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Acquia vs. DIY: Why You Shouldn’t Go It Alone with Drupal Hosting

May 11, 2022 6 minute read
Drupal DIY efforts aren’t scalable, lack security and, ultimately, cost more time and energy than expert Drupal hosting with Acquia.
Group of three people above the word Drupal

With the huge popularity of HGTV shows and do-it-yourself (DIY) YouTube tutorials, people today feel more motivated than ever to tackle major home improvement projects with nothing but a toolbox, their own hands, and a dream. But without the right equipment, knowledge, or safety precautions, a cheap, quick fix can rapidly spiral into an expensive and messy disaster. (Ask anyone who's ever tried to demo their own bathroom.) The same principle holds true for DIY Drupal hosting, including hosting on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers and public clouds.

While building your digital ecosystem yourself or self-hosting your sites might seem like the most cost-efficient option in the short term, those projects often turn out to be more hassle than they're worth. Most DIY Drupal efforts aren’t scalable, lack proper security and, ultimately, end up costing more time and energy to update and maintain in the long run. When it comes to Drupal hosting, Acquia gives you the strongest time to value without the risk, headache, and hidden price tag of trying to do everything yourself.

Avoid hidden costs and maximize time to value

Infrastructure support looks cheap on paper, but once up and running, there are many ways your costs could spiral out of control. You have to configure your Drupal application, optimize it, and integrate development and system monitoring tools to make sure everything’s working smoothly. Then, once your app is deployed, you need to monitor, administer, and maintain performance and security to ensure site availability. What started out as a simple project is now a labor-intensive, time-consuming commitment. 

Your time is worth more than laboring over configuring the right hosting structure, applying security patches, and managing software updates. Rather than confine yourself to endless cycles of maintenance and skyrocketing hardware costs, find a team who reduces the burden and serves as a strategic partner to your success. What if you got hours, days, and years of your time back — how much would that be worth?  

A secure and highly available hosting platform

Managing the availability and security of the infrastructure that supports your Drupal application is no small task. Throw in evolving security threats and customer expectations, and the time you need to spend maintaining infrastructure increases even more. When you host with Acquia Cloud Platform, you have access to a highly secure and performant platform supported by three dedicated security teams and backed by a 99.95% uptime service-level agreement (SLA).

You don't have to take it from us; our cloud platform is audited quarterly to ensure it's compliant with top industry compliance standards, including FedRAMP. Acquia is also a top contributor to Drupal's security team and a founding member of the Drupal Steward Program.

In addition, we've gone out of our way to build Drupal best practices into our Cloud platform. The Acquia Cloud Platform is optimized for Drupal and has six finely tuned layers of caching to accelerate your page load times, equip your servers to handle any sudden high-traffic events, and add layers of protection against cyberattacks. Our platform also includes our Platform CDN, which comes pre-configured and optimized for Drupal out of the box, so your experiences can be delivered to your customers even faster.

A hosting platform that performs at scale

If you hope to scale your digital footprint to multiple sites and channels, you’ll have to devote more time to scaling your infrastructure to keep up. Acquia’s Cloud Platform automatically scales to accommodate any growth, but we understand that scale can come in many forms. So, whether your site has growing demand or you’re adding new sites, our cloud platform has you covered.

Besides the Acquia Cloud Platform, Acquia Site Factory solves flexible governance across many sites. It helps you manage all your Drupal websites from a centralized dashboard, while a single Drupal codebase helps enforce brand consistency and allows for faster, more secure updates. As your ambitions grow, your digital ecosystem can too, so you worry less about governance and brand consistency and spend more time innovating. 

Screenshot of the Acquia Site Factory admin dashboard
Manage all of your digital properties from one interface, while maintaining control and security in the Acquia Site Factory admin dashboard.

Tools for developers 

In addition to a highly secure, performant, and scalable platform, Acquia recognizes that developers thrive on a continuous delivery process where their time is spent creating. Acquia Cloud Platform provides Cloud IDEs (integrated development environments) that'll have you writing code within minutes. All you need is a web browser. It's the fastest and easiest way for developers to get up and running and get access to all the expert tools and systems needed for Drupal development, and it's only available on Acquia’s Drupal Cloud.

What if you could take a junior developer and make them as productive as two senior developers? From inception to launch, Code Studio give you a Drupal-specialized version of GitLab where you no longer have to procure, set up, and maintain tools for issue management, DevOps, and code collaboration. It’s the only full-stack, Drupal-optimized platform so that we at Acquia can own and automate the repetitive parts, allowing you to stay focused on what’s most valuable for your DevOps lifecycle workflow.

Screenshot of the Acquia Code Studio platform
With Acquia Code Studio, the testing pipeline is optimized for Drupal applications via testing coverage, code linting, PHP coding standards and security scans, deprecation scans, unit testing, and more.

Acquia also provides all customers with New Relic APM Pro. New Relic Application Performance Management lets you access deep insights into your Drupal code and empowers you to optimize your code. 

Tools for marketers

Beyond Cloud IDEs and Code Studio, we recognize that marketers want the ability to quickly create and iterate on Drupal sites. Acquia Site Studio, our low-code site-builder tool, empowers even non-technical users to easily build visual layouts and spin up websites quickly in Drupal without extensive developer resources. By enabling your marketers to do more independently, your developers can focus on innovating and fine-tuning your Drupal code.

Screenshot of page builder in the Acquia Site Studio platform
Increase customer conversions at every stage of the customer lifecycle in Acquia Code Studio by leveraging reusable components to build pages creating composable digital experiences for your customers.

Drupal expert support 24/7 

When something goes wrong, who do you turn to to help resolve issues quickly and efficiently? What if something goes wrong at 3 a.m.? Acquia has a dedicated staff of Drupal experts devoted to accelerating and optimizing the Drupal experience and ensuring that it's available.

Speaking of availability, our expert support staff is here for you 24/7 if you need a hand. Acquia is the only major hosting provider to offer application support for custom Drupal code, as well as comprehensive support spanning your larger infrastructure.

Think of it this way: Would you rather leverage a pre-built platform created and supported by Drupal experts or become one of the HGTV DIY disasters? The choice is clear. Trust Acquia to build and manage it right the first time, so you can spend more time on meaningful innovation.

To learn more about how Acquia can help you avoid DIY disasters, check out the Drupal Cloud Products page for more in-depth explanations of our products.

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