So you have a PHP application. Congratulations! However, it doesn’t do anyone any good unless your users can, you know, use it. You need to host your application on a server and make it accessible to its intended audience. Generally speaking, there are four ways to host PHP applications: shared servers, virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and platforms as a service. Each has its unique benefits and is suitable for different types of applications and budgets.
There are also many web hosting companies, and it can be overwhelming if you are brand new to the web hosting landscape. Some hosting companies provide only shared servers. Other companies provide a mix of shared servers, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers. This chapter will focus less on the companies themselves and more on hosting options.
A shared server is the most affordable hosting option and costs $1–10/month. You should avoid shared hosting plans. This is not a commentary on shared hosting companies’ quality of service or customer support. There are many good shared hosting companies. Simply put, shared hosting options are not developer-friendly.
A shared server, as its name implies, means that you share server resources with other people. If you purchase a shared hosting plan, your hosting account lives on the same physical machine as many other customers’. If your particular machine has 2 Gb of memory, your PHP application might receive only a fraction of that ...