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I can't afford an administrator to manage my server, so I'm looking for some sort of managed solution, but I'd like to have some flexibility. I'm building custom modules for my clients, but the managed solutions I find out there don't accept custom modules.

As far as I can see I can either:

  • Have an unmanaged VM, where I have full flexibility regarding its configuration, or
  • Get a managed Drupal stack, where I won;t have control over what I want installed and how I want it configured.

Is there something in between?

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How did this work out? – Nick O'Neil Nov 1 '10 at 14:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I don't think your only choices are between an unmanaged VM and a managed Drupal stack. In my experience simple shared hosting is all you really need. Unless your project/website is eating up enough resources or other security needs require a VPS or dedicated server. But since you're considering managed Drupal stack I'm guessing that neither of those are a concern. And as long as what you're trying to do doesn't require apache modules that the shared hosting provider doesn't allow or provide. But as far as the basic Drupal configuration is concerned you really only need rewrite, php, and either mysql or postgres. Which are all provided by any shared hosting provider.

I currently run my site on a shared hosting account at bluehost. They also provide some automated scripts through the cpanel which can use to install Drupal but you don't have to use those. Since they give you shell access you can install Drupal yourself and use Drush to manage it. This is the route I've gone. I have complete control over everything related to Drupal as far as theming and modules go. While Bluehost maintains the server, apache, mysql, etc. I only have to make sure that I keep Drupal installation up to date.

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There are such hosting providers out there, and probably plenty of them. I know the one I use allows you to install a manged Drupal stack, or place whatever files you want on it. The only limitation is what Apache options/modules can be loaded.

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How many of your customers would be hosted on a single VM in regards to performance and are these sites mission critical when it comes to uptime? If you are looking for the full management white glove level of service then I have a couple of companies that come mind.

You can also check although I would recommend asking for references before selecting your host.

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