How to Run Drupal on VPS?

14 minutes read

To run Drupal on a VPS (Virtual Private Server), you need to follow certain steps:

  1. Choose a VPS hosting provider: Select a reliable hosting provider that supports Drupal and offers VPS services. Ensure they provide the necessary server resources, such as disk space, RAM, and bandwidth, to run Drupal smoothly.
  2. Set up the VPS: Register an account with the chosen hosting provider and select a suitable VPS plan. Follow their instructions to set up your VPS, which typically involves selecting the operating system and configuring the server settings.
  3. Install LAMP stack: Drupal requires a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack to function. This involves installing and configuring these components on your VPS. Consult your hosting provider's documentation or search the internet for specific steps based on the Linux distribution you are using.
  4. Create a database: Drupal needs a database to store its data. Using tools like phpMyAdmin or the command line, create a MySQL or MariaDB database for your Drupal installation. Note down the database name, username, and password for future use.
  5. Download Drupal: Visit the official Drupal website and download the latest stable release. Extract the downloaded file to a location accessible from your VPS.
  6. Upload Drupal files: Connect to your VPS using FTP or SSH and upload the extracted Drupal files to your desired location. Ensure the file permissions are correctly set as per the Drupal installation requirements.
  7. Configure settings.php: Inside the Drupal files, locate the "sites/default" directory and copy the "default.settings.php" file to "settings.php". Open the "settings.php" file and edit the database details (database name, username, and password) acquired in step 4.
  8. Set up virtual host: If your VPS is hosting multiple websites, set up a virtual host for your Drupal installation. Configure the Apache server to serve Drupal from the correct domain or subdomain.
  9. Complete installation: Access your VPS through a web browser using your domain or IP address. Follow the Drupal installation wizard, providing the necessary information such as site name, email address, and administrator username/password. Choose the desired themes and modules during the installation process.
  10. Test and secure your Drupal site: After installation, thoroughly test your Drupal site to ensure everything is working correctly. Additionally, consider implementing security measures such as using SSL certificates, regular backups, and secure user authentication to protect your Drupal installation.

Remember to regularly update your Drupal version, themes, and modules to ensure compatibility, bug fixes, and security patches.

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What is the process of scaling down resources for a Drupal site on a VPS?

Scaling down resources for a Drupal site on a VPS typically involves the following process:

  1. Evaluate resource usage: Start by analyzing the current resource usage of your Drupal site. Look at CPU, memory, and disk space utilization to identify any potential areas for optimization.
  2. Optimize Drupal: Optimize your Drupal site by implementing caching mechanisms, enabling GZIP compression, and employing a content delivery network (CDN) to offload static assets.
  3. Review installed modules: Review the modules installed on your Drupal site and disable or remove any that are not necessary. Some modules can consume significant resources, so reducing their usage can help free up resources.
  4. Minimize database load: Optimize your database by ensuring that it is properly indexed, removing unnecessary data, and enabling database caching. This can help reduce the load on the database server and improve overall performance.
  5. Enable resource monitoring: Install a resource monitoring tool on your VPS to keep track of resource usage in real-time. This will help you identify any spikes or unusual patterns that may require further investigation.
  6. Right-size VPS instance: Using the information gathered from resource monitoring, determine if the current VPS instance is appropriately sized for your Drupal site. If you find that you consistently have excess resources available, consider downsizing to a smaller VPS plan.
  7. Migrate to a more efficient hosting environment: If scaling down the VPS is not sufficient, consider moving to a more efficient hosting environment, such as a managed hosting provider or a cloud-based platform like AWS or Google Cloud Platform. These platforms often offer more flexibility to scale resources up or down as needed.
  8. Test and monitor: After implementing any changes, thoroughly test your Drupal site to ensure everything is functioning correctly. Continuously monitor the resource usage to ensure that the modifications are effective and that the site performs optimally.

Remember to always take backups of your Drupal site before making any significant changes to ensure you can restore it in case any issues arise during the scaling down process.

How to install Drupal on a VPS?

