Surprisingly, it seems this question hasn't been asked yet (or at least I couldn't find it). I'm after a "good" PHP hosting solution. Obviously "good" is a subjective term, so I'll provide some guidelines:

  • Scalable solutions from cheap shared to dedicated with easy transition between them (ie a smooth and relatively painless upgrade path);
  • MySQL 5.1 (preferably);
  • PHP 5.2.8;
  • Relatively good uptime and support turnaround (yes, I realize this is one of those "you get what you pay for" criteria);
  • Secure. I came across this question on shared server setup. What is the typical security situation with hosting providers?
  • Relatively generous quotas, particularly with database storage;
  • Opcode caching of some kind (eg APC); and
  • memcached access would be a nice-to-have.

Anything else I should be aware of when shopping around? There are a plethora of PHP hosting providers out there so it's hard to tell what the differences are (if any), apart from the obvious metrics (cost, bandwidth, disk space, etc).

EDIT: added requirements about opcode and other caching.


When looking for a shared hosting provide I like to do a few probes of their servers to see if there are any obvious security problems that have over-looked.

It's bad enough when we forget something in the code but to have your site compromised because of the hosting company is unacceptable, although this is not a major problem with the BIG hosting companies but, is still good to do.

+1  A: 
Beware of 'unlimited bandwidth' - if your site becomes wildly popular it most definitely won't be unlimited.
Will Bickford
@Will, agreed unlimited just means until you use a bit to much.
I have a site with Dreamhost that gets just a trickle and yet now and then the speed becomes unacceptable.
I would change the link to , as dreamhosts pays stackoverflow for new customers.
Manuel Ferreria
DreamHost seems to be a mixed bag. Some people swear by them, some people just swear about them. I was there for about 3 months, and it was not a very good experience (downtime or slow speeds).
Christopher Nadeau
I moved one of my clients from them because it was slow and unreliable, then it took me 3 months to convince them that we had no intention of paying the bills they continued to send us.
I've heard horror stories about Dreamhost, but it's always been good to me.
I've used DH for more that two years, both for my personal sites and one client site. Beyond a little DNS oddness (for example, you can't get rid of the `` subdomain), I've never had a thing to say against them, even when installing custom copies of PHP, Python, and Ruby.
Ben Blank
+2  A: 

This company allows you to host your code for pennies unless you actually end up with a fair amount of traffic. They have both PHP5 and PHP4 support.

The nice thing about their pricing model is that you only pay for bandwidth you use - AND they charge you a fair price. I haven't used them but that's primarily because I have a dedicated server I don't want to give up.

Will Bickford
This looks interesting. Has anyone else tried this?
Bryan Denny
I have. When I had a very small, low-bandwidth website with them, it cost me maybe 20 cents a month. Plus, their support gets back to you within hours and it does seem knowledgeable.
I am now switching my hosting over to NFSN. I'll report any problems I run across.
Will Bickford
+3  A: 

For small sites I've never had a problem with Godaddy (don't hate me) but as soon as it gets big I usually just move it to a small dedicated server at ServerPronto.

I might be a bit biased, though I have spoken with Bob Parsons (founder) several times in the early days of Godaddy when he was answering phones :)
What's wrong with Godaddy? (serious question)
Nothing really just haters, much like .net guys hate PHP for no well-founded reason.

i like HostICan .. they sell a full range of services .. Never had any problems

Scott Evernden
+5  A: 

I must agree with the other answerer and say that I've also never had a problem with GoDaddy for small websites. The only problem I've had (and it's not really a problem, I suppose) is that the economy plan only allows you to host one domain on that plan. One of the sometimes overlooked pluses about GoDaddy is the 24 hour support- that means you can call them right now (midnight on Christmas), and you'll reach a support person. (I've used GoDaddy for 2+ years now.)

Another hosting company which I have had zero problems with is WebFaction. It's a bit more expensive than most shared hosting, but it's highly rated by many. It's still shared hosting though and you will run into issues if you keep growing. (I've used WebFaction for about 6 months now.)

