As a Drupal web designer you will need to host your Drupal websites. This can be your company website, a personal website, development websites or websites for clients. It can be a hassle to host these websites on different shared hosting platforms. So if you want to save time and money you want to control your own managed server. A service which Cloudways provides.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways is a cloud based web hosting service. When signing up for a free trial account you can select which Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) you want to use, including DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. Which one you choose depends on your own preference. Next you pick your server size. If you just want to host one or two Drupal websites with moderate traffic you can start with the smallest option. This website currently runs on the smallest DigitalOcean option which comes down to just 10 dollars a month.
Now that you’ve set up your server you can access the Cloudways platform. This means you don’t have to deal with the IaaS you picked. Also, when you have a support query, you go directly to Cloudways.
Support never failed me
Cloudways offers great support. Every time I had an issue with one of my Drupal sites I would open a chat with a support representative. Within minutes I was chatting with someone and they never failed to fix my problem. The support staff also knows a lot about Drupal which is helpful when dealing with specific Drupal related hosting issues.
Host a sustainable Drupal website
Placing your server close to your visitors also helps in your Drupal website being sustainable. It will cost less electricity to serve your Drupal website to visitors.
Because you can pick your IaaS and location it’s possible to research where exactly your Drupal website is going to be hosted. This site, for instance, runs on the servers of Digital Ocean located in a Green Data Centre owned by Equinix in Amsterdam. Which claims to run on 100% clean and renewable energy.
Host your Drupal website near your visitors
Another cool option is, when you create a new server with Cloudways, you can pick the location of the server. This can be beneficial to the speed of your website. If you have a Dutch website and mostly have visitors from the Netherlands then it’s best to pick a server located in Amsterdam. All those bits and bytes have to travel a shorter distance when your server would be located in San Francisco or London.
Easily scale your server
As your website starts to grow your server needs to be capable to deal with the increase of visitors. With Cloudways you can easily scale up or down the resources based on your needs. This can even be done hourly, which is useful when you expect a peak because of an event you're planning or a mention in the media.
Creating applications, staging and duplicates
Cloudways makes it easy to create new websites (called applications) on your server. You can also easily delete or duplicate an application. I use this to create a Drupal website that’s up to date and already has all the modules and configuration that I need. When I have to create a new Drupal website I duplicate this application so I don’t have to start from scratch.
It’s also possible to create a staging instance of your Drupal website. This is ideal when you want to update your Drupal website, but first want to see if any problems occur before performing the updates on your live site. You can then choose to push files and or database (optionally specify the tables) changes to the live version of your Drupal website.
Just a critical note: Cloudways used to have an option to instantly create a Drupal website/application. This function has been deprecated. It’s still possible to host a Drupal website by creating a PHP application and installing Drupal manually. Just a little more hassle but you do have more control on how Drupal is installed (for instance picking your own installation profile).
Services and add-ons
On top of this all Cloudways also offers other services such as Varnish to make your Drupal website faster. It’s also possible to use composer which I use to update my Drupal websites.
And you can use add-ons which connect your Drupal website to external services such as Rackspace email. I use Rackspace email to create e-mail addresses for my different Drupal websites.
Give it a try
Are you convinced or want to know more? Leave a comment behind. You can try Cloudways for free. If you follow the link I’ve used in this post then I will get a small fee which will be used to compensate my own hosting bill at Cloudways.
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