A Boston-based Acquia is a cloud hosting company offering a wide range of services - mostly aimed at enterprise customers. Recently, Acquia made it to #49 on the Forbes list of the world's best cloud computing companies.
So, there's quite a reputation to defend.
Is that achievement deserved? We'll soon find this out in my Acquia review.
First Impressions: What does Acquia Offer, Exactly?
Acquia brands itself as 'the open source digital experience company' which, really, doesn't tell you much.
Acquia is actually a cloud service that offers a hosting platform based on Drupal software. Acquia services break down into several distinct products:
- Acquia Cloud: hosting for Drupal sites
- Acquia Cloud Site Factory: host numerous Drupal sites
- Acquia Lightning: a Drupal development kit
- Acquia Digital Asset Management: manage Drupal media files
- Acquia Commerce: create a Drupal digital storefront
It's an impressive list: any Drupal user should be able to find a suitable product.
Excellent Drupal Support
As hosting is the service Acquia is best known for, I'll focus on Acquia it in this Acquia review. Remember, Acquia hosting is exclusively designed for use with Drupal. If you use a different CMS, this is not the service for you!
The benefit of this specialization is that Acquia support is provided by expert Drupal engineers. Phone support is available during working hours and emergency support is accessible 24/7 with tickets. When I tested the service, it was immediately evident the engineer I spoke to was very knowledgeable.
Thanks to its Cloud Architecture, Acquia hosting is fully scalable. You can add resources to deal with traffic spikes instantly, or add new sites to an Acquia account you already own.
Acquia Lightning: Does Acquia Strike Twice?
It's also worth mentioning the Acquia Lightning product. It's a custom Drupal build, and you can think of it as an Acquia CMS.
It includes a preset selection of modules that improve the Drupal development process including a sorely-needed drag-and-drop function and media format flexibility.
Personally, I found Acquia Lightning much more user-friendly than the raw Drupal interface.
Acquia Hosting Pricing
There are three Acquia hosting package tiers. Prices start at $141/month with the 25GB SSD Personal plan. The mid-range option is the $296/month 100GB Small package. If you need something bigger, a custom-priced Enterprise package is also offered.
Acquia Plans and Features in More Detail
|No. of Domains||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Email Addresses||Not Included||Not Included||Not Included|
|HDD or SSD||SSD||SSD||SSD|
|Customer Support||Phone and 24/7 Tickets||Phone and 24/7 Tickets||Phone and 24/7 Tickets|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30-Day Trial||30-Day Trial||30-Day Trial|
For most users, the 100GB of storage that the Small plan includes will make it the best option. Overall, Acquia's pricing is a little bit disappointing. The Personal plan is recommended for small to medium businesses but, price-wise, it's suited for bigger businesses.
During my Acquia review, I tested Acquia site's performance using Bitcatcha.
As we could expect, the performance was superb. All plans include CDN access and that shows!
Acquia speed is quite impressive globally, even shoving quite adequate response time from Japan, which is quite rare. Once again - a great choice if you want a really fast website delivery.
But of course, that is something completely expected.
Acquia Review - Final Thoughts
If you have a large web hosting budget and are committed to using Drupal, Acquia hosting is a great option.
The Acquia CMS Lightning toolkit will also really enhance your development process. Unfortunately, Acquia is quite expensive. I cannot, therefore, recommend it for personal or small-scale business use.
If you have Acquia reviews of your own, add them below!
- Acquia CMS improves Drupal significantly
- Great for Drupal developers
- Extremely scalable
- Expert customer support
- Global data centers
- On the expensive side
- Not good for non tech-savvy users
- Only works with Drupal