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Djordje Kovacevic:
PHP cloud hosting comparison (OpenShift vs Heroku vs Fortrabbit)
Jan 22, 2016 @ 11:54:01

In this post to his site Djordje Kovacevic shares the results of his evaluation of hosting providers in the platform-as-a-service arena for hosting PHP applications: OpenShift, Heroku and Fortrabbit.

I want PHP 5.6+, so I did some basic testing of those services to pick cheep and good solution to host my blog. OpenShift because I use it and it's free for 3 small gears, it was pretty good solution few years ago. Heroku because I used it for Ruby on Rails projects and they support multiple languages (even multiple build packs for one project)! I used FortRabbit too, so I decided to test theirs new apps.

For his testing he used a simple Laravel (v5.2) application with a handful of routes - something simple just to test out the setup and deployment processes. There is a "tl;dr" of the results but he also gets a bit more in-depth on what each service has to offer and some of the pros and cons of each. He also includes the results of some basic performance testing on the instances, linking to the raw output if you'd like to run your own metrics against it.

tagged: heroku openshift fortrabbit paas platformasaservice hosting provider comparison pro con benchmark

Link: http://djordjekovacevic.com/articles/php-cloud-hosting-comparison-(openshift-vs-heroku-vs-fortrabbit)

Zend Developer Zone:
Introspecting your Code with Z-Ray for Azure
Jan 13, 2016 @ 12:38:38

On the Zend Developer Zone blog Daniel Berman has posted a guide showing how to use their Z-Ray plugin to inspect code running on Azure for statistics around performance, queries and errors thrown by the code.

Quick experimentation, easy collaboration, automated infrastructure and scalability, together with advanced diagnostic and analytical tools – all provide PHP developers with good reasons to develop in the cloud.

[...] The combination of Z-Ray and the Azure cloud means PHP developers building apps on the Azure web app service get the best of both worlds – Z-Ray’s powerful introspection capabilities and Azure’s rich cloud infrastructure.

The post walks you through the steps to create a new Azure-based web application, how to upload your code and enable the Z-Ray feature directly from the Azure "Tools" menu. The Z-Ray toolbar is then automatically injected into your application for your immediate profiling needs.

tagged: azure microsoft hosting zray profiling tool interface tutorial

Link: http://devzone.zend.com/7093/introspecting-code-with-z-ray-for-azure/

Rob Allen:
Using Composer with shared hosting
Dec 28, 2015 @ 09:25:44

Rob Allen has a post to his site talking about using Composer with shared hosting, showing how to use this popular tool even if you're on a shared hosting environment and don't have direct SSH or shell access.

I've seen this sentiment a few times now, so this seems like a good time to point out that you do not need SSH access to your server in order to use Composer. In fact, I don't run Composer on a live server (regardless of whether it's using shared hosting) and it's not on my list of things to do in the near future.

What you do need is a process where you handle your Composer dependencies on your own computer where you have PHP running.

He gives two possible solutions to the problem: either commit your dependencies or create some kind of build script that can execute the Composer install for you on deploy. He gives details on both of these solutions including the process for installing the dependencies with an automated FTP script (run at deploy rather than committed).

tagged: composer shared hosting ftp deploy script commit dependency

Link: https://akrabat.com/using-composer-with-shared-hosting/

Developer Drive:
Looming PHP 7 and its effect on WordPress
Nov 26, 2015 @ 11:54:15

On the Developer Drive site they've posted an article for all of the WordPress users (and other curious folks) about the impact PHP 7 will have on the current WordPress system.

It’s no big secret now that PHP 7 is just on the horizon, and with that development comes questions on how it affects sites that run on WordPress. PHP 7 is a massive update to the server-side web development language called PHP, yet it’s also going to have an impact on any PHP-powered CMS like Drupal, Joomla and Magento.