For something with a little more horsepower, I would suggest SliceHost. They are owned by Rackspace, an established hosting company. They offer VPSes, and if you start to hit high loads on one "slice" you can purchase another slice, and I think they will handle the load balancing for you. You get full root access, but I believe you'll have to have a basic grasp of Linux commands in order to get your VPS properly working.

For even more horsepower, you can, of course, get a dedicated server. I have had good experience in the past with a dedicated server from, but I have also heard good things about ThePlanet and SoftLayer.

+1 for Slicehost. Been with them for several months now and never turned back.Another thing I like about the VPS option is that you don't need to purchase more "slices" to scale in the beginning, you can just upgrade the amount of RAM and processor share allotted to your slice.
Bob Somers
Yes, GoDaddy support is great, I usualy never need to talk to a higher level support tech but when I do, it's easy to get there and they know their stuff.
+3  A: 

I spent a good deal of time last year researching hosting companies when I outgrew my shared host. Most of these companies offer the same types of services with similar tiered pricing structures, to the point that it's become a comodity.

But after using several hosts over the years, the difference is in their customer service and support. I cannot stand calling with a technical question and having to explain it three times as my problem gets escalated through a support group. This happens a lot with shared hosting companies that cater to the end user.

I had great experiences with Rackspace when I was in the corporate world. They are very attentive to your needs and issues, but that comes at a price.

My goal was to find a company that took customer service seriously, but won't cost me hundreds a month. My research led me to ServInt, where I have a VPS solution, and every time I have called with a support issue, I have spoken to an engineer in their NOC (not an operator or front-line customer service person). My issues get solved in a tenth of the time that they used to take, and that makes me look good to my clients.

They are geared at developers, agencies and resellers, so their solutions are more sophisticated than the shared hosts--their basic setup is a VPS with everything you'd get in a shared host, plus root access and no limits on databases, email addresses or subdomains. Charge your clients $20 a month and you only need three of them to break even on the service.

I was with ServInt for about a year. I would also recommend them -- very good service.
Christopher Nadeau
+1  A: 

Shared? I've used A Small Orange before. I have a bunch of friends currently hosted there. It's been about 2 years since I've used them myself (need a VPS for my needs); but from what I hear, they are still pretty good.

If you're interested in a VPS, I have nothing but good things to say about PowerVPS. Also check out Steadfast (shared, dedi or vps) -- my work currently has a few dedicated servers from them and we can't complain.

Christopher Nadeau

I'm quite a fan of RimuHosting. Its more tailored to experienced users though, they'll give you a linux box (XEN Vps, depending on your choice), with root access via ssh to the distribution of your choice.

You can ask them to install whatever you want ( within reason ) for you and they'll do the initial setup for you.

They have great staff, whom know what they're doing, great support, great uptime. I'm about to get my first outage in a year because they need to upgrade some switches on the rack I'm on for a bandwidth increase.

They also have DNS servers you can delegate your records to, and I can say, I've seen lots of different DNS administration interfaces, theirs doesn't suck for a change.

They have a referral service, but I think they're so awesome I don't need to try make a profit of pimping them. ;)

When I signed up, they had me up and going, with SSH root access in under 4 hours ( with the tools I requested installed ) from the initial request, and it was a SUNDAY, and I handn't even paid them yet, you really can't beat that sort of service.

Kent Fredric
+2  A: 

MediaTemple is also really, like really nice.

Recently hosted a client's site on their gs (grid server) system and was not at all impressed by the performance, even while doing initial roll-out and testing, before real users hit it.
Sean McSomething

eUKhost have excellent support and reasonable pricing for the UK.


I've been very happy with NEXCESS.NET


Our business has been very happy with Rackspace. They may be above what your budget permits but they really are committed to service -- they seem to be thinking about how to serve us best, not just how to serve us in the lowest-cost way.


I just found this eAccelerator based PHP hosting and since I'm interested in PHP hosting with opcode caching I thought I'd post it here.


Axishift Web Hosting has good plans and support for developers, It caters the Asian market.

Louie Miranda