7 Best: Hosting With Composer (Dec. 2023)

Best Hosting With Composer

When you’re shopping for the best hosting with Composer, finding a host that offers it pre-installed on your server is a big time saver. Otherwise, developers on your project will need to install Composer using command line tools over an SSH connection.

If you can use Git with your hosting plan, you can also install Composer for PHP. It’s a mystery why it’s not required to install WordPress, as some leading PHP programmers claim that using the two together makes WordPress more stable and secure.

Although WordPress currently doesn’t require Composer for PHP, it is required for Drupal sites. But don’t let this intimidate you. This review shows you how to install Composer and some of the best hosting plans to help you get your Drupal site up and running.

1. SiteGround

SiteGround’s hosting plans lean toward the pricier side after the introductory discount, but you get what you pay for. This host backs its customers with superior power and speed. It uses upgraded SSD storage, which provides faster speeds and greater reliability than traditional HDD drives.

SiteGround.com

SiteGround Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • FREE site transfer or new site setup
  • FREE daily backups, CDN, email, and SSL
  • 24/7 expert support with no wait on phone or chat
  • Recommended by WordPress as a top host
  • Ideal for business email hosting
  • Get started on SiteGround now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
5.0 ★★★★★ Our Review

SiteGround: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): With an impressive breadth of overall hosting services offered, SiteGround is a leading innovator in the hosting space — from custom software solutions to premier customer support. The company offers the full range of web hosting features, including a free Cloudflare CDN, cPanel with SSH access, and unlimited MySQL databases and bandwidth — not to mention prize-worthy customer support. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD New or Transfer 6 minutes

SiteGround pre-installs the latest version of Composer to keep its platform updated for the requirements of custom PHP development. If you need to run another version of Composer than the one available by default, follow this SiteGround tutorial.

To run it, you’ll need to create an alias for the new Composer version. You can use Composer to install Drush for easier Drupal site management using free, open-source command line tools from the international community.

2. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers upgraded NVMe SSD server infrastructure to give your Drupal site an extra power boost.

The shared hosting platform at InMotion Hosting comes with Composer pre-installed and allows users to connect via SSH directly or through cPanel. The PHP version used for domains is guaranteed to be compatible with Composer.

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.29

  • FREE SSD drives included with all hosting plans
  • Zero-downtime website transfers and migrations
  • FREE backups, SSL, and DDoS protection
  • Choice of East Coast or West Coast datacenter
  • Multi-language support for PHP, Ruby, and Perl
  • Get started on InMotion now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

InMotion: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): Offering a wider range of services than most — including shared, dedicated, VPS, and even WordPress-specific plans — InMotion Hosting features a great combination of industry-leading hardware, always-there support, and mass scalability for all hosting needs. InMotion Hosting has ultra-modern SSD drives on its shared plans, which give an added speed boost to your site. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
90 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

In our review of WordPress hosting at InMotion, you will find many more tools for developers, including Visual Composer. The InMotion Hosting plans also include WP-CLI and other DevOps tools.

3. Bluehost

Bluehost is best known for WordPress hosting, but it’s also popular among developers for its support of various coding languages, including PHP and Laravel.

In a Bluehost shared hosting environment, you can install Composer with SSH using the provided platform tools. Developers need to use the version compatible with the PHP version running on the server instance.

Bluehost.com

Bluehost Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • Up to unlimited website domain and email hosting
  • 1-click WordPress installs and software updates
  • Support for popular shopping carts with FREE SSL
  • Up to $200 in Microsoft and Google Ad credit
  • Industry-leading hardware and uptime rates
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): Bluehost has long been a favorite of mine in the shared and WordPress hosting spaces. The company adheres to modern standards for hardware, and its customer service resources are now backed by hosting industry titan Newfold Digital. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

In the Bluehost tutorial, you can install Composer in the web server’s root folder or in public.html folders. You just need to sync the php.ini settings. The Bluehost Composer tutorial is primarily directed at PHP and Laravel developers.

4. Hostinger

Hostinger is an affordable, user-friendly hosting company with monthly shared hosting plans starting at $1.99. You can install Composer on your Hostinger server with an SSH connection from the developer’s desktop machine to the shared web hosting environment. You need to install Composer globally rather than in the public.html file archive.

Hostinger.com

Hostinger Review

Monthly Starting Price $1.99

  • 24/7/365 ticket and live chat support
  • 99.9% network uptime guarantee
  • FREE domain, site builder, backups, and SSL certificate
  • Unlimited bandwidth, databases, and email accounts
  • Speedy SSDs optimize performance
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Behind a mission to make life easier for website developers and their customers, Hostinger provides fast, stable, and streamlined services at a price that is very hard to beat. Founded in 2004, the bootstrapped company hit the 10 million users mark a decade later, achieving ICANN accreditation and localizing services in 39 countries. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 50 GB SSD – 200 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

This Hostinger tutorial includes directions on generating the composer.json file and autoloading PHP package dependencies on a server.

