Hosting Certification

By Deane Barker on May 23, 2004

PHP Certification for Hosts?: All Web hosts are not created equal. On a couple of occasions, I’ve agreed to a hosting account only to find out the hard way that one piece or another of a full PHP install wasn’t available.

How many web hosts provide any more detail than just “PHP Installed” to potential customers? It’s rare you find detail like whether it’s installed as an Apache module or a CGI executable, which extensions are available, which version (exactly) of PHP are they using, can php.ini settings be modified with .htaccess files, what PHP functionality is enabled / disabled, what are the upgrade policies / procedures etc. etc. Things that are essential to know if you’re doing anything more serious than form mailing with PHP.

My worst hosting nightmare story, however, comes from a Windows company. They were concerned about allowing access to the file system via ASP. Their solution: simply delete the scripting.dll file.

This was how they figured they could get rid of ASP’s FileSystemObject. Sadly, there is more in that DLL than just the FSO — the Dictionary object was gone too, and given ASP’s woeful array handling, this loss hurt.

I gleefully lambasted this company on their own message boards. Felt good too, I’m ashamed to admit.