How to host Drupal on Digitalocean Droplet - ServerAvatar

Published : Dec 30, 2022

Share This Post



Digitalocean is one of the most popular cloud platform right now. It offers on-demand cloud computing for various use cases as well as some managed solutions.

Get started with Digitalocean


Drupal is a free and open-source CMS platform that allows you to create stunning websites within minutes. In addition, you can use its plenty of themes and modulus to extend the functionality of your site. And with that, it's available in multiple languages, so it's easy to target your users from various countries.

More info

Create Server in Digitalocean

Digitalocean is one of the most popular cloud platform right now. It offers on-demand cloud computing for various use cases as well as some managed solutions. We can deploy any PHP based applications on Digitalocean Droplets. Droplets are the servers or cloud computing instances in Digitalocean. If you want to learn everything about droplet management in Digitalocean in-depth, We recommend you to read our Digitalocean guide.

To deploy any application on Digitalocean, We first need a Droplet. So, we will first create a droplet and perform the initial set up.

Step 1: Go to the Create Droplets page.

Log in to your Digitalocean account and click on the Create button given on the top-right corner of the page. From the drop down menu, click on the Droplets option to see a droplet creation form.

Create a Droplet - Step 1

Step 2: Choose Region

On the Droplet creation page, You will see lots of sections to select lots of things. We will go step by step.

The first thing you have to do is select the region for your droplet. Digitalocean provides lots of options when it comes to selecting the location. The general rule is to select the region that is closest to your audience. It means that for majority of your audience, Your sites will load faster due to lower latency.

Create a Droplet - Step 2

Step 3: Choose an Image or an OS

In this step, you have to select the operating system for your droplet. We recommend you to use Ubuntu 20.04 LTS x64 or Ubuntu 22.04 LTS x64. Ubuntu is easy to configure and manage. If you are using ServerAvatar to manage your droplets, These operating systems are requirement.

Create a Droplet - Step 3

Step 4: Choose the size of the Droplet

Here you have to choose the size of your Droplet. As we mentioned above, Digitalocean provides many different types of droplets. Select the one that fits best for your project.

Create a Droplet - Step 4

If your site is brand new and does not have much traffic, start with a small plan. Once the project starts getting traction, you can upgrade the plan to handle more visitors on the site.

Step 5: Choose Authentication Method

Now you have to select the authentication method. There are two types of authentication methods. They are:

  1. Authentication via SSH Keys
  2. Authentication via Password

If you are using SSH keys for authentication, It is the best option. If you do not know what is SSH keys, You can go with the password method. Make sure to set the strong password for your root user, which is the most powerful user with all the privileges on Linux OS.

Create a Droplet - Step 5

Step 6: Selecting Additional Options

There are three additional options you can choose. They are optional but important in different use cases. The additional options are:

  1. Monitoring: It is a free feature by Digitalocean. It allows you to see additional monitoring data for your server.
  2. Backups: We recommend you to enable full server backups if you are going to deploy in production environment. The cost of the backups depends on the size of the droplet.
  3. Managed Database: You do not need a Managed database if you are using ServerAvatar to manage sites on a droplet. A managed database is a pre-configured MySQL Droplet.

Step 7: Finalise Details

In the last step of this process, We have to enter the name of the droplet, number of droplets you want to create, Define any tags, and select the project. Enter all the details and click on the Create Droplet button to create a droplet.

Create a Droplet - Step 7

In a few minutes, You will have the Droplet up and running. Now, We have to perform the initial configuration on the Droplet to host PHP based frameworks and software.

Initial Server Configuration

The Initial server configuration includes installation and configuration of various packages required to host your website. Usually, You have to write commands and modify configuration files. Luckily, With ServerAvatar, Your full server configuration and optimisation can be automated.

Here are the three ways to automatically configure your server with ServerAvatar.

Install and Setup Drupal CMS with ServerAvatar

Step 1. Download Drupal Latest Release Zip file

Visit Drupal's official site and Download Drupal Latest release zip file. You can see the download page in the following image.

Drupal zip file

Step 2. Create a PHP Application

On the server panel, access the Application tab from the sidebar and click the Create button, as shown in the image below.

