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How to Use a PHP Cloud Hosting Service that Is Fast and Easy to Configure

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Updated on: 2023-08-16

Posted on: 2023-08-16

Viewers: 156 (August 2023)

Categories: PHP Tutorials, PHP Performance, PHP Security, Sponsored

If you are a serious PHP developer, you must have experience with cloud hosting platforms.

Even if you do not have experience with cloud hosting, this article will help you better understand the current Cloud hosting options so that you can make a good choice for your next PHP site or API project.

Read this article to learn about existing alternatives for good Cloud hosting solutions, as well as get a recommendation for a simple and affordable cloud hosting option that you can try for free to test before you decide that it is a good option to host your PHP projects.

Loaded Article

In this article you will learn about:

1. What Is a Modern Cloud Hosting Platform That You May Want to Use

2. Why You Need to Learn and Use Cloud Hosting Platforms for Your PHP Projects

3. How to Choose a Good Cloud Hosting Platform

4. How to Use a Simple and Fast Cloud Hosting Platform by Using Cloudways

5. How to Test Digital Ocean Cloudways for Free

1. What Is a Modern Cloud Hosting Platform That You May Want to Use

We call cloud hosting a modern way to host Web applications.

Traditional hosting was based on a single server that could host one or more sites in a single machine connected to the Internet.

1.1 Traditional Hosting

There are two types of traditional hosting: dedicated server and shared server.

1.1.1 Dedicated Server

Dedicated server hosting uses one computer to access the Web applications hosted on that computer. Hosting companies rent the use of the server computer usually for a fixed amount per month.

Usually, the price of dedicated hosting is too high for those beginning to host their sites on the Web.

Customers have total access to the server computer resources like disks, network cards, and even devices called KVM (Keyboard, Video, and Mouse) that allow customers to access the server machine as if they were in the data center where the server machine is hosted.

1.1.2 Shared server

The shared server also uses one computer to provide access to Web applications. The difference with the dedicated server is that the same computer can be used to host the applications of many customers.

Due to security measures, the shared servers are limited in several ways. Usually, customers may have limited disk space, bandwidth, and CPU use.

Usually, the price of a shared server is lower. So it is more affordable to many site owners.

The support for this kind of hosting may be limited to email.

1.2 Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is also based on dedicated servers. One difference is that the hardware may be shared with multiple customers depending on the type of Cloud hosting implementation.

Another difference is that you configure the cloud hosting servers based on the characteristics that you want to hire, like disk space, CPU cores, RAM, and other aspects.

Another difference is that cloud hosting offers additional services as separate servers like database servers, email servers, and file hosting servers. This makes cloud hosting more flexible.

This difference allows a more distributed architecture on which multiple computers are used to split the load of each service that customers of cloud hosting solutions contract.

The word Cloud comes from the fact that you do not see exactly how it is implemented.

Usually, it is very complex to implement a cloud solution, but it is simpler to use.

There are many ways to implement a cloud solution. Let's leave that for another article.

2. Why You Need to Learn and Use Cloud Hosting Platforms for Your PHP Projects

If you are not using cloud hosting today, you may use it in the future because you may need to use the possibilities of cloud hosting.

If you are a developer working for a company as an employee or contractor, sooner or later, a customer will ask to host your applications in a cloud hosting solution.

So it is good that you start learning about the cloud hosting advantages.

There are several reasons why you should consider using cloud hosting platforms.

2.1 Flexibility

Cloud hosting solutions are more flexible because you are not bound to a limited number of options regarding disk space, RAM and CPU cores, server data center location, etc.

Many cloud solutions allow you to change the resources depending on a project's current needs. For instance, if your application hosts an event, you may need to hire more CPU cores and RAM to handle the load increase. After the event, you may return to the previous usage of server resources to save money.

2.2 Scalability

Cloud solutions allow you to hire more servers if necessary when you have more simultaneous application users.

Scalability is the ability to increase the scale of the application architecture in terms of servers that handle the current load of your application.

2.3 Security

Many cloud hosting services provide additional security services to block abuses and limit the damages caused by possible intruders that may invade server machines.

2.4 Costs

Cloud hosting architectures were built to be very efficient in terms of resources. So you only pay for what you use. When your project is not using many server resources, the costs of the servers may be lowered automatically.

