Choosing PHP Hosting
Article title: PHP Hosting - How to find the perfect host?
Developing a high-end PHP script to suit the current web standards is no easy chore, but what's even more difficult is finding a good place to store it so others can experience your hard work. Many PHP hosting companies exist today, and most will suit the beginning developer's needs. However; there are several aspects to consider when choosing a good hosting company for your newest script. Things like; knowing whether or not some features are supported, or if the server settings are just right can be very important before making your decision. A faulty decision can lead to a headache, and too much time dealing with tech support.
Many PHP scripts today call for the use of E-Mails. Unfortunately, emailing can take up a lot of space and bandwidth, and is generally not supported by free, or cheap PHP hosting companies. Though some cheaper hosting companies do provide it, it is a rare commodity. Most websites will provide you with specific details on whether or not they support such, if you're going to need it, make sure it's marked off on their lists of supported features.
Sockets are frequently used by developers to access other sites, and draw data from them. Though the amount of consumed bandwidth is little, sockets can be a huge security risk, and even most of the highly respected free hosts will not allow you to use them. If you're going to need them, and you probably will use them at one point, you're more than likely not going to get the feature for free. Check their list, and make sure socket support is enabled. Unfortunately, listing of such isn't common, so you'll have to ask a live support technician.
File systems are generally another important piece of most PHP scripts. Surprisingly, not all hosts provide this feature, but some will enable it for you if requested. Oddly enough, some may allow file uploads, but not allow you to open the file on the server. Not having this feature can be very troublesome if you're in the middle of development. Some hosts will list this as "File Support enabled" or "File Uploading enabled". It is definitely worth checking for before ordering.
Databases are a key component to most PHP scripts. Generally, most PHP hosting companies provide you with at least one MySQL user, and database. Before accepting that deal, however, plot out your database, and make sure one will be enough. If you have more than one full script, you're probably going to need more than one database, and preferably more than one user. This fact is listed, and generally advertised on all web hosts along with the supported version number. If it is not listed anywhere, they more than likely do not support such.
Everything else aside, the most important thing to look for when finding a good place to set up your script is whether or not the right version of PHP, or even PHP itself is supported. You'd be surprised to find how many web hosts exist that do not allow PHP of any kind. Most free PHP hosting companies that also provide you with your own sub-domain do not support PHP. If they do support it, the version number will more than likely be listed under package features.
Though finding a good web host for the right price can be difficult, there are fantastic companies out there that really do want to help developers by providing the best possible environments. If you find one you like, or one you think you could potentially settle for, make sure that you contact their live support first. Check with them to make sure that they have everything you'll need, and then make your decision. I wish you luck in choosing the best web PHP hosting company for your PHP scripts.
This tutorial is copyrighted by Klemen Stirn. Obtain permission before copying, re-publishing or otherwise redistributing this article.