May 2, 2022

Affordable, Quality Hosting Alternatives: How to Set Up Drupal on Amezmo

By Johanna Bates

The Right Modern Hosting Platform Saves Development Time, and Money

Hosting services with built-in tools based on modern development best practices—including Git (software that keeps track of code changes) integration, automated backups, multiple copies of a site for testing and development, and secure workflows for launching new code—save dev teams time and headaches, and save our clients money. Because we only work with nonprofit organizations, all of whom are doing important mission work with constrained resources, this is very important to us. 

DevCollab was an early adopter of Pantheon hosting because it’s an exceedingly high quality service that delivers all of these time-saving features. All the best practices we require for Drupal and WordPress development are built right into its platform, streamlining our work, making us more efficient and better stewards of our clients’ projects. 

Most modern hosting costs are based on server traffic, which is fair—if your site uses more resources because it gets more traffic, then you pay more. But many of the leading services have sharp pricing tiers that can sometimes become unsustainable as nonprofits become more successful and gain more web traffic.

Although Pantheon is a gold standard in modern hosting in terms of quality, it’s not a good fit for every organization we serve in terms of its pricing model. So we have spent the last few years actively searching for affordable, high quality alternatives that still meet our requirements and standards. 

An Alternative to Pantheon: Amezmo

We’ve considered many alternatives to Pantheon hosting, but finding something with enough similarities to Pantheon, with a price tag that’s friendlier for small to mid-sized nonprofits, has not been easy. Our most successful experiment to date has been on Amezmo hosting

Amezmo Caveats

Amezmo is a smaller and younger company and product, and so that should be kept in mind. Amezmo does commit to  99.9% uptime, and dedicated 24/7/365 support through its Advanced Plan. If you want the peace of mind of a very large and mature hosting company, you should budget for a provider like Pantheon. 

We’re still trying Amezmo out, and only time will tell if it’s truly the best alternative for our clients. But, again, we’ve done a lot of research over years, and so far, so good. 

How is Amezmo Different for Developers?

For developers who are very familiar with working on Pantheon, Amezmo should feel pretty similar, but there are some important differences. Pantheon provides a Git repository (the place where the canonical copy of a project’s code is stored), but Amezmo requires you to supply your own. Amezmo supports GitLab, Github, and Bitbucket, so you can host your code on whichever provider suits your needs best. 

Another important difference is that each environment (copy of your site) in Amezmo is associated with a specific branch (a working draft of the “master” canonical copy of your code) in your Git repository. Pantheon, on the other hand, uses the master branch for the dev, test, and live environments, and handles deployments (code publication) through an incremental tagging system. It is possible to set up your sites on Amezmo to have a similar workflow, but it’s not something that comes ready to go “out of the box”, as it does on Pantheon. 

Help Us Make Drupal on Amezmo Better for Others

Here’s a technical write-up on installing and running a Drupal website on Amezmo by our support manager, Steven DuBois, who’s done an awesome job taking the lead over the last couple years on researching hosting alternatives: Deploy a Drupal Site On Amezmo

If you have feedback or suggestions for this documentation, you can find us @Dev_Collab on Twitter or in the #nonprofits channel on Drupal Slack. And of course you can always email us via our contact form.

Tell Them DevCollab Sent You!

Amezmo can be a good option if you are looking for affordable hosting with sophisticated modern features that facilitate smooth, ongoing, secure development processes. Just keep in mind that working with a younger, smaller company can come with risks. 

If you do decide to check Amezmo out based on what you’ve read here, please let them know that DevCollaborative sent you!