PHP is one of the universal scripting languages for web content delivery. In fact, many popular systems run on the PHP language:WordPress, Joomla, vBulletin and phpBB, to name a few.

Because of its popularity, businesses often need the support of PHP services when choosing a cloud host provider. PHP is naturally supported by both the Linux and Microsoft web hosting platforms, so whichever operating system is chosen, PHP can be used on the servers.

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Easy Installation

The PHP coding engine is included with LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) environments. Microsoft IIS supports the language naturally with newer versions. For older versions of IIS, the PHP engine is a quick installation with little configuration requirements. The PHP system uses a flat text file to configure an environment, so there are no difficult interfaces to support.

Cost

Microsoft environments are expensive, but PHP and LAMP systems are affordable, especially when the business pays for cloud hosting costs up-front. For instance, Rackspace has the Ubuntu operating system with Apache installed, which are both free operating systems for Linux. The costs associated with Linux are a fraction of the cost to set up Microsoft applications, and plenty of developers offer free tools to install on the server.

Performance

PHP is used in even large corporate web environments. The language is linear, and does not use much server overhead to execute. PHP is great for high traffic websites, and it’s a common language for software developers, so finding a contract or permanent software developer to join the IT team is not difficult.

Security

Security is always an issue when allowing Internet traffic to access a web server. PHP has several functions and configurations to facilitate a safe transaction environment. PHP hosting environments also allow for SSL certificates, which provide encryption for transactions with sensitive customer information.

Support

Support is integral for a web-based business, and a good cloud host provides PHP support when LAMP servers are installed. The host will support any security breaches, network hardware failures, or in some cases, PHP errors that stem from a server configuration issue. The cloud host support team should be able to identify any issue that’s related to the host server configurations and permissions.

Bandwidth

LAMP servers use very little resources, but bandwidth is also a consideration for connectivity support and performance. Cloud computing hosts serve data to users based on geolocation, so bandwidth use is minimized while connectivity performance is maximized. A good cloud host offers data centers everywhere in the world, so even international customers have a fast user experience on the business website.

Number of Domains

PHP supports any number of domains on the web server. PHP is a lightweight language, so there is not a lot of overhead to support multiple sites on one server. This is a consideration when using dedicated servers in the cloud. Theoretically, the server can host hundreds of websites using the PHP scripting language as a backend engine and provider.

Not all considerations are created equal, but the IT manager should ensure that each of these considerations is researched when finding the right host provider.

Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for open cloud company Rackspace Hosting.

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