Web Hosting PHP & MySQL Support

PHP & MySQL work hand-in-hand to help webmasters create dynamic, database-driven websites without the licensing costs associated with other programming and database platforms.

Look for a web hosting company that offers recent versions of both PHP and MySQL. At the time of writing, the latest stable releases are PHP 4.3.6 and MySQL 4.0.18. This ensures bug fixes are put in place, security holes patched, and the latest features are available.

A web hosting service with PHP and MySQL support should be chosen carefully, because a poorly managed PHP/MySQL installation can be problematic: security and stability may suffer; two aspects of a web host that website owners should consider paramount. Consider asking the web hosting company what PHP extensions they have installed, and what limitations they put in place to ensure the security of all web hosting clients on their servers. Too many new, untested or unnecessary features can be a sign of little security effort; on the other hand, an overly strict or limiting web hosting setup can be a pain as soon as your website calls for something tricky.

If your web hosting company supports PHP and MySQL, you can take advantage of many drop-in scripts to add functionality to your website. Discussion forums, website directories, event calenders, email scripts, and a host of other handy utilities can (if used judiciously) enhance your website and retain visitors. Certain PHP and MySQL scripts or applications can quickly use up your web host's server resources, however, so you should ask the prospective web hosting company about the types of scripts you wish to install on your website. Discussion forums and chat rooms tend to be of most concern to web hosts.

If you've made the decision to choose a web hosting service that supports PHP and MySQL, and you need a head-start with the programming, try the following helpful websites:

PHP & MySQL Official Websites

PHP Programming Resources

  • PHP.net — Extensive PHP documentation supported by user comments.
  • PHPBuilder — PHP articles, programming discussion forum and PHP code libraries.
  • HotScripts — Downloadable PHP scripts, each rated by visitors and organised into categories.

MySQL Programming Resources

  • MySQL documentation — User-commented documentation.
  • phpMyAdmin — Useful tool to manage MySQL databases through a web browser.
  • DevShed — Section on MySQL programming.
  • MySQL Basics — Beginner's guide to installing and programming for MySQL.