2.5 Reliability

A cloud hosting solution may be very reliable because it makes the server architecture redundant. If you have multiple cloud hosting servers and one server crashes or is overloaded, it is possible to redirect the access to other available servers.

2.6 Performance

Given that you may split the load of an application between multiple servers, your application can respond faster to numerous simultaneous requests.

3. How to Choose a Good Cloud Hosting Platform

There are many cloud hosting providers these days. It would be best to have good criteria for a good hosting solution.

For your users, the type of hosting that you choose does not matter because they only want that your projects work well, be useful, and be fast.

3.1. State of Your Project

The first criterion you need to consider is if this project is a new one that you are starting from scratch or if you want to improve the hosting of an existing one.

3.1.1 Existing Project

If you are evolving an existing project, you need to make sure that using a cloud solution will be very similar or better to your current hosting solution in terms of disk space, RAM usage, bandwidth limits, and CPU cores.

3.1.2 New project

If you are starting a new project, using a cloud solution nowadays is a good solution because you do not have to choose a solution that is compatible with the current project hosting because it does not exist.

3.2. Operating System Distribution

Cloud hosting solutions often provide multiple operating systems on your machine.

3.2.1 Operating System Differences

You should use the same operating system type and version in your development machine to avoid issues due to differences between the operating system types and versions.

Let me give you an example. If you use Windows on your development machine, be aware that if your hosting uses Linux, the Linux operating system distinguishes the case of the file names.

For instance, it is the same in Windows if you have a file named Hello.php or hello.php. In Linux, trying to open a file named hello.php using Hello.php as a parameter of file open functions will result in a file opening error.

3.2.2 Operating System Licence Costs

Usually, Linux distributions are free to install and use. So there will be no additional license costs.

If you use Windows on the server, check if you also need to pay additional fees for the license.

When you buy a computer with Windows installed, the company that built the machine with Windows installed already pays for the Windows license. Then the license cost is passed to you as part of the cost of the device.

3.3. PHP Version

Newer PHP versions may have certain features not available in past PHP versions.

Also, consider that newer versions of PHP implemented backward incompatible changes. This means that PHP code that used to work well in past versions may not work well in more recent versions.

If possible, use the PHP version in the hosting environment you use in the development environment.

Suppose the same PHP version is not available in the hosting. In that case, it is recommended that you upgrade or make your code flexible to work with all PHP versions you use in the development environment or the server environment.

3.4 Test Before You Choose

Usually, developing and deploying an application is more complex than I cover in this article.

Therefore I advise that you try before choosing a cloud hosting platform that is new to you.

Some cloud hosting solutions provide a free trial period that lets you evaluate your applications for a short period. Use that to test the hosting solution you want to try.

If there is no free trial option in the Cloud hosting solution that you want to try or the trial period is too short, hire that solution for one month so you can evaluate if the cloud solution is good for you. 

4. How to Use a Simple and Fast Cloud Hosting Platform by Using Cloudways

Cloud hosting solutions are powerful because they provide many options to tailor the hosting environment to what your applications need.

Having many options makes cloud hosting seem complex to implement. Therefore you need to learn and practice using a new cloud hosting solution before you use it to host applications.

Fortunately, there are cloud hosting solutions like Cloudways that provide very intuitive user interfaces to let you configure many options that you need and quickly without having to learn too much.

Remember that Cloudways is not a competitor or other Cloud hosting solution. It is more of a set of improvements on top of other Cloud hosting solution providers without increasing the costs of those services.

The Cloudways solution is so good that Digital Ocean bought Cloudways for a large amount of money to help Digital Ocean users to configure all they need with the Cloudways user interface.

Better than telling is that you check the following tutorial videos to see how simple it is to perform several common actions that cloud hosting customers need to perform.

4.1. Create a Cloud Server

4.2 Setup a Backup for your Cloud Server or Application

4.3 Create a Staging Environment So You Can Test Your Application Changes Securely Before Deploying the Application in a Production Cloud Server

4.4 Scale Your Server to Deal with Server Load Increase

5. How to Test Digital Ocean Cloudways for Free

As you may understand by now, setting up and using a cloud solution can be simplified a lot using Cloudways.

We may provide specific articles with more PHP-particular uses of the Cloudways platform in the future. For now, try the Cloudways for free to evaluate it yourself for a few days, as I suggested above, to check if this platform is good for you.

How to Use a PHP Cloud Hosting Service that Is Fast and Easier to Configure

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