PHP Web Hosting

Since 2001, I've been hosted by PHP Web Hosting (my previous host was more of a scam).

I'm a low-demand hosting customer - to date, has never used more than 550 MB of monthly data transfer, 10 MB of files, and 8 MB in the database. I only require PHP and MySQL, which almost everyone offers even with the cheapest packages - nothing fancy or unusual.

PHP Web Hosting offers a single package: $9.95 per month for 225 MB of space with "unmetered" data transfer. Apparently, they don't put an absolute cap on your transfer as long as it's kept reasonable. You can also get more space for free by request if it's reasonable. I never approached any limits, so I'm not sure how this process works and what exactly makes a request "reasonable".

For most of the 4 years there, the service from PHP Web Hosting was uneventful. Nothing went wrong, and I needed no support.

My forum uses my heavily-modified version of phpBB. Last fall, there was a critical security flaw in phpBB that required a patch. Patching my installation is a huge ordeal because I've changed the source code, so I decided to wait for the weekend.

PHP Web Hosting was kind enough to disable my phpBB for me... without telling me anything. All I knew was that my forum was suddenly having permissions-related problems accessing its scripts. I entered a support ticket, and after a few hours, they helpfully explained that my forum wasn't patched so they disabled it.

The ordeal was aggravating, but I decided to give them another chance. Good hosting is hard to find, and they had been acceptable otherwise.

Over the last few months, the service quality declined significantly. Many page requests were simply dropped, giving my visitors errors sometimes for no reason. Page loads also became slow, often needing 5-8 seconds before the page even began to render, and sometimes timing out completely. I removed the "wonderful" qualifier to their name in the About page and started looking around.

I learned that I wasn't actually getting a very good deal. I was paying $10 per month for service that most places offered for $3-5, including a number of goon-operated companies. But I really didn't want to go through all of the work to change hosts.

This morning, PHP Web Hosting made my decision easier. In the middle of my daily backup script, they removed my access to my home directory. This knocked out the entire site with a "403 - Forbidden" error, and I couldn't log in to make any changes. I filled out an "emergency" support ticket, but it wasn't answered.

I'm glad I had that backup script.

Goodbye, PHP Web Hosting. Hello, WoolNet for less money. Hopefully I'll have better luck here.

Rated 2/5


It's not too expensive, but you can get a similar or better package from a lot of other places for less money.

Rated 2/5


They actually responded most of the time, which is better than a lot of scam hosts. But randomly disabling directories, then waiting for me to fill out a support ticket to tell me why, is a terrible practice. Response times to tickets were generally average, up to about 12 hours.

Rated 3/5


Very slow access at times. Possibly a DNS bottleneck, since the actual page transfer was usually a normal speed once it started.

Rated 2/5


Recently, up to 25% of my requests have been dropped. This is completely unacceptable. The service had occasional outages during inconvenient times, such as Friday afternoons, that lasted from a few minutes to a few hours.

Rated 2/5


Not awful, but not great. The service has declined enough recently that I definitely won't recommend it.