Web Hosting for PHP

by Matt Hedges

You are reading this article because you are looking for a good web hosting service. And of course you would like to get the best deal that you can afford. Choosing a web hosting service is a decision that is going to have long term effects, because you may use it to support your business for many months or even years.

In the present times, PHP web hosting has become very cheap and offers a host of benefits which make it very attractive.

The key issue will follow later but basic knowledge of PHP would help proceedings. It is an extremely well liked programming language which can be embedded in HTML. Its popularity was supported by the following characteristics:

a. It is available for free

b. It is simple to work and operate.

c. It is a fully object oriented language.

d. It can be used on a variety of platforms

e. Its speed on the Linux server makes it very effective in building complex, and large web applications.

f. It is a great tool for programmers of an advanced nature and is suitable to be used on web pages

g. MySQL is a program that is able to be integrated well with PHP

There are many things to consider before choosing a PHP server host for your site. Be aware it can be difficult to get a decent PHP web host service. This is because a large number of firms just want to make money. They will not offer a complete service in their package and it is common to be without PHP for a few days.However, it is impossible to fix as you cannot contact the support, as often happens. You will be lucky if you find the right PHP host first time. This is because it can be easy to overlook a number of firms, including good ones.

These factors make selecting the best PHP provider a very hard task. However, it is possible to find some advice to follow.

A genuine PHP host will have these areas provided:

a. Issues of a technical nature. Applications such as MySQL, Perl,PHP, Cron, Python, or CGI should be provided to you. These things may not mean a lot to you but it is good to have them, so don’t worry about them.

b. Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the volume of files (in gigabytes or megabits per second) that are transferred in and out of your server on a monthly basis – and ultimately determines the number of visitors that can view your website in any given month the more bandwidth, the more users. In this case a bandwidth of 75 GB is a good starting point; though many websites can use 1,000GB, 10,000 or more.

c. Cost: Free does not always equal to good service quality, and ‘cheap’ does not automatically mean that, you have to make do with inferior service. A good price would be around $10 per month, which provides you with satisfying service.

d. Statistics of web use. You would be surprised how important it is to have information regarding how many visits you have and who or what is linking to your site.

e. Script installers that were created with PHP web hosting in mind. Again, these are vital for many firms and need to be considered. This provision should be given to you by your provider at no extra charge to you. If a provider seeks a fee for this service, tell them that this will not be happening.

Next up are PHP host sites who offer free products and services. The price may seem great but there are sown points to them. As firms need to make money to survive, how can a company with no revenue stream last long? To bring money in, many offer advertisements to companies and place them on their users’ sites. These advertisements can be placed in the following formats

a. Advertisements on banners

b. Pop-up ads

c. Advertisement frames

There would be no control of these advertisements in your hands. This would be unacceptable for small and average sized firms. Also, examples exist of advertisements for a rival firm appearing on a companies own website. This is clearly a terrible state to be in. And as you are getting a free service, subsidized by these advertisements, there is little room to complain.

It is also true to say that free sites quite often crash. If the host caters for a great number of sites, this is likely to occur.

Furthermore PHP web site hosting companies, that are offering free services are generally not able to offer the range of features, that even a cheap web hosting company can.

These issues make it advisable to go for the paid option as opposed the free option. Paying a bit of money will be more than recouped by the extra features obtained.

In order to zero in on the right cheap web hosting service, you will have to keep the following things in mind:

i. Attempt to balance the price of the service with the services. A cheaper option may lose you some services but can you live without them? If not, then you have to pay. If you can live without guaranteed uptime or support options, you could cut these out as long as you know what is vital for you.

ii. Many websites choose to run blogs, shopping carts or forums. If you want to offer these, then installation tools are vital and this is where Cpanel is required. Cpanel is perfect for working with MySQL databases and providing support centers.

iii. Having access to support services. It is vital to always have a support service available. Who knows when a crisis may hit your firm and you need to be able to react.

iv. Available space on the disc: Depending on how much content will be on your site, how much disc room you will require will alter greatly. It is also good to consider future development when planning how much disc space to have.

v. Having a number of email accounts: If you are a business you need email accounts to be available and if your need is not met, don’t hesitate to go with a firm that does meet it. As there are so many rival firms, the power is with the buyer to go where best suits them.

There is always more research to be done and it still matters at this stage. You should look for firms providing offers. Does a firm with 30 day money back guarantee sound appealing to you? Would you be more interested in a firm that provides a guarantee of uptime? These firms are not always easy to find as they all require a level of money to make these promises. However they are available and if you can find them, they could be a good reason for choosing that firm.

The decision process should never stop and with your own budget and requirements in place, you should be able to choose which host best suits your needs.

After all your choices and signing with a provider, how can you tell you have made the correct choice? It isn’t hard, if you are satisfied with the price being low, having all the email accounts you need, having support always available, having statistics regarding traffic and the option of PHP and windows, then you can be happy with your choice.

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