They go through some of the major changes in PHP 7 and talk briefly about what kind of effects they'll have on those running this popular CMS including:

  • Performance upgrades
  • New and improved operators
  • Continuous 64-bit support
  • Anonymous class support

They recommend that you keep an eye out for messages from your host that they might be upgrading, backing up your site to prevent loss and update your plugins/themes prior to any PHP 7 switch over.

tagged: php7 wordpress features update recommendation hosting

Link: http://www.developerdrive.com/2015/11/looming-php-7-and-its-effect-on-wordpress/

Coen Jacobs:
Updating PHP is everyone’s responsibility
Mar 11, 2015 @ 10:06:46

In his latest post Coen Jacons suggests that updating PHP is everyone's responsibility - that keeping the PHP installation on your systems up to date is important for everyone, not just the system administrators.

The number one remark I heard when I launched WPupdatePHP, is that users shouldn’t be bothered with this. In an ideal world, this is true, but in reality this isn’t going to stand for long. [...] I know the WordPress core team is working really hard to get webhosting companies to update their PHP versions and I agree up to a certain level that this is the best way. It’s not the only way though. [...] This will help lower the percentage of PHP 5.2 and 5.3 users out there. There still will be people on older PHP versions who are caught out and without them knowing what is going on, nothing will change for them.

He talks about the efforts the WordPress core team is doing to try to convince hosting providers to update, but points out that while WordPress aims to run on those old versions, staying on them is a mistake. He also mentions that an effort like this is a constant thing, always changing as the PHP versions released change. He ends the post with a "call to arms" for users out there, encouraging them to get talking to their hosting provider and get those PHP versions updated.

Don’t understand me wrong, I like what WordPress is doing to get these requirements bumped, but I think it’s not enough. I disagree on the fact that users shouldn’t be involved in this. It’s easy enough for users to request their hosting platform to be upgraded. If their request isn’t heard, they should find a better webhosting company. [...] It’s been long enough, I choose to act now.
tagged: update version responsibility opinion hosting company wordpress

Link: http://coenjacobs.me/updating-php-everyones-responsibility/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Introducing Pagoda Box – a PaaS just for PHP
Feb 10, 2015 @ 11:56:01

In the most recent post to the SitePoint PHP blog Aleksander Koko has written up a summary of using Pagoda Box for PHP applications. Pagoda Box is a platform-as-a-service hosting provider that makes automated deployment and hosting much simpler.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Pagoda Box, another PaaS (Platform as a Service). If you have used other PaaS in previous projects, Pagoda Box is similar to Heroku. Pagoda Box is PHP only (for now) and has a well defined architecture to start developing with PHP. Everything in PB is a component. The database is a component, the webservers, workers, cron jobs and the caching. Having such an architecture doesn’t only give you ease in development but also a control over money usage. This post will be a quick overview of this platform. We will set up a framework and look at a list of pros and cons, comparing it to Heroku.

He starts with a quick overview of the service and the features it offers (including databases, caching and the already mentioned cron and worker handling). He then gets into the creation of a sample application (using Slim) and the full deployment process. He introduces the concept of the "boxfile" before getting into his "pro" and "con" list as compared to Heroku.

tagged: pagodabox paas deploy introduction hosting

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/introducing-pagoda-box-paas-just-php/

Anthony Ferrara:
On PHP Version Requirements
Dec 22, 2014 @ 10:13:59

In his latest post Anthony Ferrara talks about PHP version requirements and how it's a bit of "chicken and egg" problem. If hosting providers are slow adopting even PHP 5.4, can we realistically bump up the minimum to PHP 5.4+ and potentially shun users not at that level yet?

Most people agreed with me [saying new software with a PHP requirement <= 5.2 is beyond irresponsible, it's negligent], saying that not targeting 5.4 or higher is bad. But some disagreed. Some disagreed strongly. So, I want to talk about that.

[...] Now, these are pretty interesting arguments. It boils down to making the logical argument that if hosts don't support 5.4+, then moving to require 5.4+ would leave the users who use those hosts abandoned. And some projects don't want to abandon users. It's a warm and logical idea; Open your arms to everyone, and include them all. Don't leave anyone behind. Really, it's a good argument. The problem is, is it based on a flawed premise...?

