television commercial. He's been in a music video with Weezer. He's been covered in dozens of major newspapers. And He runs on the same AN Hosting server as my site, Blamcast.net.

--
John Forsythe

bonobo’s picture

rgracia, sorry to hear about your issues -- it certainly sounds frustrating.

Shared hosting has its downsides, and your story points that out.

FWIW, you might want to try Advomatic -- they are active in the Drupal community, and know the codebase, and know hosting.

Also, I do not have any affiliation with them, nor do I do affiliate advertising with any company, as I feel that it hurts my credibility in being able to recommend hosting services.

Good luck in finding a reliable home for your site.

Cheers,

Bill

-------
http://www.funnymonkey.com
Tools for Teachers

escoles’s picture

There are several conditions under which the database can become quite sub-optimal within the space of a few weeks -- it's happened to me. Optimizing the database reduced the server load tremendously. I now install the db_management module on all the Drupal sites that I expose to public view and set up a cron job to optimize periodically.

If you have a lot of database hits from a given page, that can compound server loads due to a non-optimized DB.

What I mean by a large number of database hits: Every time your page loads, Drupal has to hit the database to find out what it should display. In theory, it's designed to make as few queries as possible; in practice, it's easy for the number of queries to get out of hand if any of the following are true:

  • You have a lot of blocks enabled that require database queries in order to display (e.g., View blocks, several recent posts blocks, etc.)
  • Your theme is coded to make its own database queries.
  • You're using some kind of PHP code in your nodes or in your blocks that makes its own queries.

It's been my experience that hosting providers don't make much of an effort to distinguish whether the load is coming from MySQL or something else. It's really unlikely that the source of trouble would be PHP per se, though it could easily source back to PHP that's not interacting optimally w/ MySQL. More likely it's a combination of a non-optimized database and too many queries per page.

rgracia’s picture

Thanks escoles, since, we have moved to vps package under the same host and have had no problems. We expect the site to get a lot of attention in the next few months so we are better off in the right server for the expected load. I will install the db_management module though, it sounds like it's very helpful.

infowarp’s picture

I think a lot of people are expecting too much from from shared hosting when they run a cms like Drupal.
I'm glad the vps option is working out, seems like a much better way to go.

Andrew

Best web hosting news and reviews at HostingDiary.com

parrottvision’s picture

I have been with Drupal Value Hosting for about 3 months now. I have to say a great experience. Sometimes the server overloads and the site packs up but it's not usually for long (minutes) and considering the cost I can live with it. Better than (mt) and dreamhost in my opinion and much cheaper and faster. Biggest site I run is www.feedmedeals.co.uk which is pretty heavy.

paulnem’s picture

Update: Since creating 7 accounts (more were planned) at ANHosting, I've had a variety of problems with accounts not being setup correctly, servers being overloaded and websites being down 50% of the time due to that load. I've also had mysql/apache shutdown for 12 hours on a host after /tmp was reported to be full and an array of other problems.

One of my biggest issues with ANHosting is the lack of knowlege from their frontline support staff and the obviously incorrect information they send back when they fix the issues or during the problems.

Without going into further detail on the issues, things will hopefully settle down now. I'm going to leave my sites on ANHosting for the moment to see how they go, however I've started to setup the additional accounts I needed over on hostgator.com. I've had very limited issues on hostgator with a couple of sites I host there already and those issues only ever revolve around email blacklists.

I checked with hostgator and I can get shell access, which was one of the big draws for me to ANHosting, it's a little limited (no wget and other tools that would be nice). I've also found their support has improved a lot since I dealt with them last, especially frontline "online chat" support.

Before anyone suggests this is what shared hosting is about and if I want something better pay more or get dedicated servers, I've already got a number of dedicated servers for the more important sites I run.

--

From time to time I want to put some websites up either for family/friends or side-projects, and I like to keep these off my dedicated servers.

I currently use hostgator, web hosting buzz, bluehost, siteground and just recently AN Hosting.

I've never had much in the way of downtime issues with any of them, hostgator seems to get blacklisted for email heavily every 4 months and their support is shocking, really nothing special about any of the others.

AN Hosting is at par on price with all of them, I like the shell access which makes it A LOT faster and easier for me to make changes to the sites. AN apparently do the backups for me, which some of these other places don't. Network/system speed is good.

So unless I get major downtime over the next year I'll be switching my other websites over to AN. As it is I just signed up for 6 accounts for various side projects.

hamiltonbs’s picture

I evaluating Drupal Hosts... Any more opinion and experiences at Drupal Value Host?