Shared hosting lacking PHP 5

By | May 13, 2006

As some might know I’m a very active website developer / programmer. And herein also lays a problem, well more a difficulty. I love the new PHP5, but nobody seems to be willing to upgrade. In fact my current host is only supporting PHP 4.4.2, which is the most up-to-date version of 4.

So why do I believe that it’s important for webhosts to support PHP 5. Simple it allows much more complicated websites. Currently I’m working on the Movie & Serie database website, which has gotten way to complicated and way to big. But that aside it’s completely build up PHP 5. Why did I choose PHP 5 over 4?

Hmm, let me think. Oh yeah its the superb object support it has got. As my roots lay in normal system development (if you can call it that) I love objects and working object oriented. It gives you more control, makes everything reusable and cuts server costs down in half.

Why does it cut the costs on the server (usage in memory and speed)?
Ok so lets list a few things that are far better in the newest PHP version, I just love lists

  • Better object support,
    This means I, as webdeveloper, can create far more flexible and reliable website. Not only in performance but also in server abuse. (or for the techies less use of system resources)
  • Sharing information by reference,
    Can you imagine having to copy this post every time you gave it to the next person. I wouldn’t be interested in that. Yet this is what the older PHP version do. And this is something the new version stopped doing. Instead of copying the post it just gives you the location. (I know this is not exactly true, but this blog is not just for techies)
  • A lot of new functionality,
    Well PHP 5 contains a lot more functions, for stream control (accessing files), database and arrays.

This lack of PHP 5 support is actually the reason for me not to host my little project on any webhost at this time. (Yes I’m going old school) Currently its still hosted on my own little webserver, which also acts as the testing server. But this is far from optimal as the search engines are jumping on the site and downloading it like crazy. I’ve only got DSL so my connection can’t handle a lot.
Why don’t the webhosts switch then?
I do understand why the hosting providers are somewhat reluctant to make the step into the new version. I’ve had backward compatibility isues on some of my older website’s. So you can expect others to have the same problems. But is it enough to not do it. Try and get a few people to rebuild their website because you are doing an upgrade. It’s almost impossible!
I guess that’s the question that the providers must answer. But my expectation is that most hosting providers will upgrade in the near future. They just can’t afford to wait too long.

So far for my personal rant on the lack of PHP 5 support.

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