To install Drupal on a VPS (Virtual Private Server), you can follow these steps:

  1. Set up your VPS: Choose a reliable hosting provider, sign up for a VPS plan, and configure your server with an operating system (such as Linux) and necessary software (like Apache or NGINX, MySQL, PHP).
  2. Access the server: Connect to your VPS through SSH (Secure Shell) using an SSH client like PuTTY (Windows) or Terminal (Mac and Linux).
  3. Update system packages: Run the following command to update the packages on your server: sudo apt update
  4. Install database software: Drupal requires a database to store its content. Install a supported database system like MySQL or MariaDB by running the appropriate command. For example, to install MySQL: sudo apt install mysql-server
  5. Secure the database installation: Configure the database installation by running a command that helps set a secure password and other settings. sudo mysql_secure_installation
  6. Create a database and user: Log in to the MySQL shell with the following command, replacing [password] with your MySQL root password: sudo mysql -u root -p Inside the MySQL shell, create a new database, user, and assign privileges: CREATE DATABASE drupaldb; CREATE USER 'drupaluser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password'; GRANT ALL ON drupaldb.* TO 'drupaluser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password' WITH GRANT OPTION; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; Remember to replace 'your_password' with a strong password.
  7. Install PHP: Drupal requires PHP to run. Install PHP and the necessary PHP modules by running the command: sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql php-gd php-xml php-mbstring
  8. Restart the web server: After installing PHP, restart your web server (Apache or NGINX) with the command: sudo service apache2 restart # or sudo service nginx restart
  9. Download Drupal: Change to the appropriate web root directory (public_html, www, or similar) and download the latest Drupal release using the following wget command: cd /var/www/html # or your web root directory sudo wget --quiet sudo tar -xvzf tar.gz
  10. Configure file permissions: Set the appropriate file permissions for Drupal by running: sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/ sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/
  11. Configure Apache: Create a new Apache virtual host configuration file for your Drupal site: sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/ # Replace "" with your domain Add the following content to the file: ServerName DocumentRoot /var/www/html/ Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined Save and close the file. Enable the virtual host by running: sudo a2ensite # Replace "" with your domain
  12. Enable Apache modules: Enable some Apache modules required by Drupal: sudo a2enmod rewrite headers
  13. Restart Apache: Restart the Apache web server for the changes to take effect: sudo service apache2 restart
  14. Finish Drupal installation: Open a web browser and visit your domain or IP address. You will see the Drupal installation page. Follow the on-screen instructions, providing the database information you set up earlier.

That's it! You have now successfully installed Drupal on your VPS.

What are the best caching techniques for improving Drupal performance on a VPS?

There are several caching techniques you can use to improve Drupal performance on a VPS. Here are some of the best ones:

  1. Enable Drupal core caching: Drupal has built-in caching options that you can enable in the Performance settings. Enable the "Internal Page Cache" and "Internal Dynamic Page Cache" options to reduce the processing time required for generating pages.
  2. Use a caching reverse-proxy server: A reverse-proxy server like Varnish can cache static and dynamic content, reducing the load on your VPS and improving response times for repeated requests. Configure Drupal to work with Varnish by installing the Drupal Varnish module.
  3. Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN caches your Drupal site's static files (images, CSS, JavaScript) on servers distributed around the world. This improves load times for visitors by serving files from a nearby server. Popular CDNs for Drupal include Cloudflare, MaxCDN, and Akamai.
  4. Utilize the Views caching mechanism: Views is a powerful Drupal module for creating database queries. Enabling caching options within Views can significantly reduce database calls and improve page load times for dynamic content.
  5. Install the Memcached or Redis module: Drupal has modules available for integrating with in-memory caching systems like Memcached or Redis. These caching systems store frequently accessed data in memory, reducing the need for CPU-intensive database queries.
  6. Optimize database performance: Drupal heavily relies on its database for content and configuration storage. Regularly optimizing your database and running tools like MySQLTuner can improve query performance and reduce page load times.
  7. Enable CSS and JavaScript aggregation: In the "Performance" settings, enable the "Aggregate CSS files" and "Aggregate JavaScript files" options. This combines multiple files into one, reducing the number of requests needed to display a page.
  8. Use a PHP accelerator: PHP accelerators like APC (Alternative PHP Cache) or OPcache can cache compiled PHP code and reduce the time needed for Drupal to generate pages. Install and configure the appropriate accelerator for your PHP version.

