Way back when, in the early days of CiviCRM, there were two CMS’s supported, Drupal and Joomla, and CiviCRM’s codebase was complicated, but ran reasonably well. After a few years, the code was greatly improved but also significantly expanded to include a tremendous amount of additional functionality, and thus CiviCRM became a serious server resource hog. Finding hosting that could run it at all was sometimes a challenge and finding a host that could run it well was difficult.
In those days, Drupal sites far outnumbered Joomla sites, both generally on the web and also for CiviCRM sites. Since CiviCRM released WordPress support, however, what we have seen at CiviHosting is an increase in WordPress sites and today in fact, for new installs, we see that more clients choose WordPress over Drupal (by a small percentage).
Back in the early days, the majority of CiviCRM users were small to medium sized organizations, but over the years, many larger organizations have implemented large-scale instances of CiviCRM with millions of contact records. The majority of CiviCRM installs are, in our experience, fairly small in reality. The number of sites we have seen which require more than shared hosting is around 2 or 3%.
Hosting these sites , however, requires a different level of service than a small to medium sized organization. Furthermore, whereas CiviCRM developers have made strides to optimize the back-end code, in particular in their quest for performance improvements, the bottom line is that CiviCRM remains a somewhat heavy package to run and some users still struggle with performance issues.
These Enterprise Level sites, in our experience, more often run Drupal than WordPress, can be national or international organizations, and some are serving thousands if not tens of thousands of page requests a day.
CiviHosting is a CiviCRM-specific hosting company (we also specialize in Nextcloud Hosting) and we have had a conservative VPS product for many years, which is great for large, busy sites, but not sufficient for such Enterprise level clients.
As of January 2017, however, we have released a new VPS product with 4 times the resources of our original VPS, putting it in what we would consider the Enterprise class. This VPS includes 8 CPU cores and 24 GB of RAM. Full details are on the CiviHosting VPS Hosting page.
As the needs of the greater CiviCRM community change, all of the service providers are adjusting to match those needs, including higher-end support from some partners and better training from others. At CiviHosting, we are also adjusting our hosting offerings. For more information, you can contact CiviHosting directly.