hosting | March 17th, 2011
Before developers can serve their website to the world, they need to decide on which of the many web hosting companies to use. One criterion that web developers look for in a hosting company is support to run applications. Because many applications on the web are written using PHP, developers need to find a company that provides PHP hosting. This may sound easy, but what exactly is PHP hosting?
To answer that question, this article is going to explain the major points that developers need to know about PHP hosting. In addition, there is also a comparison of PHP hosting versus ASP hosting. The article then concludes with a brief, but detailed discussion of the compatibility of PHP hosting with leading web hosting companies.
What is PHP Hosting?
Simply put, PHP hosting means having support for the PHP scripting language on a web server. This means that hosting companies need to integrate it onto their servers. This is great, but what else can it truly do for developers?
PHP’s major contribution is that it allows a static site to become dynamic by working with the HTML code on that site. Even though this web functionality is a major addition in how websites behave, one of PHP’s greatest features is working with database systems that are also installed on the server, most notably MySQL. MySQL is an open source database that allows developers to store content. Many developers make use of this combination do deliver some impressive applications. One of the most impressive applications is WordPress. The backbone of this program is based entirely on PHP and MySQL.
Other robust applications that use PHP and MySQL are e-commerce shopping carts. Because of the ease at which PHP and MySQL work together, developers can easily create a custom shopping cart that best fit their needs. And because of PHP’s wide support in the open source community, there are many free scripts available that developers can use in their projects. With this type of support for this scripting language, developers can cut down their development time.
All of these features are great for web hosting companies with PHP hosting, but how does it compare with web hosting companies using ASP hosting?
PHP Hosting vs. ASP Hosting
The main difference between PHP hosting and ASP hosting is the host environment. ASP, which stands for active server pages, is a Microsoft product that runs on their IIS server, which is, of course, a Windows-based system. Even though it is not used in web development as much as PHP, web hosting companies do provide support for ASP. This support, however, comes with a price. Hosting companies generally charge extra to host ASP and the technologies needed to work with it. The extra cost has to do with the licensing requirements. Since ASP is not open source, like PHP, licensing fees have to be paid to Microsoft.
Also, ASP mainly supports developers who are familiar with Visual Basic and other Microsoft client-server development tools. Using ASP, they can use Active X and other components that can be used on the IIS server. However, ASP developers can also use the MySQL database, if they wish, in place of Microsoft’s proprietary database MsSQL.
In short, the main differences between PHP hosting and ASP hosting are the hosting platforms, the developer’s needs, and of course price.
Now that we’ve seen how PHP hosting compares with its main competitor ASP, the last issue that remains is a comparison of PHP hosting between the leading web hosting companies.
Compatibility of PHP Host with Web Hosting Companies
All major web hosting companies are compatible with PHP hosting, but there are some differences. The main difference has to do with which version of PHP the hosting company supports. Every so often PHP is upgraded to a newer version of the language. However, not all of the web hosts provide immediate support for the latest version of the language. For instance, HostMonster, BlueHost, GoDaddy and HostGator are all using 5.2.X of PHP. The latest stable version of PHP is version 5.3.X. One hosting company that supports the latest version of the language is SiteGround hosting.
Another difference between the leading hosting companies has to do with their support for MySQL. To use MySQL with PHP, you need to create a database. Many of these hosts allow you to create an unlimited amount of databases in their most basic hosting package. However, GoDaddy only allows 10 free databases in their most basic package. Depending on how many domains developers run on their server, they can quickly go through their allotted amount if they have a limited supply such as with GoDaddy. This is especially true if developers need to set up different versions of a test application, for instance WordPress, to test how their application works with each version of the test application.
So, to briefly recap, PHP hosting is a service supported by all major web hosting companies. This scripting language allows developers to create dynamic pages, and with MySQL, they can create applications like e-commerce shopping carts. Its advantage over ASP hosting is that PHP is open source. And finally, PHP hosting’s compatibility issue with leading web hosting companies has to do with the number of databases supplied for the MySQL database system.
This guest post is submitted by Vanessa, working as content manager with dedicated servers guide. Here, you can read more articles cooked by her, relating to web designing as well as web hosting reviews of top providers.