9 FAQs About PHP Hosting
The best PHP hosting services make publishing dynamic content easy and accessible for a wide range of users, unlocking global open-source communities for popular platforms for blogs, email, and online stores.
Small businesses, ecommerce websites, and startups building cloud applications with PHP can benefit by choosing managed services from a web hosting provider. Most web hosting companies offer PHP hosting with free MySQL or PostgreSQL database support on plans.
PHP web hosting is among the easiest solutions to find in the industry, but the number of options can be daunting.
Although you can find a hosting plan optimized for PHP at the shared, VPS, and dedicated server levels, we’ll focus on the cheap hosting plans that appeal to the most number of people.
This FAQ will discuss the main aspects of PHP hosting on Linux and Windows servers.
1. What is PHP Hosting?
PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page when it debuted in 1994, but now it means PHP Hypertext Processor.
PHP’s syntax draws upon C, Java, and Perl, making it relatively intuitive and easy to learn. As an interpreted, server-side language that can be embedded into HTML, visitors can’t see the source code — making it perfect for secure applications.
Key Features to Look for in PHP Hosting Plans:
- Modern versions of PHP: The language updates roughly every year, usually bringing important performance boosts and security upgrades. A web host that quickly implements new versions takes your success seriously.
- Installation scripts: Extend your PHP installation by easily installing open-source tools for content management, ecommerce, wikis, photo galleries, and social networks. Most hosts include hundreds of options for free.
- Database support: Many publishing platforms, including WordPress and Drupal, pair PHP with MySQL databases. Look for plans with unlimited databases and phpMyAdmin.
- Resources and scalability: PHP is a relatively quick language for computers to understand, but why not eke out extra performance? Gauge each host’s processing speeds, storage configurations, and support through the ranks of shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting services.
PHP is the world’s most popular web programming language, with roughly 80% of websites using it.
Around 40% of the world’s websites run on WordPress, which is also written in the PHP programming language. Drupal and Joomla are other popular CMS scripts that developed under open-source PHP community programming.
Softaculous provides easy access to PHP applications with more than 400 free installation scripts that can run from shared hosting platforms running cPanel. These PHP scripts include ecommerce solutions, forums, wikis, ticketing platforms, and blogging tools for small businesses.
Various web server solutions, including Apache, NGINX, IIS, and others, need to be configured to work on the same system as PHP runtime extensions and your database frameworks.
Ultimately, the best web hosting services offer modern PHP support with an email account management system for webmail, unlimited bandwidth, and other web development tools with cPanel administration.
2. Why Should I Use a PHP Host?
A PHP host can simplify the process of setting up a web server by offering managed hardware services in a high-speed datacenter.
The best reason to choose a PHP host is getting the complete package of software tools needed to run LAMP or WAMP apps.
With shared hosting plans, you can sign up and log in to cPanel within minutes, and the web server will already be installed with support for multiple versions of the PHP language.
When you add new websites, a PHP script runs in association with MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL, and other database scripts to build a web application.
Different Levels of Service Plans for PHP Hosting:
- Shared hosting: Use PHP to manage unlimited domains at prices less than $10 per month.
- VPS plans: Customize your PHP runtime environment for development requirements.
- Dedicated servers: Support the highest levels of traffic for PHP web and mobile apps.
- Cloud servers: Include PHP developer tools in highly scalable environments.
The cheapest VPS solution for custom PHP developer requirements starts at around $5 per month for 1 vCPU and 1 GB RAM.
Shared hosting plans allow you to host unlimited domains on a single account with costs as low as $2 to $3 per month.
PHP’s popularity is associated with its use in open-source programming communities. Look for a PHP host that has managed WordPress plans for the latest version of the PHP language to ensure the most security and performance benefits.
Make sure the PHP hosting provider allows different versions of the PHP language to run for each domain name as a hosting option to avoid potential issues with compatibility.
3. How Much Should a Shared Hosting Service With PHP Cost?
The lowest costs for shared hosting are around $2 per month for a Linux environment with support for a single website or domain.
