PHP Hosting in 2020 – The Contenders For the Best Service Around
One of the most popular programming languages in the world, PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor is the scripting bedrock of many web platforms, software, and applications.
As a universal programming language, PHP is compatible with most operating systems. However, just because a hosting solution’s servers are capable of decoding PHP instructions doesn’t mean that the host offers excellent PHP services and support.
To find a PHP host really knows its PHP stuff, make sure to ask the following questions:
- Does it offer multiple versions of PHP?
- How easy is it to switch between these versions?
- Does it come with 1-click installation of PHP-based tools?
- How fast are its load times?
There are other factors that can have a significant impact on the quality of service you’re getting from a PHP host. Overall, though, these are some basic questions to help you find the optimal PHP hosting options.
To zero in on an outstanding PHP host, read our expert review before checking out our reader reviews to get real-time updates on the best available PHP hosting options.
What is PHP?
PHP is an open source, universal programming language that is often used to create dynamic web pages and applications. Originally built on C, PHP has gone through many iterations and updates to become the scripting powerhouse that it is today.
Many of the web’s most prevalent Content Management Systems (CMS), such as WordPress, Magento and Joomla! are built on PHP, thanks to its lightweight makeup and simple programming syntax.
If you can do more than click on a web page, chances are you’re interacting with PHP. Many developers and platforms utilize PHP to create forms on web pages for customers to input information like credit card details or an email address.
As a server-side scripting language, PHP is decoded by the server, and not by the user’s computer, in real-time. To load a website based on PHP, servers need to be installed with the free PHP interpreter module. With the help of this handler, servers bring up the web content stored in a database and compile it into a website.
Why do You Need PHP Hosting?
There are very specific use cases in which you may not need PHP hosting. For instance, if your website is built on ASP.NET and other Microsoft products, or if you’re building a simple, static website with only HTML and CSS, PHP hosting may not be relevant.
For the most part, however, you’re going to need PHP hosting. That’s because PHP is an integral part of so many websites, whether you’re using a CMS like WordPress or Magento or whether you’re coding your site from scratch.
No matter how PHP figures into your website, you’ll have to use a server that’s been equipped with a PHP interpreter module to ensure that your website loads and renders properly.
Moreover, the best PHP hosts make it easy for you to code in PHP and add different functionalities based on PHP by including 1-click scripting installation and multiple versions of PHP.
What are the Benefits of PHP Hosting?
- Your website loads the way you intend it to. If your website is scripted in PHP or if you’re uploading content to a PHP-based software platform, a PHP-enabled server can decode and load your site just as you wrote and envisioned it. If a server isn’t equipped with the software to handle PHP, your website will be rendered in HTML and won’t be interactive.
- It offers multiple versions of PHP. Not every piece of software, plugin, or widget is up-to-date with the latest version of PHP, and some require a specific version in order to function. While older versions are being phased out, you’ll still have access to different PHP iterations so that you can run that software that you’d prefer to run.
- It comes with integral PHP tools. If you need more control over your PHP environment, PHP hosts are the way to go. Many PHP hosting solutions come with php.ini so you can make changes to your server’s PHP configuration, or support other programming languages that are often used in conjunction with PHP such as Perl or Python.
What Factors to Consider for PHP Hosting
- How fast are its load times? PHP is known to be less resource-hungry than many other programming languages, but that won’t help you if your web host is sluggish in general. PHP hosting companies that utilize creative solutions to maximize your resources, such as CDN, SSD storage and caching, are a good choice.
- Does it have PHP-specific support? Whether you’re a beginner or a developer, you want to make sure that if something goes wrong there’s a strong support team to help you sort it out, and fast. In addition to what you would look for with any host – around the clock support staffed by (in this case, PHP) experts, multiple support channels – PHP hosts with an extensive section on PHP in their knowledge base can be incredibly helpful.
- Are you getting enough storage with your plan? As a server-side programming language PHP needs databases to function. You may not need more than one MySQL or another PHP-compatible database for your website. However, it’s important to check whether the plan you’re interested in contains enough storage space to comfortably host your website.
- Does it come with cPanel? Especially if you’re going to be coding in PHP or making changes to your PHP environment, it’s crucial that you have easy access to your files. PHP hosts that come with cPanel or a different easy-to-use control panel should therefore be at the top of your list.
Choose the Best PHP Web Hosting
Unlike more obscure programming languages, PHP has been embraced and accommodated for by many of the world’s top hosts. The trick is discerning which web hosting solutions are merely paying lip service to the script and which have gone above and beyond to make the PHP experience seamless. Our users have tried and tested many leading PHP hosting solutions – read their reviews to find a PHP host that’s right for you.