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Selecting a PHP Hosting Plan

2004-09-18
 

Web Hosting is a service that allows you to upload and store static HTML pages or dynamic applications on a web server so that you can serve information to your targeted audience on the Internet. You'll need Web Hosting service whether you want to run a personal website, a small business website, an ecommerce site or a large web-based enterprise application.

You can use shared hosting, co-location service, managered hosting from a web hosting company, or build the Web Hosting infrastructure in-house. The option of Web Hosting you choose is largely dependent on the scale and complexity of your online presence. The cost of Web Hosting operation can vary from less than $10 to thousands of dollars a month.

Options of Web Hosting Services

Operating Systems and Web Servers There're many Web servers you can choose from to serve the Web pages. Apache, Internet Information Service (IIS) and Netscape Enterprise Web server are among the popular Web servers. Most of Web servers support multiple platforms - Windows, Unix or Linux.
Programming Language Support You need a hosting environment that supports your favorite programming languages - ASP, PHP, Perl or JSP.
Database Support Ecommerce applications demand database backend support whether it's a MySQL, MS SQL Server or Oracle.
Disk Space and Bandwidth It's common for hosting plans to offer over 200MB disk space and over 40GB bandwidth a month. Don't worry about disk space and bandwidth unless you plan to distribute large software or images on the net.
Other Features Other must-have hosting features include control panel, email, FTP, backup and site traffic analysis.

PHP

PHP, like ASP and JSP, is a server-side scripting language. In addition to the usual mixture of text and HTML tags. Server-side PHP scripts are processed before the pages are sent from the Web Server to the Web browsers. PHP is very similar to JSP or ASP in the way how dynamic content is generated. The syntax is, however, mostly borrowed from Perl. PHP has gained popularity in last a few years because of the low cost of supporting it for Web hosting companies.

For database access, ASP usually goes with Access or MS SQLServer and JSP goes with Oracle, PHP goes with MySQL - a open source database. Almost all PHP hosting plans offer MySQL database without extra charge.

How to choose a Web Hosting Company

Selecting a hosting company is a time-consuming and intimidating process since there're so many hosting plans and vendors to choose from. You can, however, find your ideal hosting company in 2-4 hours by following our 4-step process.

1: Look for Hosting Features The first step is to look at hosting plans from 3-5 hosting companies that meet your business and technical needs.
2: Research on Quality and Reputation The number of customers is one of the best measures of service quality. You should also look at the trend of customer acquisition, years in business and customer feedback.
3: Test Availability and Performance Hosting companies usually guarantee 99.99% availability of your Web sites. You can find out connection speed they offer on hosting vendors' web sites. You should test 2-3 sites hosted by the hosting company or look at Alexa's site information on evaluation of the connection speed for a particular site.
4: Check the Pricing The pricing is the last thing to worry about. The stiff competition, maturity of hosting business model and advance in technology have turned Web hosting into a commodity.



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Choosing a Web Hosting Company Step-by-Step: Features, Quality, Connection Speed and Pricing
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The Top 15 Essential Ingredients of Every WINDOWS HOSTING Plan (Package)
How to Select a Unix Hosting Plan
Choosing a JSP Web Hosting Plan
Perl Hosting Plan
ASP Web Hosting

 

 
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