The Best Zend Optimizer Hosting: Who's The Best For Your Site? [Updated: 2018]

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What is Zend hosting?

The Zend Framework (not to be confused with Zend Technologies, the company that supports it) is a web application development framework for PHP. It is the most popular PHP framework available.

Zend is object-oriented and makes use of the Model-View-Controller architecture paradigm. The current version, Zend Framework 2, takes advantage of features available in the newer releases of the PHP programming language, such as namespaces and closures.

Key Zend Framework Principles

Fully Object Oriented

Object Orientation is a way of designing a software system such that functionality and data are tied together into logical units called "Objects."

Rather than assigning the data that represents some concrete thing to a series of independent variables, and then writing a bunch of functions that manipulate that data or use it to manipulate other data, Object Orientation combines the data that belongs to an object with the functions which that object might carry out.

An example of this might be a Blog Post object that includes both the data (post content, author, publication date, tags) and post-related functions (save, update, display). Changes to the data, and functions of the object, are both handled by the object itself, and defined in Classes which control objects of similar types.

When the PHP language was originally invented, its primary purpose was dynamic rendering of HTML pages, not full-scale web-based applications. For this reason, the early versions of PHP focused on a functional approach to programming style.

Object Orientation came fairly late to PHP, and was at first considered an "optional" feature. As the language matured into a fully-functional programming language, complete support for an Object Oriented programming style has been made available.

The Zend Framework takes full advantage of these features, and is completely Object Oriented in its design. Additionally, the programming API and app templates encourage developers building applications on top of the framework to use an Object Oriented style.

Model - View - Controller Architecture

The Model-View-Controller application pattern is an application architecture style that separates a program's code into three basic areas:

Model
Code that implements the data-design of the application and interacts with the database.
View
Code that implements the display or interface from the system to outside consumers, whether human users or other computer systems.
Controller
Code that implements application business logic and shuttles information between the View and the Model.

Zend Framework is built with the Model-View-Controller architecture in mind, making it compliant with recognized best practices. This also conforms to the pattern used in the most popular development frameworks for other programming languages, such Ruby on Rails and Django for Python.

Modular Design

The Zend Framework was designed for a high degree of modularity, allowing developers to use only those components which they need for their application.

In fact, there isn't even really a "core" framework with optional modules, as you might expect. Rather, the framework itself is a series of modules that are designed to be used independently, but can be combined to make a fully-featured application framework.

Consistent Implementation

Similar features are coded similarly throughout the framework, and the programming API uses consistent styling.

This consistency of approach is new in the second edition of Zend Framework, and makes using it much easier.

(If you had a bad experience with the original Zend Framework because of its inconsistent style and confusing array of approaches, you may want to come back and try Zend Framework 2.)

Focus on the PHP Developer Community

Zend Technologies, the primary supporters of the Zend Framework, call themselves "the PHP company," and are rightfully proud of their position within the PHP development community.

As part of their overall support for the framework, Zend Technologies supports the community of developers, contributors, and users through blogs, certifications, books, forums, and conventions.

The newest edition of the Framework was built specifically to address the needs and concerns of the existing developer base that had been using the original version of the software.

Zend Framework Hosting

The only hard-and-fast requirement of the Zend Framework is PHP 5.2.4 or higher. Additional requirements such as a modern database system depend on the needs of the application written on top of Zend.

Typically, shared hosting plans are not suitable to the needs of web-based applications built on top of Zend. More to the point, neither are they typically suitable to the businesses usually in need of such custom software.

Some hosting providers offer specific support for the Zend platform, which may make certain configuration details easier to implement, as well as ensuring enterprise-level performance.

Find The Best Zend Optimizer Hosting For You

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SiteGround StartUp plan
  • Support 5 stars
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5 stars
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A2 Hosting Unmanaged Dedicated Server plan
1,000GB 10TB
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229 user reviews
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Interserver Linux Cloud VPS plan
25GB 1TB
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207 user reviews
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LiquidWeb 2 GB VPS plan
40GB 10TB
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1&1 Unlimited plan
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Register.com Register Essential plan
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BigRock Starter Ecommerce plan
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TMDHosting Summer Cloud plan
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PacificHost Advanced plan
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Zend Optimizer Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a web application development framework?

