Important Considerations for PHP Hosting

Now that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages that come with a PHP hosting company, you are ready to make a well educated decision for your website. We have laid out the basics of what PHP based servers can and cannot do, which should make this decision much easier for you.

If you plan to use .ASP, Visual Basic, or other Windows based applications, PHP hosting is not an option for you. The only server that will allow you to run these applications is a server that runs on a Windows platform. This can be severely limiting, but there are other options available to you if you plan to use Unix based applications.

PHP based servers will allow you to run Unix and PHP applications, which can give your site a lot of functionality and make your job as a webmaster easier. This may be worth converting your site if you are running on a Windows based server. If you are looking into running several CGI, Perl or PHP scripts, a PHP host can provide you with the platform to run these applications.

If cost is a factor, PHP web hosting companies typically offer some of the lowest priced hosting packages on the market. Windows hosting packages are typically much more expensive than PHP hosting, which can run as low as $3.95 a month for a very feature rich package. This is something that cannot be overlooked if your financial resources are limited.

If you are using a Content Management System or CMS on your site now, a PHP hosting company should make the transition to a new server go very smoothly. Since these applications typically require an SQL database, you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues, or switching your database format over. Many Windows hosting do support SQL, but they are normally geared more towards Access databases. If you don’t have the time to convert your data or switch your CMS to a Windows supported application, a PHP host would be a very good choice.

You will need to decide what you plan to do with your site, not only now, but in the future before making your decision. It is much easier to select a hosting company that will allow your site to grow and use applications that will make your site run and look better. Windows hosting can limit you in this area, since there are so many free PHP applications that are designed to improve websites.

By taking the time now to plan out your site’s future, you will save yourself time down the road if you suddenly need to switch your platform or upgrade your site. PHP hosting in the end is generally more attractive to webmasters who plan to use PHP, CGI and Perl heavily on their sites.

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Posted on 12/14/05 3:03 PM

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