MySQL Database Hosting: Top MySQL Hosts, PHP Support, and Dedicated Servers
As the ridiculously popular relational database management system powering the likes of WordPress, Drupal, and Magento, MySQL is bound to create some buzz in the hosting realm.
MySQL, which constitutes the M in the ever-popular LAMP stacks, rapidly expedites the building and maintenance of data-heavy or content-rich websites and applications. Using structured query language, site owners can upload a database filled with contacts, short stories, photos, or client information once and write a PHP script to call upon the database entries whenever needed.
MySQL is akin to having a personal assistant run to fetch the information you need and make any requested changes to files or business processes — only a few humans can run as fast as a MySQL server performs.
Personally, I tend to trust technology a tad more than humans when it comes to reliability and accuracy, so hosted MySQL is pretty appealing. Let’s talk about what we look for when evaluating which MySQL web hosting account to recommend to developers.
Best PHP & MySQL Hosting for Developers
A worthwhile MySQL hosting service should come with the standard cPanel or Plesk control panel license, support for PHP and other popular programming languages, and the intuitive phpMyAdmin web application.
We like to see the most features for the minimum cost, which bodes well for users of the open source MySQL platform. Any MySQL host that promises an unlimited database feature and supreme uptime rates (99.99% or 99.999% is preferred) for a competitive price is going to catch our attention.
As is the case with all of our hosting review categories, we like to see hosts going the extra mile — offering bonus features that appeal to niche audiences.
Take SiteGround, for example. The team delivers a specialized MySQL server setup — a separate disk for MySQL, custom MySQL query cache, and other tweaks — to produce greater performance results and simplified MySQL management. These premium amenities, coupled with the SiteGround standard for superior support and in-house-built technologies, make the host a leader in MySQL server hosting, among other niches.
Not to be outdone, A2 Hosting comes with unlimited MySQL database support on most web hosting plans. Customers can expect SSD-powered speed and the utmost security for their MySQL files and websites.
Of course, leading our list is the always-trustworthy Bluehost. Offering the full range of website builder and shared hosting to virtual servers and managed WordPress, we especially appreciate the unlimited disk space that comes with the vast majority of the host’s SSD-based plans.
MySQL Database Hosting Features
As is the case with any hosting package, we like to see the maximum bang for minimum bucks. Some of the features MySQL hosting customers should expect include:
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- Ample disk space and bandwidth
- Free cPanel license with phpMyAdmin access
- Support for PHP, Python, and other popular languages
- SSD storage or other performance optimizations
- Remote MySQL access and support for MySQL Workbench
- Dedicated IP address
The hosts that truly stand out are those that reinforce these features with a rock-solid uptime rate guarantee and an attentive and competent support team. Reliability is king in MySQL hosting and database server administration.
You can also keep an eye out for other types of SQL database hosting and related software or programming options. Windows users will naturally gravitate toward MS SQL, while those looking for different SQL flavors can try MariaDB or PostgreSQL. Tomcat users can even use JDBC to connect the Java application server to a MySQL database.
Free MySQL Hosting Services
We frequently caution shoppers against succumbing to the illusion of a free hosting company. As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Free hosts promise a MySQL user the moon — uptime rates, bandwidth promises, and storage allowances that are simply not feasible for a business to offer with a free price tag — and inevitably underdeliver.
Or, clients find themselves so disappointed with the gaps in service that they’re forced to choose between upgrading to one of the premium plans that allow the host to offer free packages in the first place or jumping ship altogether and migrating to a new provider.
Our Vote: “Almost-Free” MySQL and PHP Hosting
Fortunately, the most affordable, reputable providers offer MySQL support as part of their standard shared hosting plan. The rich feature sets and competitive price points typically translate to the host’s virtual, cloud, and dedicated server plans, too.
It’s a no-brainer: Why suffer the frustrations of free hosting letdowns when you can opt for an almost-free provider that will exceed your expectations again and again?
The hosts above don’t charge extra for the MySQL and developer-friendly tools we love — offering a value that transcends dollar amounts.
That’s exactly what the creators of MySQL, MySQL AB, had in mind when they created the open source product. By putting the power of development and design in the hands of a community of global users, MySQL continues to extend and influence database construction and administration.
If your ears also perk up at the sound of an always-available fetcher of information and streamlined management for your website or application and its databases, you’ve come to the right place.
We trust the hosts at the top of this page to blow site admins away with optimized web server performance, choice of PHP versions, support for MySQL, and room for as many databases as your heart desires, along with the intuitive control panels to oversee it all.
Acting as an indispensable personal assistant or business partner, the MySQL-savvy host you choose should help save you time and headaches as you’re perfecting your site or application for its users.