Good webspace is the heart of any successful website. No matter if you use ready-made content management systems like WordPress or use the knowledge acquired here to develop your own website with PHP, you need PHP-enabled webspace so that your page is available on the Internet. Finding good webspace is unfortunately not easy with the multitude of offers. Some offers do not have all necessary features, other offers run on slow servers which tend to fail frequently: A nuisance for every visitor.
This article will help you to find good PHP webspace and how to make your PHP site available online to the world.
Shared Hosting, vServer, dedicated Server? – The basics
There is an unmanageable range of possibilities to get your PHP scripts or PHP website online. Here is a short overview, for more details visit http://bestwebhoster.net/:
- Shared-Hosting: The provider runs a PHP capable server and provides you as a customer with a certain amount of storage space and resources. This server is used by several customers (with different domains) and the resources are shared. The necessary software is already installed and managed by the operator.
- Virtual server (vServer): A virtual operating system (mostly Linux) runs on the server and you can install any software on it. Here you have to install a webserver and PHP yourself.
- Dedicated Server: Here you get your own server in the data center and you can install any software you like. The computing power of the server belongs to you alone.
- Managed Server: Similar to Dedicated Server you get your own server here. However, the system administrators of the provider take over the management of the server and make sure that the server runs smoothly. Such offers often cost several hundred euros per month and are only recommended for very popular sites (from 500,000 page views per month).
I can only strongly recommend to anyone to rely on shared hosting offers and to leave virtual servers and dedicated servers to the professionals.
The big advantage of these shared hosting offers is that the complete software is already installed and configured. The provider also takes care of software updates and monitors them for weak points and attacks. Thus the offers are absolutely beginner-friendly and do actually no work. Since several customers use the server, the prices begin from few euro per month. Even after more than 10 years of professional web development, I mainly rely on shared hosting offers myself. Also PHP-Einfach with about 150,000 page views per month runs on a shared host.
What should a good shared hosting offer be able to do?
The offer of shared hosting offers is very confusing and the pages of the providers are full of details and features. But most of them are absolutely unnecessary and are only used for marketing. Nobody needs e.g. 50,000 email addresses, so you can easily take the hoster that offers “only” 10,000 email addresses. And even these you don’t need, if it comes up maybe 1 – 50 email addresses.
The most important features of a web space are never mentioned:
- Accessibility: Due to failures and overloads your website may not be reachable. This is of course very annoying for your visitors if your site is not regularly accessible. Some providers are extremely good in this point and have an availability of almost 100%. With other providers, especially from the cheap segment, you can find extremely frequent and sometimes several hours of downtime.
- Computing capacities: With shared hosting services, several customers share a server, so the computing capacity (CPU&RAM) must be shared accordingly. If there are too many customers on one server or if the hardware is too old, the execution times of your scripts can be very slow and the pages can therefore be built up slowly.
- Data connection: The network connection of the data centers to the central Internet nodes in Germany is very different. Some providers have many good and fast connections, some only few or even only one. If the data center connection is too poor, this leads to slow transmission times. This can be very annoying, especially with large amounts of data such as pictures, videos or files. Large providers often advertise with large numbers of data connections, e.g. 1&1 with 360 GBit/s. This number is not very high. However, this number is not very meaningful, since large data centers naturally need a larger data connection than smaller ones.
- Backups: A loss of data can be very annoying and can mean a lot of work for you. That’s why you should
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