If you’re looking for PHP web hosting, I assume you’re actually building a PHP web application and not looking for a WYSIWYG site builder. I also assume you’re not looking for WordPress Hosting. Still with me? Great, let’s talk about PHP. According to one source, over 80% of the Internet uses PHP. Popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many more are known to use “some” PHP. I caveat with the term some because all the sites I mentioned use a variety of different technologies. But back to why you’re here, it is safe to assume you’re someone who is learning how to program and chose PHP or maybe you’re someone who has something that needs to be built and decided PHP is the easiest way to do it. The two scenarios might sound similar but are pretty different and we’ll discuss why later. For now, let’s get to what you need to know and what you need to consider when picking a web host for your PHP needs.
How much traffic do you expect?
The first thing to figure out if how much traffic do you expect. If you’re here, I’m going to assume you don’t expect millions (or even thousands) or visitors on day 1. If this is true, any shared web host with good PHP support should be sufficient. If you’re really curious, take a look at our bandwidth calculator to help you determine how much bandwidth you’ll need. On the other hand, if you’re expecting a lot of traffic (let’s say more than 10K a day) then you should go with a VPS web host.
What version of PHP do you need?
This should be another easy question that only matters if you were told that you need a specific version of PHP – the most common version is PHP5 which is what all web hosts support. On the other hand, if you’re using specific libraries or frameworks, it would be a good idea to investigate and see what version of PHP they require/support/recommend. Unless you’re using something either really old or really cutting edge, you will probably be using PHP5 go to the website.
For a Low Traffic, First-Time Developer, Side Project
BlueHost is a great shared web host that’s perfect for a first-time developer that wants to build their first website in PHP. The sign-up process is very quick and easy, the monthly price is extremely reasonable at $2.75 and the overall reliability is decent (again, assuming your site has low traffic and this isn’t mission critical). After you have signed up, picked a domain and have access to cPanel, you can start coding your first pages and uploading the files. You might also need to setup a database if you want to store/retrieve data. If you need help getting started and want recommendations on tutorials or frameworks, check out our guide on getting started with PHP (Coming Soon).
For a Growing Site and Experienced Developer
If you already have a site and/or you know you’ll get a lot of traffic, you should consider BlueHost VPS hosting. BlueHost is a well-known hosting provider and also has reasonable pricing for VPS hosts at $14.99. And if you’re an experienced developer or have built websites in PHP before, you’ll definitely appreciate the flexibility of a VPS compared to a shared host. You’ll be able to install specific packages, upgrade libraries, restrict/enable access or even use different technologies (Java, NodeJS, Python, etc.). Of course, with more flexibility, there’s also risks so you should only go the VPS route if there’s a need.