Don Marti

Fri 06 Jul 2012 07:38:38 AM PDT

Hosting for non-PHP web applications

Did you know, that on the Internet, people who write like this: "saw yr pic!!! yr cute!!!" think I'm cute?

And, on the Internet, as Jeff Atwood points out, "If you want to produce free-as-in-whatever code that runs on virtually every server in the world with zero friction or configuration hassles, PHP is damn near your only option." No, wait, the cuteness one is bogus, and the PHP one is true.

Luke Plant writes, "It is perhaps the essential problem of PHP that a language that was designed to be a simple template language for non-programmers has turned into the work-horse of the web, and the network effects caused by adoption amongst amateurs have made it a language for professionals."

Want to code in something else? You can probably find Django-friendly hosts for not too much more than a decent PHP-only plan, but if you enjoy Go or another niche language, you'll probably need at least a virtual private server, which will cost you more, even from a low-priced source such as the new Google Compute Engine. No cheap hosting in this category.

After working through the installs for PHP and non-PHP applications, is PHP just easier to get set up? How much of PHP's popularity is from the network effect and how much is from the "FTP it into your DocumentRoot and change permissions until it works" deployment model? Heroku is teh awesome, but it's still harder than the screenshot-by-screenshot instructions on "Joe's $0.99 Web Hosting" for installing PHP applications.

Just for comparison, here are some good introductory non-PHP articles.

Introduction to Django

Python for the Web

On a repeatable dev project setup

Django Requirements for a project

Django Chuck: your powerful project punch button - Bastian Ballmann and Lukas Bünger

Static website generators

Schemaless Postgres in Django

Eleven Django blog engines you should know

I don't know. Is it network effect, or ease of deployment?

Bonus link: cgi-php: Well, that just about wraps it up for open-source