Drupal websites and HostGator experience

This weekend I looked for a new webhosting for my two Drupal projects. After stumbling a few forums I decided to try HostGator webhosting and its Baby package. I have to say that I was impressed by the professional look of their services and their customer support. Setting up a new webhosting was a question of a few minutes. After it was done I started moving my websites.

At first, you have to know, that moving your websites to HostGator needs working with cPanel control software and you have to be familiar with DNS and nameservers editing. All you need to do before you will start copying your files via FTP is to edit your domain’s DNS records and setup it for your HostGator account. All needed details you should have in your activation e-mail.

So after changing my DNS records and waiting about two hours I was able to successfully add new domains to my HostGator account (using Addon Domains control panel in cPanel). What I found strange is one thing. Folder for each new domain is created in public_html folder which is main folder for your main domain registered with HostGator account. It is not such a big problem, but it is not a big comfortable.

How to import existing Drupal database to HostGator?

The next step was copying backup of my Drupal websites and their databases to the HostGator. I had only FTP. There is SSH available too, but you have to request its activation separately.

The big problem was importing SQL dump file for Drupal website. It is not possible to load a 115 MB file with phpMyAdmin. And without SSH access it seems to be irresolvable problem. Fortunately there is a solution called BigDump – it is one PHP script which loads and run SQL dump file directly on the server. So you have to only edit connection strings in this file and upload your SQL file to the HostGator via FTP. Don’t forget to set up the right encoding in BigDump config – the default is Latin1 and for mysqldump output files with Drupal databases is UTF8 needed.

After importing database and copying the files everything starts working properly. I didn’t notice any problems with .htaccess you can read about on forums. Only one problem I noticed was cron. The classic command with curl is not working because you have to ask for activation of curl commands. After that you will have you HostGator ready for hosting your Drupal websites.

Customer support of HostGator is impressive. They are fast, and especially their chat is very useful tool. Try it. By the way, there is a lot of coupons you can use to start your HostGator hosting for a few cents. One of them is ‘wordpress’.

If you have any questions to my experience with HostGator, feel free to ask me. Please note, links to HostGator website in this article are my affiliate links.