Free PHP Hosting

Free web hosting companies may offer free PHP hosting or free ASP hosting. This article defines PHP hosting vs ASP hosting and what is typically involved and included when using a free web hosting company to get free PHP hosting.
Related article: Free Forum Hosting

Best Free Web Hosts

  1. 150m - 150MB Web Space / Ads
  2. 20m - 20MB Disk Space / Ads
  3. StormLoader - 50MB Web Space

Top Cheap Web Hosts

  1. BlueHost - $3.49 Unlimited Sites
  2. FatCow - $4.08 Free Domain
  3. JustHost - $2.95 Free Site Builder

Introduction to PHP

PHP is often listed in free hosting advertisements, such as "Free PHP Hosting." But this doesn't mean that's it's not available in other cases, though if you see an advertisement for "Free ASP Hosting," this is a clue that PHP may not be included. It's important to know what PHP is to understand the advantages of the first type of offer and why you may not find PHP in the second type.

PHP, which stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (built from the original use of Personal Home Page), was invented in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, who passed control to the PHP Group. The current version of PHP as of February 11, 2011 is 5.3.5. PHP 5.2 is still in use, and although it was announced in December that 5.2.16 was the end of the support for PHP 5.2, in fact 5.2.17 was released in January, 2011 to resolve a critical issue.

PHP itself is a free, cross-platform scripting language that is able to create dynamic web pages. PHP Hosting is hosting that includes PHP as a scripting language. it is important to know that to create server-side scripting, PHP requires a CGI or server module that will serve as a PHP parser.

PHP is often found on hosting servers with a Linux distribution, and when you see a reference to a LAMP environment, this refers to a server with a Linux distribution, Apache, MySQL, and at least one of the scripting languages that begin with the letter p—Perl, PHP, or Python. Linux servers do not characteristically use .ASP, a proprietary Microsoft scripting technology (and when they do, it is PERL that is the scripting language of choice), and since Windows servers often do not include PHP, you may often see PHP and .ASP couched as opposing choices. 

Free PHP Web Hosting

Free web hosting is hosting that does not require a monthly or yearly fee. Free web hosting is offered in a variety of ways. Sometimes domain name registration entitles the registrant to free hosting. Sometimes free web hosting is offered as an introduction by a web host who hopes to get you to upgrade to a paid service. Free web hosting may also be offered with advertising, allowing the web host to make money even though you are not the one paying it.

Free web hosting often means limitations of one kind or another. Typical limitations include restrictions in the available scripting languages and applications, limited disk space and bandwidth, and limitations in the size and number of MySQL databases used. Additionally, there may be limits on the size and type of uploaded files.

Whatever the style and configuration of the free web hosting, if it included PHP, it can be called "Free PHP Hosting", or "Free PHP Web Hosting".  This means that free PHP hosting can mean quite different hosting packages in different circumstances, so be sure to compare the options.

Related article: Free Forum Hosting