    A web application development framework is a set of code libraries and tools for developing dynamic websites, web applications, and web services. It provides the ability to create much more complex websites than a simple CMS, as well as giving developers the freedom to create truly unique websites with no restrictions to the amount of customization they include.

  • How many modules are available for the Zend Framework?

    At the time of this writing, there were over 700 modules available to expand the capabilities of the Zend Framework.

  • Is Zend Framework 2 backward compatible?

    Yes. Zend Framework 2 was built with a migration layer to allow Zend Framework 1 code to run on the new Zend Framework 2 engine. Zend Framework 1 and Zend Framework 2 code can run side-by-side, allowing developers to gradually move to the new framework at their own pace.

  • What type of support is available?

    Because the Zend Framework is not a program, but a set of code libraries, there is no traditional support provided. However, there are a number of community sites available to ask questions. And if you have the budget, there are a number of certified Zend consultants who can help set up and optimize your application. If you're looking for traditional support, it is available with the professional version, Zend Server.

  • What are namespaces?

    Namespaces are a way for developers to encapsulate items in order to avoid conflicts. For example, if a programmer utilizes the variable "Important_Item" in their own code, it may conflict with another variable also named "Important_Item" in the source code. This could create a conflict when the code is compiled.

    Namespaces provide a means for developers to avoid collisions by storing names in separate containers. Think of it this way: if you have two files on your computer with the same name, you can't store them in the same folder, because your computer would not be able to tell them apart. However, you can store them just fine in separate folders. Namespaces work in a similar fashion, managing those same-name items and allowing the compiler to keep them separate.

  • What are closures?

    Closures are anonymous functions that allow for the creation of functions without specified names. This allows them to be used as the value of a variable or to inherit the variables from the parent scope.

  • Is training available?

    Yes. In addition to the documentation provided on their website, the user guide includes a short tutorial to get users comfortable with creating simple, database-driven applications. For more in-depth training, Zend provides a number of training and certification classes, as well as webinars to help developers get comfortable with the Model-View-Controller paradigm.

  • What is Zend Studio?

    Zend Studio is the integrated development environment (IDE) developed by the Zend team specifically for creating PHP-based applications. If you are interested in building open source PHP web applications, it is definitely worth considering, both because it is designed specifically for PHP and because it's free. For anything other than open source development or educational use, you will have to choose one of their paid versions, so it's important to make sure this is the right IDE for your team before you commit.

  • Who develops the Zend Framework?

    The Zend Framework is principally sponsored by Zend Technology. However, it is developed collaboratively. Several companies, including Google and Microsoft, have provided web service interfaces, and much of the development is done by the Zend Framework community.

  • Why is shared hosting not suitable for Zend-based applications?

    Any web application that relies on dynamic content, which is the primary purpose of PHP, is going to require more resources than a traditional, publishing-only website. With a shared hosting plan, your bandwidth and number of visitors is highly limited, and shared by other sites hosted on the server. If your traffic is limited and you're the only one providing content, that might work fine. But when your visitors begin to rise, or your application starts relying on visitor input to create dynamic content, you're going to start feeling the squeeze of sharing resources with your server neighbors.

  • What type of license is the Zend Framework issued under?

    The Zend Framework is issued under a BSD open source license, meaning users can download, use, modify, and redistribute the software as they please, provided the redistribution retains the Zend Technologies copyright notice, list of conditions, and disclaimer. Additional restrictions, copyright notice, and the disclaimer can all be found on the Zend Framework website.

  • How can I contribute to the Zend Framework?

    The Zend Framework is a community developed and supported project. As a result, they welcome contribution in any way. If you identify a bug with the current version, check their online documentation and run it by the mailing list and IRC to make sure it hasn't already been identified. If not, go ahead and submit a failure report. If you want to contribute code, you can check out their project site on GitHub. Or if you just want to participate in the community, you can join their IRC or mailing list.

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