For quite some time now SiteGround's unique server setup has allowed our customers to use 4 different PHP versions - 4.4.7, 5.0.5, 5.1.6 and 5.2.5. on one and the same hosting account. Needless to say, our customers loved this feature. And there were three serious reasons for this:
1. No hassle with older applications when a new PHP version is released
In terms of backward compatibility, the implementation of 4 PHP versions on one server was a small technical miracle. It saved a lot of hassle to regular users in cases when the applications they used needed serious code modifications or complex upgrades to work with the next stable PHP version. With our setup they did not have to do anything to keep their sites running, as they just continued to use the older PHP version, while the other users on the same server could still use the newer PHP.
2. Different PHP in each subfolder
Another great option for our customers was the fact that they could have different PHP versions in one and the same account under different subfolders. This way you could run your main website on PHP 5.2.5 and at the same time have an older application running on PHP 4.4.7 in a subfolder.
3.Test code on different PHP versions
The availability of different PHP versions on one account was also loved by web developers because they could test their code on several PHP versions without having to purchase several hosting accounts on different servers just for testing purposes.
New PHP versions available now
Given that most hosting companies offer only one PHP version per server, having 4 PHP versions on one and the same account already gave us a serious edge over the competition. However, we like to spoil our customers even more! Now we decided to up the ante a little and offer 7 (that's right, seven) different PHP versions that each and every account on our shared servers can use. Along with the new PHP versions we've added, we have also upgraded and improved the previous ones:
- PHP 4.4.9
- PHP 5.0.5
- PHP 5.1.6
- PHP 5.2.9
- PHP 5.2.9 + Suhosin patch
- PHP 5.3.0
- PHP 6.0.0 (Beta) [Update: PHP 6.0 no longer available]
As you can probably see, we've upgraded PHP 4.4.7 to 4.4.9 and PHP 5.2.5 to 5.2.9. The new PHP versions are 5.3.0 and 6.0.0. All PHP versions now come with IMAP SSL support (useful if you want to connect your application to GMail for example).
Since security has always been one of our top priorities, we decided to add a special PHP version that has been patched with the Suhosin advanced protection system. Basically, Suhosin protects your applications from many known vulnerabilities (bufferoverflows, remote URL inclusion, format string vulnerabilities and many more). See a list of Suhosin's features.
Another thing worth mentioning is the support for PHP 6. Although it is still in development, there's no doubt that soon this PHP version will be widely used. PHP developers will certainly appreciate the option to test their work on the latest PHP branch. Of course, you don't need to be a PHP developer to use PHP 6. As we all know, some people just like using the latest software available. In any case, we've done our best to make sure you are not caught unprepared 😉 [Update: The PHP 6.0 project was officially postponed March 2010]
As I mentioned above, all 7 PHP versions are already available on all SiteGround shared hosting servers. If you are a SiteGround customer, you can check them right away:
Learn how to switch different PHP versions on your account
And if you are not a SiteGround customer, you can check our website and sign up for an account at any time:
Sign up for a hosting account with 7 PHP versions
Product Development - Technical