Which hosting service should I use for PHP, are there any free hosting providers?
In order for a web application to be able to run on the web (production environment), you usually choose a hosting service provider with a web server.
Web hosting types
Shared web hosting service or virtual hosting service is a service where a lot of websites are hosted on the same webserver, and the server’s resources (RAM, disk and processor) are shared among the users. Also, PHP settings and installed extensions are usually the same for all websites. It might be a good option if you want to get started quickly and painlessly, but still leave the maintaining and server upgrading to your preferred hosting service.
VPS or virtual private server is a next step in hosting service. It can be a bit more pricey than shared hosting, but no other user shares your package. VPS can get a dedicated amount of RAM, disk and processor speed so your application is already a step to gain more freedom in settings and customizations.
Dedicated server means an entire server machine is available for you. More resources and more disk quota is available that way. The price can be high, but flexibility and customization are at its best. Choose this option if you’re an advanced user with system administration knowledge.
Collocated hosting means that you bring your own hardware to your data center service provider, and they plug it onto their high speed and availability network.
This is latest trend in web hosting services with greater flexibility.
Free PHP hosting
One of the most asked questions is “Are there any good and free providers for hosting PHP applications?”.
In short there are, but keep in mind that you will sooner or later meet limitations with that. There is hardly anything completely free available around you. Same goes to web hosting.
Some of the limitations to be aware of:
- traffic quota limit
- server resources quota limit
- PHP extensions and functionality limitations
- forced injected advertisements
A quick list of some of the free hosting to check out:
Do yourself and your application’s audience a favor and invest a bit into your hosting infrastructure. Stability and availability of your application will depend on a lot.
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