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What is Apache Hosting?

The Apache HTTP web server hardly needs an introduction. This highly configurable server platform is free and since it is open source, Apache it can be customized in a number of different ways. Apache also features a library full of add-ons that provide support for additional features. If you can't find quite what you need or want, you can alter it to your specifications. Tweaks can be shared among members of the Apache development community, which is a good place to start in case you need some custom features.

What makes Apache so popular

Community support for Apache remains strong, despite the advent of numerous competing solutions. Although Apache runs on Windows-, Mac-, Unix- and Linux-based servers, it is usually associated with Linux.

Apache supports a variety of technologies, including MySQL, PHP, and SSL. It also includes support for Common Gateway Interface (CGI), Server Side Includes (SSI), URL redirection, HTTP header metafiles, proxy caching and more.

The cross-platform compatibility means that no matter what operating system the server computer is running, Apache can still host your website with ease. Apache servers typically run more smoothly and more securely in comparison to other servers, so if security is a concern, Apache is a safe bet under many circumstances.

Many shared hosting plans offer Apache servers, as do many dedicated server plans, because it is a more cost-effective option compared to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). Because of its flexibility and affordability, it is the most popular web server software available today.

However, in recent years Apache has lost ground to IIS and open-source competitors like Nginx. A few years ago Apache ran more than 60% of all web servers, but in early 2014 the share dropped to 42%.

While Apache still has a lot going for it, critics claim it has become bloated over the years, offering numerous advanced features that a lot of users simply do not find necessary. Apache’s process-based nature also means it creates a lot of thread overhead, as every simultaneous connection requires a separate thread. Some users find IIS more appealing thanks to its unparalleled .NET support.

Endless choice of Apache hosting options

Since Apache can run on virtually any platform, it can be deployed on numerous versions and custom variations, on practically any hardware platform on the market.

However, not all companies offering Apache hosting are created equally, as pricing may vary significantly from one host to another. Luckily, with so much choice, it is easy to shop around, compare features and pricing before you decide what will work best for your project.

Apache hosting plans tend to be somewhat cheaper than comparable Windows plans. Bear in mind that Apache is free, so most hosts pair it with free operating systems like Linux. The combination is known as LAMP, which stands for Linux Apache MySQL PHP. On the other hand, Windows hosting requires IIS, Microsoft SQL or ODBC and of course a Microsoft operating system. Hardware requirements may differ, too.

Most of the savings are transferred to the customer, making lean and frugal Apache hosting plans popular among small businesses and individual users. However, even these entry level Apache hosting plans offer a lot of functionality – they often suffice for sites built on popular platforms such as Wordpress, Drupal, phpBB and Joomla.

Three most common Apache hosting plan tiers

Although there is no industry standard and there are a range of different options, the most common plans and price tiers are shared Apache plans, virtual private server (VPS) plans and managed private server (MPS) plans.

The most affordable options are usually shared Apache plans, including cloud-based plans. They tend to offer basic functionality, cPanel, MySQL, PHP, POP email and other basic features and services.

More expensive and comprehensive VPS plans are designed for multi-site hosting and medium load sites. They usually include dedicated hardware, usually using a virtual private server model, multiple domain hosting, more storage and other features.

Top end Apache managed private servers are designed with more demanding clients in mind. They can handle a number of websites, or high load sites. Virtualisation is usually supported, many hosts now offer e-commerce functionality as well, along with more advanced features for niche users.

Needless to say, dedicated servers tend to end up pricey regardless of platform and in most cases the price gap between LAMP and Windows/IIS packages tends to be bigger on entry-level plans.

Apache Frequently Asked Questions

WhoIsHostingThis Recommends

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Pros: Free domain name , Unlimited traffic, emails, DBs

Cons: No Windows-based plans

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2. iPage

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Pros: Unlimited Disk Space, Bandwidth & Email , Unlimited MySQL Databases

Based in the US, iPage specialises in low-cost shared hosting. Each plan... Read more

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Support
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Features
★★★★
Uptime
★★★
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Pros: Free Domain , Unlimited Bandwidth

Bluehost provides customers with low-cost shared hosting, as well as reseller, VPS... Read more

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