Web Hosting Technology Review

What is all that technology hosts advertise? And what can you, the Drupal developer/designer, look for to get the best speed for your sites?


Speed is of paramount importance when choosing a host. Research shows that a 1 second delay in page-loading time can cost a site 7% of conversions. (That's $375,000/year for a site with 100,000 hits per month and an average sale of $75.) Our tests show that even some of the world's top Drupal hosts do not have optimal speed on their home pages.

In this presentation, we will give you the knowledge to do better. We will take you through the vast array of technologies used by web hosting providers to give you better performance and stability (as well as some other criteria every shared hosting customer should know about). Attendees will leave with a more nuanced understanding of hosting technologies and better able to make decisions. The discussion will be geared towards users of shared/reseller hosting, though much of it is also applicable to building your own VPS/dedicated solution.

We will cover:

  • A quick glance at the data that shows, yes, speed is of paramount importance
  • Benchmarks for the world's top Drupal hosts
  • Hardware
    • SSDs (What are they good for? When will they help?)
    • Cloud/cluster setup
    • SAN
  • Resources
    • Disk space (How much do you need?)
    • CPU/RAM (When listed)
    • What does unlimited mean? (Nothing.)
  • Software
    • Control panels (cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin, proprietary panels)
    • CloudLinux (and similar setups)
    • Web Servers: Apache vs. LiteSpeed vs. NGINX
    • Page caching (Varnish, NGINX, SuperCacher)
    • Backups (R1Soft, Bacula, Acronis)
    • One-click installers (Fantastico, Softaculous)
  • Services
    • CDNs
    • Anti-spam (Spam Experts, Postini)
    • Anti-malware (StopTheHacker, SiteLock)
    • Website builders
    • Support
  • Where to look for hosting deals

Experience level: 
Michael Armstrong

Session Tracks (DrupalCamp NJ 2015)