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PHP can add a lot of functionality to your web site. You can add interactivity and a better experience for your end user. Some of the things you can include with PHP include shopping carts, catalogs with inventory, reviews of products, currents news, forums, live customer support, and newsletter management. PHP can do anything a CGI program can do but PHP interacts with many databases and is more flexible. You can customize your site to show different content based upon the location of the user, the date, the browser they are using etc, and therefore provide an experience tailor made for your customer. You can conduct surveys online and provide discussion boards. PHP web hosting is widely available and does not generally cost more money than basic web hosting.
Many web hosting companies provide PHP hosting because they be aware of the popularity of PHP in developing dynamic web pages. Some companies have created their own version of PHP and provide all of the support and maintenance on that version. If you end up changing hosts you may need to consider if you'll have to make changes to your scripts. When choosing your PHP hosting provider make sure you find out what versions of PHP are supported and if there are any pre-installed modules or scripts provided. Also take into account your level of experience. If you are new to PHP you will probably need more support, so make sure the customer service provided will fit your needs.
ASP and PHP are both software script languages which can generate dynamic web pages. PHP is free and has extensive support, tutorials, instructions manuals, and updates for anyone to use at no cost. ASP does not have much free support and generally costs more to find web hosting supporting ASP. Most web hosting comes with PHP support. PHP manages memory better and therefore is more efficient and delivers pages more quickly than ASP. PHP is completely functional with no additional costs associated whereas if you choose ASP you may need to purchase separate licenses for additional functionality.
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a scripting language used to build dynamic web pages. The scripts are inserted into HTML documents using PHP tags. PHP is one of the easier languages to learn, and is widely used. You simply embed the PHP tags into HTML code. The PHP scripts are executed by the web server and create dynamic web pages upon demand, and can do anything a CGI program can do, plus PHP interacts more effectively with a large variety of databases. You can download PHP for free from PHP.net. There are also tutorials available. Because PHP is so widely used, there are many resources available and continuous improvements being made.
Using PHP scripts you can create dynamic web pages which offer your visitors a more customized experience when visiting your site. PHP is easy to use and widely used. PHP hosting is also broadly available. Make sure you find a host with a good reputation, including high uptime, enough disk space and bandwidth, and a money back guarantee. You should consider costs, security and support, equipment provided, site management tools as well as site performance tools. If you want to find good PHP hosting options, talk to other web designers or business owners who have a good host they are willing to recommend. Word of mouth carries more weight than advertising because you will generally get the truth about the service from a third party rather than from marketing materials from the company itself.
There are basically three main PHP scripting areas. First is server-side scripts. This is the most widely used area for PHP scripts. You would need PHP web hosting, a parser and a browser. You can use PHP scripts without using a server or browser – command line scripts. PHP is also one of the best languages to create desktop applications which use a graphic interface. PHP can be used with all of the major operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, etc. PHP offers you freedom to choose your preferred operating system. PHP also supports a wide variety of databases and is very easy to use.
There are many service providers which offer PHP web hosting. Some will also provide free PHP scripts with your web hosting. Because PHP is so widely used, it is fairly easy to find scripts for bulletin boards, email forms, shopping carts and other resources. Finding a good PHP web hosting provider is the same as finding any reliable web host. Make sure to do your homework. Look for uptime, guarantees, bandwidth and the other hosting basics and then compare any additional resources which your PHP web host offers. You may find yourself getting resources for free from your host which you would have to pay for in other places, such as clipart or chat software.