I know web hosting is so unreliable these days. Its full of made up promises with fine prints. Unlimited space – is a hype. It’s a marketing gimmick. Don’t fall for it!Sometimes it’s difficult to find good web hosts with great support.
So how do you find a web host company which can best support your drupal website, Such that whenever there is a problem, someone can solve it quickly.
Drupal will need PHP and MySQL support This common setup is better known as LAMP(linux, apache, mysql, php) is themost economical and stable solution. In addition you would need a good user interface for control panel, like cpanel. First of all, lets check what are the additional features you would need in a drupal host compared to normal websites, these will be useful if you are planning for high end website
memcache, it is a high-performance memory object caching system. It will speed up database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM. This is very effective in managing the load on your database, which for most web applications including Drupal, is the biggest performance bottleneck and risk to scalability.
APC, which stands for Alternative PHP Cache, is a free PHP extension that will optimize the performance of PHP applications by caching PHP code in a compiled state. Check if the host has this.
When a proxy, like Squid, is configured as a reverse proxy it can act as a caching mechanism for web pages. Because the reverse proxy sits between the internet and the webserver, it can intercept all requests and respond to them by serving cached content. This reduces the load on the webserver (and the database).
FastCGI and mod_php are two of the most commonly used approaches. Most people are using mod_php because that is the default on nearly all Linux distributions. FastCGI is often used on shared hosts to provide additional security, but has performance hit. So choose if you want better performance (mod_php) or most security ( FastCGI)
Varnish is a HTTP accelerator that caches web pages for future use. Its mainly for anonymous users
Apache Solr is a search platform that uses a variety of features to speed up complicated databases queries. While Solr can drastically reduce the amount of time required for queries in large pools of data, it should only be applied for sites where the increased memory usage doesn’t outweigh the benefits.
Security – A generic requirement is that it should support SFTP file transfers and SSL for secure data transfers.
In conclusion, if you are looking for shared hosting and something which is good for your pocket, then you may not get good performance, security or customer support. Having said that , there are good shared hosting providers for Drupal. If you are looking to host professional and high end sites, then its better you select from above list of features, in addition to the standard features provided by webhosting. Drupal is a powerful CMS and if the hardware or hosting supports it well then it can really do wonders for you. Fast websites are still in fashion and will continue to outsmart the slower alternatives.