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How to find web hosting that meets my requirements?

I'm building a website in a lot of languages that should be available all over the world. That means I would like to have low response time especially in Europe, Asia and South America. My website runs PHP scripts, needs database etc. Classical Linux/Apache website.

Now I want to ask: What's the best hosting solution and can you recommend me any companies that offer services I need? Thanks a lot!

  • I actually work for CloudFlare and thought I would clarify some of the statements in this question. 1. CloudFlare ISN'T a hosting provider. 2. CloudFlare IS a CDN because we cache static content & distribute it to our global datacenters. 3. CloudFlare is also a DNS provider and security solution. If you need to edit/add/modify DNS records, you need to do that on the CloudFlare site as well. – damoncloudflare Aug 3 '11 at 23:07
  • Ok, I like CloudFlare really much and that's probably the most comfortable and easiest way. Thanks – simPod Aug 4 '11 at 20:32

I'm not sure about specific hosts, although if I remember correctly Hostgator offers servers on different continents and mirrors on at least two, but off the top of my head those details may be off.

Another option though that you might consider is a CDN(content distribution network), which mirrors your static files in different locations globally, allowing for shorter response times. I've been testing Cloudflare(https://www.cloudflare.com/) which offers free and paid plans, the free plan is pretty extensive and the difference it made on the site I was testing it with was pretty significant.

Added bonus aside from speed is that it helps add a layer of protection to your server since the nameservers will be Cloudflares and much of the traffic requests won't actually go to your server, that also aids in cutting down on bandwidth.

Aside from Cloudflare there are countless free and paid CDNs that would help with your situation, even with a host that mirrors globally.

  • Yea but Cloudflare looks like great DNS management not CDN (?). Or am I wrong? – simPod Jul 30 '11 at 22:50
  • Taken from their blog: – Jayhal Aug 3 '11 at 3:07
  • @simpod From their blog (link): "People ask us all the time if CloudFlare is a CDN, and the answer at some level is yes. We run a globally distributed, load-balanced network that caches static content closer to the visitor. But, really, we've built something that's much more. We've taken the lessons learned from the last 15 years of CDNs, improved on those, and then applied many new technologies that take web performance to an entirely new level." From all that I've read and my own usage its main aims are as a CDN and for different layers of added security. – Jayhal Aug 3 '11 at 3:13
  • @simpod It's primary focus is not DNS, and it in fact does not provide extensive tools for the manipulation of DNS records. Any changes in DNS entries(editing, adding, or deleting) must be done at your host. The reason they require nameservers point to them is so they can manage the caching and routing of the content from the distribution/delivery network. – Jayhal Aug 3 '11 at 3:18
  • A CDN would be my recommendation too, rather than a host with multiple version of your site on different servers that you have to manage independently, the CDN effectivly does all the hard work for you serving your content from a server close to the end use and speeding up the system. There are some other CDN's too look for asside from CloudFlare. One new on was launched by google just last week. Have a look at code.google.com/speed/pss/index.html – Rincewind42 Aug 4 '11 at 2:54

Take a look at Windows Azure - it claims to supports PHP just fine and have data centers some 6 places around the globe and pretty easy deployment - a 'extra server with the click of a mouse' kind of thing. Windows Azure also have a Traffic Manager feature, which make it dead simple to have people routed to the closest data center you have, re-route is one of your sites go down etc.

The down side to Windows Azure is that you need to deploy your package differently than you are used to and it's all very cloud'ish.

See http://azurephp.interoperabilitybridges.com/

I blogged about a similar setup with a site running in Asia, Europe and US - in the blog I talk about a Geo DNS setup, but we later moved to Windows Azure Traffic Manager as it worked better and was so easy to set up.

  • that looks interesting but I found out there are some complications with MySQL... I think that CloudFlare with Google Page Speed Service is what I am looking for... I wanted to vote up for this but I don't have enough reputation... – simPod Aug 4 '11 at 20:31

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