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Hosting for Drupal and Ubercart

One thing that I find a lot of books don’t cover (so I figured I might as well), is what type of hosting to use with your Drupal and Ubercart Install. My personal recommendation is to use GoDaddy, and you can find some great coupons for GoDaddy hosting services here and save yourself a bunch of money. But let’s look at what you need at the bare bones level.

Linux Hosting

Both Drupal and Ubercart are open source software written in PHP, so you need to find hosting that can handle that. Most web hosts offer you either Linux (possibly being called LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) or Windows hosting and while you can run PHP on a windows server I really wouldn’t recommend it. PHP was written to be used on Linux and in my opinion it definitely handles better on a Linux server, but I’m also just not as familiar with the setup of Windows servers and how to configure them. You might be in the opposite situation.

Shared, VPS, or Dedicated?

Unless you are running an online retail store for a major brand (in which case you should not be Googling ‘beginner guides for Drupal & Ubercart’, go hire some professionals!) it’s unlikely that you will need the power and customization of a dedicated server. Nor the expense, they usually start at around $250/month. A shared hosting plan is definitely your most economical option, but it can be rife with security issues as you are more vulnerable to XSS attacks. HOWEVER, if you are a very small business or hobbyist and really don’t have the budget to go up to something like a VPS, this is a good option but PLEASE keep on top of updating all software and installed modules to their latest versions, as updates are often to fix vulnerabilities in the software. There is nothing worse than waking up one day to find that your homepage has been replaced with some stupid graphic and a message along the lines of “~*~*~*~HAXXORED BY L33TN00BPWN3R~*~*~*~”.

VPS is a good middle ground if you are running a business and expect a fair amount of traffic. VPS are also highly flexible, so if you have a product that suddenly goes viral after being featured on Oprah your server will be able to handle the spike in incoming traffic. If you were on a shared plan you’d probably get throttled pretty quickly and then your site wouldn’t load up at all. They do cost a bit more than the shared hosting, but I consider it a good business investment and if you use the coupon link at the beginning of the article you can save yourself a pretty significant amount of money.

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