The prices for unlimited domain hosting start around $3 to $5 per month with cPanel hosting companies. This is the rock-bottom level of pricing and the best value in the industry.
Affordable Shared Hosting With PHP:
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Most shared hosting platforms now include tiered pricing where you can dedicate more resources to your websites and mobile apps in production.
It is worth it to pay more for the higher tiers of shared hosting if you value the best performance speeds for a dynamic website.
By comparison, the cheapest VPS plans start around $5 per month for 1 CPU and 1 GB RAM configurations. Expect to pay more for managed services, or save money with unmanaged VPS hosting.
4. How Do I Choose the Best PHP Hosting Plan?
For most small business requirements, choosing the best PHP hosting plan begins with an unlimited domain account on a cPanel host for web development.
With a shared Linux plan and cPanel, you can directly set the PHP version for your sites. The best PHP hosting plan ultimately depends on the datacenter engineering behind the product.
The best host can offer Windows servers that support PHP, as well as ASP.NET, as a great solution for PHP developer use.
The best PHP hosting plan also depends significantly on the working methodologies of your business, such as whether you have extensive programming teams or just a few novice developers.
Web design agencies and freelance professionals have other criteria for using PHP hypertext processor hosting services.
We recommend shared hosting with cPanel for easy development and VPS plans for agile development teams.
5. How is PHP Used in WordPress Hosting?
To run WordPress, you must have PHP and a MySQL-compatible database. Developers use PHP to code new plugins and themes for WordPress.
You can install WordPress on either Linux or Windows servers as a web developer, but both environments must also be configured for PHP language extensions.
Key Features to Look for in WordPress Hosting Plans:
- PHP 8: Look for support of the latest PHP version and use Memcached on plans.
- NGINX: Managed WordPress platforms with NGINX often perform better than Apache.
- Caching layers: Integrated web page caching on managed WordPress platforms.
- Staging and backups: One-click tools to protect your data and manage your site.
- Cloudflare CDN: Free with many of the best cPanel web hosting companies.
- Web application firewall: Protect your website against WordPress-specific threats.
- Automatic updates: Managed plugin and platform updates ensure continuity.
Unless you are a professional WordPress programmer or work on a PHP website development team, the best way to easily install WordPress on a new site is by using Softaculous in cPanel.
The Softaculous PHP script library includes more than 400 software programs that are free and licensed on open-source standards.
Your web hosting company will enable you to install WordPress with a new MySQL database, freeing you to download themes and plugins as required. A top-notch hosting platform will even help you move your site to the new host.
Advanced PHP programmers need root access, version control, WP-CLI, and other configuration options on a hosting platform to use WordPress successfully.
6. How Do I Check and Update My PHP Version?
Each new version of PHP comes with scores of improvements. Each year, the language gets faster, more secure, and more efficient. What’s more, older versions eventually get phased out and are no longer supported.
Most web hosts will keep your sites running an acceptable version of PHP, but you may like to have a bit more control and stay ahead of the curve. Or, perhaps your application requires retooling to be compatible with newer versions.
Either way, you have options on how to check and update your PHP:
- Control panel: The newer versions of cPanel introduced a tool called MultiPHP Manager, found in the Software area. It will display the current version running on each site, and provide an intuitive way to change it. Other control panels will follow a similar process.
- WordPress: In the menu on the left, navigate to Tools > Site Health, then select the Info tab and expand the Server section to see which version you are running. (Naturally, you can find plugins that will automatically display this information more prominently for you.)
- Command line: If you can create an SSH connection to your server, use a command line terminal with . The code should work on Linux, Windows, and macOS systems. Running updates is similarly easy.
If you are using shared hosting, checking and updating the PHP version will depend on the control panel software your web host offers.
Managed hosting platforms will provide a control panel solution like cPanel, Plesk, Webuzo, or Direct Admin for PHP version management.
