PHP Web Hosting
As the most common programming language on the Internet, PHP is compatible with almost any web hosting plan. Most PHP Hosting solutions host your site on Linux Servers, but the best hosting companies provide multiple options - take a look at our toplist for the most affordable hosts suitable for individuals, small businesses and developers alike.
Our list of hosting providers is based on:
- User reviews
- Technical support
Cheap and Reliable PHP Hosting
Hosting plans with this icon have a lowest price guarantee.
What is PHP Hosting?
PHP Hosting is the term used to describe Web Hosting that fully supports and utilizes the PHP programming language. PHP is a powerful open-source language, completely free to use with a wide variety of applications, and is commonly used in building dynamic websites.
PHP was adapted from Perl and C, and stands for PHP: Hypertext PreProcessor. The most popular language on the web, it is used by numerous blogging platforms and Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
The major advantage of PHP over other programming languages is how easy it is to get started - there is a huge online community to help you, whether you are a beginner or a fully-fledged web developer.
Many PHP developers also contribute to the open-source framework library which exists to help everyone who uses PHP. It is no coincidence that PHP is the easiest language to find web developers for.
What can PHP do?
PHP can do anything web related, making it the go-to language for many web developers, although it is user-friendly enough to be considered suitable for small-scale web projects. Therefore, the types of websites using PHP Hosting range from small self-hosted blogs to enterprise-level eCommerce solutions.
Facebook was originally created with PHP – although later making their own changes, they are still heavily reliant on the language. Other famous PHP websites include Wikipedia, Flickr, Yahoo! and Tumblr – along with over 80% of all websites online today. The simplicity of PHP enables you to create powerful applications with the ability to integrate with other technology, even if you lack knowledge and experience.
The main drawback is that inexperienced PHP developers sometimes overlook important issues such as security, server load and page speed. Often though, they get around this by using frameworks such as Zend, Codeigniter or Laravel, or a CMS/blog platform such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, which have many tools and features which help to keep your website secure.
Pros and Cons of PHP
- Quick and easy - get started and have a website ready the same day
- Cheap; open-source (no licence fees) and less demanding on hardware
- Simple, flexible and versatile
- Wide range of open-source software
- Helpful online community
- Unless using an established modern framework, PHP doesn't automatically detect and clean harmful data or include security measures
- Language contains over 3000 commands
PHP vs. ASP.NET vs. ASP
PHP and ASP.NET are direct competitors, but have very similar features. Security and development time are largely dependent on the web developer's ability regardless of the language they use, although PHP is often preferred for smaller projects.
PHP's open-source community contribute a huge number of frameworks that dwarfs the amount available for ASP.NET, which are exclusively developed by Microsoft. Although ASP.NET itself is open-source, most of the tools required to effectively use it are not - making the development and running cost for PHP much less in comparison.
Active Server Pages (Classic ASP) is largely considered legacy, but has been included for the sake of consistency. If you'd like to know more about it, take a look at our Classic ASP Hosting page.
PHP Web Hosting Solutions
Most PHP hosts offer inexpensive plans on shared server. They are able to keep prices low by using the LAMP structure, all of which is open-source. LAMP stands for:
- Linux (operating system)
- Apache (server software)
- MySQL (database)
- PHP (programming language)
When going over the details of your PHP Hosting plan, make sure you check your provider's offer against the following points.
Ensure the PHP Hosting provider keeps everything up to date, has an uptime guarantee of at least 99.9% and has a reputation for strong customer support.
PHP Hosting solutions usually have the newest version of PHP installed and ready to go. However, some hosts allow multiple versions of PHP on a single account, which can be very convenient when you have legacy programs and libraries that need to run on an older version. One-click deployment of popular applications such as WordPress and Joomla are common and to be expected.
Be aware of bandwidth and storage allowances – 'unlimited' usage will be capped by the conditions in the host's fair usage policy to prevent you from using the service in a way that affects other websites and applications on the same server. Be sure to check how much it costs if you exceed the allowed limits.
Beyond those features, PHP Hosting is similar to any other hosting solution. Long-term contracts usually secure the lowest rates, but consider the plan's scalability as well. Although many web hosting companies will gladly allow you to increase your resource consumption (as well as your monthly payment), if your host exclusively specializes in small-scale hosting, you may have to switch provider to accommodate your website's growing needs.
Is PHP right for me?
PHP is extremely versatile but this does not necessarily make it the best option for every task. It is best to choose the most suitable language in each situation - for example if you have a great deal of pre-existing code written in another language, or a highly specialized task to accomplish.
Nevertheless, web developers are usually required to perform a wide range of tasks and using a single language that is able to handle all of them generally makes for a much cleaner end result. This along with the superb open-source resources and community make PHP a fantastic choice of programming language.
The PHP Hosting plans listed above are most suitable for smaller websites, if you think you may need more storage and/or bandwidth it is certainly worth looking into a Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting or Dedicated Server plan. Both usually allow you to use PHP, and should be ready to scale in line with your site's growth.
If you are still unsure you can use our Hosting Wizard and Knowledge Base for more ideas, or Compare Hosting plans side by side - whatever you decide, Web Hosting Search is here to help you find the best deal!