5. IONOS

IONOS is one of the cheapest shared hosting plans we’ve reviewed, with packages starting at just $1.00 per month. But don’t let its low price fool you. This host packs a punch with performance and features, including a free domain name for your first year of hosting. This freebie saves you roughly $10 to $20 in domain registration fees alone.

IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS Review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • FREE domain and SSL, plus daily backups
  • Drag-and-drop site builder and starter kit
  • Gain exposure with $100-worth of ad credits
  • Packages cater to businesses & personal use
  • FREE custom SEO and marketing tools
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Born in 1988 — at least a decade before many competitors — 1&1 IONOS has maintained its dedication to making technology easy to understand and use. The company got its start in Europe but has since expanded to serve more than 8 million global customers and host more than 12 million domain names. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 6 minutes

To install Composer on IONOS servers, you must set the PHP version for the domain or subdomain in the administration panel. Create an SSH connection to download the Composer installer script.

A checksum script is run to validate the download. Then, run the package to install Composer on the server. You can test and remove any unneeded files.

6. HostArmada

HostArmada has many features suitable for both newbie site owners and experienced developers.

It’s one of the few cPanel companies you can find with Drush and Composer pre-installed on hardware for Drupal development. The Managed Development platform at HostArmada has all the required tools for PHP, Python, and Node.js already installed on its shared servers with cPanel administration.

HostArmada.com

HostArmada Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.49

  • FREE website optimization with enhanced caching
  • Upgrade quickly with scalable cloud servers
  • Easy-to-navigate cPanel integration
  • FREE web security suite with DDoS protection
  • 24/7 technical support and ticketing 
  • Get started on HostArmada now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.6 ★★★★★ Our Review

HostArmada: Our Expert’s Review

Lynn Cadet (HostingAdvice.com): Launched in 2019, HostArmada offers cloud-based hosting plans that range from shared to dedicated server services. The web hosting provider cements its services on three pillars: speed, security, and stability. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
45 days 15 GB SSD – 40 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

You can avoid a manual installation of Composer and begin working on your projects more quickly with HostArmada support.

7. HostGator

HostGator is a smart choice for teams that want unlimited websites in a single hosting plan. The company also tosses in some perks, including a free domain name for your first year.

At HostGator, developers must enable Shell access with SSH and sync Composer with the PHP version used on websites individually. The platform allows Composer to be installed globally or in the public.html folder.

HostGator.com

HostGator Review

Monthly Starting Price $2.64

  • Familiar and easy-to-use cPanel control panel
  • FREE drag-and-drop custom website builder
  • Unlimited disk space, email, and bandwidth
  • Flexible term lengths with no contract required
  • 67% off your first three years
  • Get started on HostGator now.

BEST OVERALL
RATING
4.5 ★★★★★ Our Review

HostGator: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): HostGator has been around for more than a decade and is well-respected for its large number of servers and consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days Unlimited FREE (1 year) 6 minutes

After adjusting the php.ini settings, programmers can download and install any PHP packages required for building custom-coded web applications.

What Is Composer?

Composer is a dependency manager for PHP. You can view it as a command line tool for automatically managing the installation of things like plugins, modules, and themes.

Composer uses Packagist as a PHP package repository that allows vendor dependencies to be declared in a composer.json file on the server so that the correct libraries are auto-installed.

Composer website homepage
Don’t confuse Composer, the dependency manager, with Visual Composer, the WordPress site builder.

Composer aims to function similarly to npm in the Node.js ecosystem for PHP. Whether this is enticing or not depends on the type of web developer you are. If you have previously used Ruby’s Bundler software, npm, or configured a web server over SSH, then working with Composer in PHP development should be easy. If not, there is a lot to learn.

Check the vendor directory for professional third-party PHP service providers and verify code security.

Composer Dependency for Drupal 7.x to 10.x Sites:

  • Composer for PHP emerged as a major dependency of Drupal 7.x websites. There is still a Composer dependency for Drupal 10.x sites. If you are working with any of these versions of Drupal or any sites running versions between Drupal 8.x. & 9.x, you need Composer for PHP. Softaculous does not include this when you install the script, so you must manually install it on the server.
  • The ability to install Composer on shared web server hardware via SSH is now more commonly provided by shared host plans. However, not many platforms install Composer for Drupal hosting by default. In custom PHP development, you must be able to make an SSH connection to install and use these scripts on your web hosting service.

This is becoming more common on shared hosting plans but was previously limited by hosting companies. A professional PHP project relies on source control in the deployment process, and you need to install Composer command line packages. Otherwise, use a VPS plan.

Visual Composer is a WordPress site builder completely different from the Composer dependency of Drupal versions 7.x through 10.x. You can view Composer for PHP as a DevOps tool or PHP programming utility for managing web server configurations.

If you are a professional PHP programmer, using Composer should be as common as npm in JavaScript teams. WordPress is easier to manage because users can upgrade plugins, themes, and core elements in one click without using Composer, unlike Drupal.

What Are the Benefits of Composer?

The main benefits of Composer are code versioning for custom PHP programming teams and the distribution of the libraries required for PHP apps to run.

PHP letters on a blue background
Composer is most helpful to PHP programmers when building and managing Drupal sites.