Experienced systems administrators can use an SSH connection and command-line tools to update PHP depending on the server location.
You can automate updates or install PHP version upgrades manually.
Some web hosts allow a different PHP version for each domain, while other shared platforms only allow a single PHP version to be deployed across all domains.
Avoid conflicts between WordPress, Drupal, and other scripts when you have to use the same PHP version or are supporting legacy theme and module code.
7. Can I Get a Free Domain for My PHP Application?
Most budget hosts compete by offering a free domain on shared hosting plans with cPanel.
The web hosting provider will cover the domain name registration fee for the first year, so be sure to check the renewal rates to be clear about what the future bill will be.
Should you choose to cancel your hosting plan, the domain registration will likely be deducted from your refund; but you’ll retain ownership of the domain name for the remainder of the year.
If you want to launch a new website and need a domain name, the free registration helps. A free domain is also good for a personal home page or portfolio.
Look for unlimited bandwidth plans with PHP hosting to maximize value.
Recommended PHP Hosting Plans with a Free Domain:
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The domain name you register on a PHP hosting plan will act as the root account for cPanel.
Register for a free domain name to maximize the value of a shared cPanel or Windows server plan, or manage your own domains via DNS settings on a VPS or dedicated server.
We recommend online business owners and publishers manage their domains at a registrar independent of shared web hosting platforms for better security.
Business owners should opt for cheaper domain name prices at a registrar and avoid free hosting platforms completely for professional sites.
8. Which Hosts Offer the Best Customer Support?
Customer support is a major component of any web hosting plan. Major brands show their commitment to support by greatly reducing the amount of time it takes to complete a service ticket request.
Nearly everyone promises 24/7 customer and technical support — but who actually delivers?
Some web hosts offer live chat or phone support to customers. Others add a ticket system with email communication.
The method that works best for your team or business will determine which PHP hosting plan to choose. The companies below have the best reputation in the industry for customer support on their PHP hosting platforms.
Companies with the Best Customer Support for PHP Hosting:
- SiteGround: Support tickets answered in 15 minutes or less, and 90% of live chat inquiries are solved at first contact.
- Bluehost: Includes options for a dedicated phone line to talk to tech support.
- A2 Hosting: Has a wide range of background reference material for developers.
Web Hosting Hub, a sister company to InMotion Hosting, also has a great live chat option for personable customer service. Web Hosting Hub and InMotion Hosting are best for small business and ecommerce support and offer services that come with a free onboarding call.
A2 Hosting has the reputation of being quick to introduce new PHP versions into production on its hosting service.
All of these companies are recommended for WordPress hosting, so customer support is a major distinguishing factor.
9. How Should I Get Started With a PHP Web Hosting Provider?
As with all web hosting decisions, review your project requirements before signing up for a new hosting account.
A PHP website or web application typically is not expensive to launch, given the prevalence of open-source tools. If you are building a personal home page, choose a free domain plan with support for PHP code.
You can easily build a dynamic website with the PHP programming language, and a cheap WordPress hosting plan with a free email account is the best web hosting deal in the industry.
Steps to Get Started on a New PHP Hosting Plans:
- Research: A hosting review service (like ours) can reveal strong candidates.
- Find a deal: We offer many reader-exclusive coupons to help you save money.
- Sign up: The lowest prices will be found on plans that last a year or longer.
- Register a domain: Look for plans with a free domain registration.
- Control panel: Check your PHP version, set up databases, and find Softaculous.
- Install PHP scripts: Find the tools you want to use to create and get to work!
Although a free website sounds tempting, be prepared to pay a little more for a quality hosting plan that supports your PHP web application or dynamic website at scale.
Free web hosting does not offer enough support or performance for domain name registration to be efficient for business projects as a hosting option.
A top-notch PHP hosting provider needs to provide extra tools to support the web developer, whether they’re a rookie or expert programmer.
Ultimately, the best host for PHP depends on the platform that best meets the requirements of your programming team. PHP web hosting is the cheapest way to get started with a new site.