Remember to test your site's performance after implementing these techniques to ensure they are delivering the intended improvements.

What is the process of scaling up resources for a Drupal site on a VPS?

Scaling up resources for a Drupal site on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) involves several steps. Here is a general process to follow:

  1. Analyze performance: Start by analyzing your site's current performance and identifying any bottlenecks or areas where additional resources are needed. This can be done using monitoring tools or performance testing tools like Apache JMeter.
  2. Upgrade VPS plan: Contact your VPS provider and upgrade your plan to a higher one that offers more resources like CPU, RAM, and disk space. This may involve migrating to a new VPS server or simply upgrading your existing plan.
  3. Optimize Drupal: Optimize your Drupal site by implementing performance best practices. This may involve using caching modules like Varnish or Redis, optimizing database queries, enabling CSS and JS aggregation, and enabling gzip compression.
  4. Load balancing: If your site receives a high volume of traffic and a single VPS is not enough to handle it, consider setting up a load balancer. Load balancers distribute incoming traffic across multiple VPS servers, improving performance and reducing downtime. Various load balancing solutions are available, such as Nginx, HAProxy, or a cloud-based load balancer like Amazon Elastic Load Balancer.
  5. Database optimization: Drupal heavily relies on its database for storing content and configuration data. Optimize your database by using tools like MySQLTuner or Percona Toolkit to identify and fix any performance issues. Additionally, consider implementing database caching mechanisms like Memcached or Redis to reduce database load.
  6. Content Delivery Network (CDN): Consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to offload static assets like images, CSS, and JavaScript files. CDNs distribute these files to servers located globally, reducing the load on your VPS server and improving content delivery speed.
  7. Monitoring and scaling: Set up monitoring tools and alerts to keep an eye on your site's performance. If you notice any bottlenecks or resource limitations, adjust your VPS resources accordingly. This could involve further scaling up or even scaling out by adding additional VPS servers.

Remember, the exact process may vary depending on your specific hosting environment and requirements. It's always recommended to consult with a Drupal expert or your hosting provider for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

How to set up a staging environment for a Drupal site on a VPS?

Setting up a staging environment for a Drupal site on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) involves a few steps. Here is a general guide to help you through the process:

  1. Provision a VPS: Choose a VPS provider such as DigitalOcean, Linode, or AWS Lightsail, and create a new VPS instance. Select an appropriate server size for your site's needs.
  2. Install a LAMP stack: Set up a basic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on your VPS. Follow the provider's documentation or tutorials for installing the necessary components.
  3. Secure your server: Configure a firewall (such as UFW for Ubuntu) to allow only necessary traffic to your server. Enable SSH access and disable password-based authentication, instead, use SSH keys for secure access.
  4. Configure a separate virtual host: Set up a separate virtual host in Apache specifically for your staging environment. This allows you to have a separate URL for your staging site.
  5. Install Drupal: Download the latest Drupal release, extract the files, and copy them to the document root folder of your staging virtual host.
  6. Create a new database: Set up a new empty database for your staging site using a tool like phpMyAdmin or the command line.
  7. Modify settings.php: Navigate to the sites/default folder within your Drupal installation and create a copy of the default.settings.php file called settings.php. Modify the database connection details in settings.php to match your staging site's database credentials.
  8. Import your database: If you have an existing Drupal site, you can export its database and import it into your staging site's database using a tool like phpMyAdmin or command line tools like mysql or drush.
  9. Configure DNS or Hosts file: Modify your local machine's hosts file to map the domain name of your staging site to the IP address of your VPS. Alternatively, configure DNS settings to point the domain to your VPS IP.
  10. Test and debug: Access your staging site through the staging domain name and ensure everything works as expected. Test for any errors or issues and debug if necessary.
  11. Continuously update and sync: As you make changes to your production site, regularly update your staging site to keep it in sync. This can include updating code and modules, importing new data, or applying configuration changes.

Remember to always treat your staging environment as a separate entity and use it strictly for testing and development purposes.

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