From its early days as a one-man-project created by Rasmus Lerdorf, the PHP programming language quickly became the most popular one on the Web. Developers of all stripes were attracted to the ease of working with its page-embedded source code model, and it provided all of the commonly needed modules and libraries as part of its standard distribution. This ease of installation, coupled with the way it worked so smoothly with other free, open-source products like the Apache web server and the MySQL database, helped it find a foundational place as part of the fabled “LAMP” stack, wherein all of these products were run on top of the Linux operating system.
Although there are popular alternatives today, PHP’s dominance nonetheless continues. Some of the most popular web-based applications, such as the WordPress blogging platform, are written in the language, with an incredible array of associated and supporting software working the same way. PHP web hosting services are therefore just as widespread as they were a decade ago, so that those looking for such products have a great many to choose from.
Many need little more than inexpensive, shared-hosting setups. Similar to those services offering only the ability to deliver static pages, under these arrangements a number of clients share a single server, typically running their own copies of the PHP interpreter. These products can work spectacularly for those whose sites do not generate large amounts of traffic, particularly when budgetary issues are important.
Shared setups, though, tend to degrade fairly quickly with increased traffic when the underlying machines are called upon to serve many dynamic pages of the sort that PHP generates. Many users of these services who experience growth of any sort, then, soon find themselves looking for more substantial and capable offerings. Luckily, it’s just as easy nowadays to find PHP web hosting services that offer virtual private servers or even fully dedicated physical hardware.
Providers such as JaguarPC, for example, advertise the whole gamut of products, from simple, extremely inexpensive shared PHP hosting plans, to high-powered servers capable of catering to thousands of users simultaneously without breaking a digital sweat. Choosing such a provider from the beginning can often be helpful, too, as it generally means that upgrades to new types and levels of service will be easy to accomplish as needed.