Using a Web-Hosting Company for PHP Programming - dummies

Using a Web-Hosting Company for PHP Programming

By Richard Blum

By far, the easiest method of setting up a PHP programming environment is to rent space on an existing server that has all the necessary components already installed. Plenty of companies offer PHP web development packages. Some of the more popular ones are

These large web-hosting companies offer multiple levels of support for their services. Often, they’ll offer several tiers of service based on the number of databases you can create, the amount of data that you can store, and the amount of network bandwidth your web applications are allowed to consume per month. That way, you can start out with a basic package for minimal cost and then upgrade to one of the more expensive packages as your Internet application takes off! It pays to shop around to check different pricing structures and support levels at the different web-hosting companies.

Besides these main competitors, you’ll find many, many smaller web hosting companies willing to offer MySQL/PHP packages to host your applications. There’s a good chance if you already have a web-hosting company you use to host your static web pages, it’ll have some type of MySQL/PHP support. If you already have space on a web server for your website, check with them to see if they offer an upgrade to a MySQL/PHP package.

With the popularity of the new “cloud” environment where everything runs on shared server space, there are now a few more participants in the PHP server hosting game. The Wikipedia web page for cloud service providers lists more than 200 different providers! You’ll probably recognize the more popular ones:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Oracle Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure

Each of these cloud services provides some level of support for PHP program development. One of the main benefits of utilizing a cloud service is that your application is hosted on multiple servers that share the traffic load and are redundant for backup purposes. If a server in the cloud crashes, your application will still work on other servers. Of course, be prepared to pay a premium price for those features!

Be careful with some of the smaller web-hosting companies. These days, just about anyone can install the PHP and MySQL server software onto a server and sell space, so many “mom-and-pop” web-hosting companies now provide this service. However, installing the server programs is different from maintaining the server programs. Often, you’ll find these smaller web-hosting sites use outdated server versions that haven’t been upgraded or patched with security updates, making them vulnerable to attacks.