I'm commissioning a new server to host a mix of D6 and D7 sites.

My old server had Plesk, which was a bad idea for Drupal, as I spent most of my time trying to get around its security to allow a multisite configuration to work.

The first question I have is whether to install CPanel or manage the site through the command line?

My second question is a bit more involved.

Currently I structure my Drupal setup as follows:

/var/www/drupal/drupal-7.26 (Current Drupal version)

/var/www/drupal/drupal7 (Vhost points here - Symlink to drupal current version)

/var/www/drupal/sites7 (Drupal sites directory - keeps it separate from the current drupal version)

/var/www/drupal/drupal-7.26/sites (Symlink to above sites7 directory)

I've found that keeping the sites directory separate from the Drupal install directory helps when upgrading the core Drupal version, but it does seem to break the ability to use D7's module upgrading.

Any thoughts on whether it's worth sticking with this structure, or should I switch to plain directories?



  • Why do you need the symlinks? Why don't you just put the files in the directory where the vhosts point? Or change the vhosts to point to the real code folder?
    – rooby
    Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 16:50
  • Because of the way Plesk worked, I had to create a symlink to point to the shared Drupal directory. In my new setup I can make the virtualhost point directly at the Drupal root directory. However, I still find it convenient to point to drupal6, drupal7 and now drupal8 symlinks, and have those point to the actual Drupal version directory. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


From the information you've provided, it sounds like CPanel would not be a good setup for you. CPanel is great if you want an easy way to manage separate accounts that don't have access to each other. That's why many resellers use CPanel. You will likely spend just as much time getting around CPanel to do what you want.

However, keep in mind that CPanel offers a lot out of the box, like email, easy SSL Cert management, DNS management, and monitoring, not to mention security and software updates. If you spin up your own environment, you will need to make sure you set up a firewall of some sort, and an email server, at the very least. Server setup can be a large topic, and is very dependent on your particular hosting needs.

You didn't mention it, but have you looked at Aegir? It may provide you with the multi-site management and update management that you're looking for: http://www.aegirproject.org/

Regarding your proposed directory structure, I have not tested a setup like that so I can't provide a direct answer to your question, but I would look into using Drush and aliases if you haven't already.

  • Thanks JuliaK! CPanel seems less restrictive than Plesk, but ultimately has the same goal, which does sound like it might give me some of the same headaches. I should have mentioned I also have some non-Drupal sites I also want to host. And while I can set up things like email addresses manually, it would be nice to have something a little friendlier. I'll certainly look at Aegir now. Thanks. Commented Mar 17, 2014 at 7:55
  • 1
    A year and a half on, I'm still managing the server through Linux shell, and loving it. I've certainly learned a lot more than I ever would using a web interface, and it's nice to be able to only install the components that are needed. Commented Dec 31, 2015 at 14:18

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