He suggests that it sounds somewhat like an appeal to emotion and that by enforcing a bump up like this would be "abandoning the users". He gets into some of the statistics he worked up regarding PHP versions, WordPress usage and how, because of these large numbers, hosting companies would make the move if only for business reasons. He talks about the "Go PHP5" initiative and the impact it made on versions supported across the board. He also looks at some of the reasons why keeping up with these versions is good for the hosting companies too: security, education of users and the new features that come with later versions.

So I put this to you, WordPress, CodeIgniter and every other CMS and Framework still supporting PHP 5.2 and 5.3 (and earlier versions): Step up and lead. Step up and be the change you want to see. Don't follow and react, lead and be proactive. After all, if we can move forward together, we can all benefit. But if we walk separate paths, we build walls and we all lose...
tagged: version requirements opinion hosting project support

Link: http://blog.ircmaxell.com/2014/12/on-php-version-requirements.html

NetTuts.com:
Securing Your Server Login
Oct 22, 2014 @ 10:43:27

While PHP developers usually pay more attention to the code level of things, it's good to know something about managing the servers their applications live on too. In this most recent tutorial from NetTuts.com they introduce you to some of the basic things you can do to help secure your server against potential attacks, more specifically around the logins.

Thanks to the growing abundance of useful self-hosted apps such as WordPress and the affordable growth of cloud hosting providers, running your own server is becoming increasingly compelling to a broader audience. But securing these servers properly requires a fairly broad knowledge of Linux system administration; this task is not always suitable for newbies.

They provide a list of seven things to look at (not a comprehensive list, but good none the less) to protect your system logins:

  • Update Your System Components
  • Change Your SSH Port From the Default
  • Activate a Firewall
  • Change Your Root Login Name
  • Activate Google Two-Factor Authentication
  • Switch to Using SSH Keys for Login
  • Manage Your Application Security

Each item includes a summary of the "why" and commands or links to other resources with more information.

tagged: server login security top7 list tips hosting

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/securing-your-server-login--cms-22001

Lorna Mitchell:
How to Choose PHP Hosting
Oct 10, 2014 @ 09:15:36

Lorna Mitchell has a new post today sharing some helpful hints to help you pick a good PHP hosting provider for your next application or website.

I've been thinking a lot about the state of hosting in PHP lately, mostly as a result of working with a few different clients on their setups (including one that bought brand new hosting a month ago and got a PHP 5.3.3 platform), and also being at DrupalCon and meeting a community who is about to make a big change to their minimum requirements. With that in mind, here are my thoughts and tips on choosing hosting.

She starts off with one of the bigger criteria she looks for in a host: the minimum PHP version available (some might have more than one, especially some PaaS). She suggests that even things like PHP 5.3 should be considered too old and should be passed over in favor of newer releases like 5.5 or even 5.6. She then talks about some of the benefits that come from using a newer platform and the current levels of adoption and performance by PHP version. Finally, she includes an unofficial list of hosts that have set themselves out as good, solid PHP-friendly providers, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

tagged: choose hosting provider paas dedicated version performance

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/how-to-choose-php-hosting

A toolbox for less than $100 / month
Jul 03, 2014 @ 09:35:42

Joshua Thijssen has shared his toolbox for less than $100/month that includes a complete set of development and project tools "on the cheap" but still good.

There are a lot of tools out there which can help you as a developer / self-employed contractor. And even though most of these tools are free (as in beer), I don’t mind spending a certain amount of money on tools that help me do my business. So with all the tools out there, all the paid plans, the freemiums and the trial periods, what can a crispy 100 dollar bill every month buy?

His list includes hosting (ServerGrove), issue tracking (Jira), team communication (HipChat) and online storage (Dropbox). His list is made up of eight services with almost all of them having a small cost. The online collaboration (Basecamp) and hosting (from ServerGrove) are the highest costs at $20USD/month.

tagged: toolbox onehundred hosting communication storage issuetracking automation

Link: https://www.adayinthelifeof.nl/2014/07/01/a-toolbox-for-less-than-100-month/