Create application

Next, fill in the required details to create an application, including the Application Name and Domain Name.

The latest version of Drupal runs on PHP version 8.1. So to change the version, check the Show Advanced Options box and change the PHP version of your application like the below image.

Create application

Note That:

If you want to host Drupal CMS on your domain, then make sure to point your domain to the current IP address of your server, and for that:

  1. Log in to your hosting provider site, where you buy your domain. You can check your domain information with one click.

  2. Access DNS Manager to edit your DNS records(contact the support team if you don’t find them)

  3. Change the IP address of A Record of your website to the current server’s IP address.

Click the Create Application button after filling in the required details.

Step 3. Create Drupal Database

On the server panel, Click the Database tab from the sidebar to create a MySQL database for Drupal.

Create database

ServerAvatar will create a database by filling in database details, including Database Name, Username, and Password.

Database creation form

Once you are done, Click the Create Database button, and ServerAvatar will create your database in seconds.

Step 4. Upload the Drupal Zip file

ServerAvatar has a built-in File Manager feature, so you won't need FTP clients to manage files.

To Upload a zip file on your application, go to the application panel of your created application in step 2 and click the File Manager tab.

Delete the index.html directory

Now access the public_html directory and delete the index.html directory to avoid forbidden errors on the site.

Delete the index.html directory

Upload Drupal Zip file

After deleting the file, it’s time to upload the Drupal zip file to the public_html directory. And for that, Click on the upload icon or Drag and Drop the zip file from your system.

Upload Drupal zip file

Uncompress the Zip file

Unzip/Uncompress the uploaded Zip file in the public_html directory like the following image.

Uncompress zip file

Delete the zip file after successfully uncompressed.

Move files to public directory

Click on the folder created in the public_html directory where all the files are located. Select all files, including hidden files and move them to the public_html folder.

Move files to the public directory

Step 5. Install SSL Certificate

SeverAvatar allows you to install automatic SSL certificates with one click to keep users' data secure and verify your site ownership.

To install SSL on your website, click the SSL Certificates tab from the application panel.

Install SSL

Click the Automatic Installation button like the above image. You can also ensure Force HTTP to HTTPS to secure the communication between the browser and your website.

Step 6. Install and Setup Drupal

Open the URL of your application on the web browser. The setup page will appear like the following image.

Choose language

Drupal supports more than 100 languages.

Drupal choose language

Choose the one you want for your site and click the Save and Continue button.

Choose Profile

Select a profile from the given three installation profiles.

Select installation profile

It would be recommended to Install the Standard profile and click the Save and continue button.

Verify Requirements

It verifies your site requirements and redirects to the next step if everything is fine.

Set up database

Enter the database credentials that we have created in step 3. It includes the database name, database user, and password.

Drupal database configuration

Advanced Options include-

  • Host: leave this field as it is if your database is hosted on the same server as an application
  • Port Number: 3306 is recommended for MySQL/Aurora/MariaDB
  • Table Name Prefix: Enter the database table name prefix as your choice

Click the Save and continue button.

Install Site

It can proceed to install Drupal on your site if all the information is correct. It’ll show you the installation status like the following image.

Install Drupal process

Configure Site

Site Information

Enter your site information, including-

  • Site Name: Enter the name of your site as you want.
  • Site Email Address: Automated emails related to the site, including reset password and registration details, will be sent from this email.

Configure site

Site Maintenance account

Enter a Special user account information that can perform account-level tasks such as making backups and applying site updates. The account you set up has full administrative privileges.

Site maintenance

  • Username: Enter a username that is used for logging in to the Drupal Administrative interface
  • Password: Enter the password for the admin login
  • Email Address: Ente admin email address
Regional Settings

Enter the regional specific information, including-

Regional settings

  • Default Country: Select the name of your country.
  • Default Time Zone: Select a time zone based on your location

Tick all the boxes under the Update Notification section to automatically check for updates and receive notifications.

Click the Save and continue button after filling in the required details.

Step 7. Drupal Admin panel

Completing all the above steps results in access to the Drupal admin panel, which looks like the following image.

Drupal admin panel

That’s it. Now you can create an intuitive website or complex web application easily with a few clicks.