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PHP Web Hosting Guide & PHP Web Hosting Providers

What is PHP?

PHP is an open source programming language that can be used to create dynamic web pages and applications. PHP draws upon C, Java and Perl that allows it to run on a variety of platforms and work with many different databases. Its popularity among the web development community stems from the way PHP enabled pages are treated the same as HTML pages, simplifying matters considerably for the programmer.

What are the benefits of PHP?

PHP is very easy to learn. It works with almost any Operating System (OS), supports a wide variety of databases and communication between many protocols such as POP3, LDAP, SNMP, HTTP, COM and IMAP. Because it is a server side technology (data is processed on the web server) you can have highly interactive websites that output HTML, PDF files, Flash movies and XHTML without your visitors having to install any software. Most web hosts have it pre-installed.

What is the Zend Optimizer?

After PHP 3.0 was officially released, work began on a rewrite of PHP’s core. The design goal was to improve performance of complex applications and improve the modularity of PHP’s code base. Such applications were made possible by PHP 3.0’s new features and its support for a wide variety of third party databases and API’s (Application Program Interfaces) but PHP 3.0 was not designed to handle complex applications efficiently.

The new engine created is Zend Optimizer which goes over the intermediate code generated by the standard Zend run-time compiler and optimizes it for faster execution. In addition, the Zend Optimizer enables PHP to load and execute files encoded by the Zend Encoder.

What version of PHP does the current Zend Optimizer work with?

The current version works only with PHP 4.0.5 and above.

What Platforms does the Zend Optimizer support?

The current version works in PHP, FreeBSD, Solaris, Windows, IBM, AIX and HP-UX. Work is underway to support more popular web server platforms. Recently added is support for Mac OS X and Solaris x86.

How does PHP compare to ASP?

PHP is Open Source software, which means that code, manual, updates and support are all provided free for anyone to use. Although the ASP script engine comes included with IIS and PWS, minimal support is available free. Running Microsoft operating systems at a commercial level is always costly.

ASP will also likely never be as fast as PHP due to the architecture. When an ASP programmer uses VBScript, he is running a COM object. This means when he writes a client, he is calling the Response COM. When he accesses a database, he uses abouth COM object. Then, when he accesses the file system, he is using yet another COM object. These objects add up and slow things down whereas PHP modules run on PHP memory making it faster and more efficient. PHP also has superior memory management over ASP because it only uploads the files that are required. With ASP, if a file example, header.asp is referenced in twenty web pages then twenty copies of the file are maintained in memory.

There are also no additional costs with PHP. Everything is built into it. With ASP, you need to purchase separate licenses for encryption, mail management and file uploading and so on.

What should be my main concerns when searching for a PHP host provider?

Web Hosting companies recognize PHP’s versatility, efficiency and popularity in developing Web applications. Many web-hosting companies today cater specifically to sites developed with PHP. Some hosting companies have even compiled and maintain their own version of PHP with all the bells and whistles PHP developers love. When selecting a host provider, ask if they have thoroughly tested their hosting platform with all PHP libraries to ensure a continuous bug free performance for your web site. Find out the versions of PHP supported as well as pre-installed modules.

The less experience you have with the web, the more support you are likely to need. So make sure your web host is responsive to your level of expertise. If you require immediate troubleshooting make sure telephone support is offered. Ask what type of site management tools and control panels are offered. If you need your web host to provide maintenance for you make sure you know what is charged for this ervice. Remember to ask about database support.

What Can PHP Do For My Website?

You can add a lot of interactivity & professionalism with PHP driven scripts such as:

Live support, content management systems, collaboration areas for your staff, shopping carts, forums, web based email, catalog with inventory search, product reviews, news, content yndication, SMS senders, newsletter managers and more. To find more examples, do a search on your favorite search engine for “PHP Scripts”.

My Script Developer Says It Needs A Module Before It Will Work. What Does That Mean?

PHP has modular capabilities, meaning you can add modules to it to extend functionality. Some scripts depend on a particular add on to PHP to run. You need to check with your web host to see if the module already exists. If not, ask if they will install it for you. You cannot install PHP modules yourself if you are on a shared server. Your web host has to do it for you.

What Is PHP Safe Mode & Why Is It A Problem With My Script?

The new versions of PHP were released with safe mode that is turned on. This stops some scripts from using certain functions and directories, so vicious scripts cannot manipulate them and cause the server harm. Unfortunately some of these functions and directories are required for the most legitimate scripts. There is usually no work around unless your web host agrees to turn it off.

Our Guaranteed PHP Web Hosting providers below will provide the knowledge, experties and the experience needed to host your PHP website. Please click on any web hosting company below to find out more.


PHP Web Hosting Providers

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