Composer functions by automatically downloading dependencies for modules and themes to vendor files on a server. The libraries required to support PHP code runtimes are declared and stored in a .json file created by the Composer install process.

In Drupal development, Composer and Drush are vital command line tools for complete website management but are generally too complex unless you have experience in systems administration.

With Composer, PHP programmers can declare their module, plugin, or theme dependencies and have the versioning of new releases auto-updated by running Composer commands. This keeps the CMS more secure over time in production.

Main Benefits of Composer for PHP Programming Teams:

  • Dependency Management: Declare and maintain PHP package libraries in a JSON file.
  • Dependency Resolution: Specify which package version of the library the app uses.
  • Autoloading: Composer automates the update process for PHP package libraries.
  • Packagist: 4 million PHP packages in version control for building new applications.

In reality, the only benefits of Composer are for professional PHP programmers. You need to install Composer on your server since it’s required for running Drupal sites. But, because WordPress does not require it, most hosting companies do not include Composer on web servers by default. Using Composer is similar to npm for JavaScript programming or version control on Google Cloud. Composer for PHP is part of full-stack systems administration.

Composer for PHP makes website administration more difficult for non-programmers. Drupal developers can consider the dependency as beneficial to their salaries. More than 90% of web hosting users have likely never heard of the script before. Acquia adopted Composer to make Drupal more stable and secure in PHP dependency management, but it is not easy to use.

Managed WordPress hosting, like the A2 Hosting platform, allows developers to avoid this extra layer of hassle. A2 Hosting has an excellent reputation with professional PHP programming teams.

How Do I Run Composer on Shared Hosting?

To run Composer for PHP package management on a shared hosting plan, you need root access to the server over an SSH connection. Most Windows users have PuTTY as the main option for this. You must generate an encryption key for the SSH connection to work with your local machine. See this Linux tutorial for more information.

The installation process is the same on a dedicated server, VPS plan, or shared hosting platform.

Three Ways to Install Composer on a Web Server with SSH

1. To use SSH with PuTTY to install Composer using PHP on the web server, run the code:

php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"
php -r "if (hash_file('sha384', 'composer-setup.php') === 'e21205b207c3ff031906575712edab6f13eb0b361f2085f1f1237b7126d785e826a450292b6cfd1d64d92e6563bbde02') { echo 'Installer verified'; } else { echo 'Installer corrupt'; unlink('composer-setup.php'); } echo PHP_EOL;"
php composer-setup.php
php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"

2. Alternatively, you can use Curl to download the Composer installer package:

curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer | php

Use this code to run the Composer installer with PHP on the web server:

php composer.phar install

3. It is also possible to install Composer for PHP on Ubuntu servers with sudo:

sudo mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

PHP programmers will also need to declare fine-grained version dependencies for included libraries in the composer.json file hosted by their scripts on the web server. For example:

{
    "require": {
        "vendor/package": "1.3.2",
        "vendor/package2": "1.*",
        "vendor/package3": "^2.0.3"
    }
}

Follow the development guides on the Composer and Packagist websites for more information.

Professional PHP Programming with Composer

Most of the WordPress user base will look bewilderingly at the requirements for installing Composer for PHP package management. It certainly makes the Drupal CMS more difficult to use for citizen developers. Specialist hosts, including Pantheon and Acquia Cloud for Drupal, may have Composer installed by default on their web servers, but very few other hosts include it.

You can install Composer for PHP on web servers using an SSH connection and a command line tool like PuTTY for Windows. Apple users can use the Terminal app on iOS. Arguably, Composer was largely introduced as a requirement for Drupal hosting when the PHPTemplate engine of version 6.x was changed to support Twig as the theme engine for PHP.

Whether you see Composer for PHP as a blessing or a curse, the fact remains that it is difficult to use and required for professional PHP programming of Drupal modules. With 4 million PHP libraries under package management, Composer is one of the main reasons PHP has such a bad reputation, and enterprise companies avoid it.

Composer makes Drupal more challenging to use. Most of the same functionality is managed by WordPress with backend automation that does not require advanced systems administration or Composer. We recommend using Composer with professional PHP programming teams if it’s helpful to your project. If you choose to use it, one of the hosts we mentioned will set you up for success.

See Our Full Review of SiteGround

Whatever type of hosting plan you’re looking for, SiteGround is a solid choice no matter the scale. Our reviewer Alexandra Anderson recently took SiteGround for a spin, and rated the popular host a 5.0 in the Best Overall Hosting category out of a perfect score of 5.0. Here’s what Alexandra had to say about SiteGround:

With a reputation for reliable customer support and the leading-edge tech innovations, SiteGround needs to be near the top of your list of potential hosting providers. The premium host enables site owners and WordPress users to operate with performance and reliability in fluidly scalable cloud-powered environments.

Before signing up for SiteGround, it’s a good idea to read through Alexandra‘s full review to learn about all the features SiteGround offers. You can also compare it to other web hosts to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible:

If you decide SiteGround is the right choice, keep in mind that it takes just minutes to deploy your SiteGround server space. And at $2.99 per month, it’s a bargain considering the many great features that come in any SiteGround plan.

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