Every single choice you make when venturing into the digital landscape holds significance. In a constantly evolving and competitive environment, there is little room for error. Establishing a business and a digital presence can be quite challenging, especially when starting from the ground up. This underscores the importance of understanding which framework to deploy.
One prevalent but often ill-informed choice is deploying an advanced framework like Laravel on shared hosting. While shared hosting may seem like an attractive cost-saving option for beginners and budget-conscious clients, it often leads to a litany of problems, including app deployment issues, agonizingly slow performance, and frustratingly low page load speeds.
The primary reason for this choice is often rooted in a desire to cut costs, but the consequences for end-users can be dire.
Let us discuss and shed light on the pitfalls of deploying Laravel. We will explore the variety of issues that plague such deployments and, more importantly, why cloud hosting appears as the undisputed superior alternative, offering a pathway to improved performance and user satisfaction.
Shared hosting is a budget-friendly web hosting service where multiple websites share server resources, such as CPU, memory, and storage. It is ideal for small websites and businesses with limited budgets. However, it comes with resource limitations, shared IP addresses, and reduced customization options.
Security can be a concern since vulnerabilities in one website may affect others. Hosting providers manage server maintenance, making it user-friendly for those with basic technical skills. As websites grow or demand more control, transitioning to VPS or dedicated hosting may be necessary.
Laravel shared hosting is a web hosting service designed specifically for hosting web applications built using the Laravel PHP framework. In this setup, multiple Laravel applications share the resources of a single server, making it a cost-effective hosting option.
It allows users to deploy and run their Laravel-based websites and applications without the need for server management, while still benefiting from the framework’s features and functionalities. Laravel shared hosting simplifies hosting for Laravel developers and is suitable for smaller applications and websites with moderate traffic.
Once you know about shared hosting and understand why one prefers it. Now let us know why in today’s era users are getting inclined to cloud hosting and it can be a better option for users.
Cloud hosting offers scalable and flexible resources, with websites hosted on virtual servers across a network of interconnected servers. Shared hosting, on the other hand, hosts multiple websites on a single server with shared resources.
Cloud hosting provides better performance and redundancy but is typically more expensive, while shared hosting is cost-effective but may have resource limitations and less scalability.
Although cost is appealing, shared hosting has several drawbacks that can negatively affect users. Multiple websites sharing a single server can lead to sluggishness and security vulnerabilities.
Limited bandwidth and disk space cause scalability and speed issues. Lack of admin access restricts administrative tasks and software customization. System crashes and slower performance are common due to server overload.
Security is compromised, making websites susceptible to hackers. SSH Terminal is unavailable, a critical tool for website management. Server performance suffers from unexpected traffic, resulting in slow response times and 500 errors for Laravel apps on shared hosting. To enhance security and flexibility, consider dedicated managed hosting services.
Shared hosting comes with several notable limitations that can affect the performance and security of your website. These drawbacks are important to consider when choosing a hosting solution:
- Shared Resources:
Shared hosting includes many websites using the same server resources. This sharing of resources can lead to sluggish website performance and increased vulnerability to security issues. Delays affect a lot in the competitive world of business.
- Bandwidth and Disk Space Constraints:
Shared hosting plans often come with limited bandwidth and disk space, which can hamper the scalability and speed of your website.
- Limited Administrative Access:
Shared hosting typically restricts your administrative access. This limitation can prevent you from installing software or making configuration changes beyond what the hosting provider allows, affecting your ability to customize your site.
- Server Stability:
Sharing a server with numerous other websites can lead to server overloads and slower response times. In extreme cases, this increased activity can cause system crashes, resulting in downtime for your site.
- Security Concerns:
Security is a significant issue with shared hosting. With multiple websites on the same server, your site becomes more susceptible to security breaches and hacking attempts. To enhance security, it is advisable to consider dedicated managed hosting solutions.
- Lack of SSH Terminal:
Shared hosting often does not provide SSH access, which can be problematic for developers and administrators who rely on it for advanced server management and configuration.
- Server Performance and Response Time:
Shared hosting can struggle to handle unexpected spikes in web traffic due to limited bandwidth resources. This can result in slower response times and may even lead to 500 server errors, especially for resource-intensive applications like Laravel.
Considering these limitations, it is essential to assess your website’s specific needs and consider alternatives like dedicated hosting or virtual private servers (VPS) if these drawbacks are a concern for your online presence.
Shared hosting may not be the ideal choice for deploying a Laravel application, as the two may not seamlessly align. Oftentimes, individuals seek affordable hosting solutions without fully understanding the potential long-term costs.
The successful operation of a Laravel application relies on the paramount aspects of website security and performance. Shared hosting tends to compromise both vital elements. Hence, it is strongly recommended to exercise caution when considering shared hosting for your Laravel app.
1. SSH or Command Terminal:
Many shared hosting providers do not offer SSH Terminal features and lack version control support. Consequently, developers are constrained and often limited to working solely with FTP. This can be particularly problematic as it restricts access to essential command-line tools like composer and artisan.
2. Cron Jobs:
Scheduling Cron Jobs can be challenging with shared hosting services, and this extends to Laravel-based applications. Task scheduling functionality may be unavailable on shared hosting platforms.
3. Application Backup:
One of the notable drawbacks of Laravel shared hosting is the absence of a reliable application backup facility. In the event of data loss, retrieval may be impossible, making shared hosting an unfavorable choice for Laravel applications.
4. Security and Performance:
Security and performance are paramount considerations for developers. With shared hosting, your application is often placed in the Document Root directory, potentially exposing it to security vulnerabilities and malicious attacks. Switching to a hosting provider better suited for PHP frameworks like Laravel is advisable.
5. Error Encounters:
Shared hosting often leads to various errors, including the notorious 500 error. Such errors are primarily attributed to the constraints of limited resources and server configuration issues.
The process of deploying a Laravel application on a shared hosting environment involves several key steps. First, it is essential to prepare your application for deployment.
This includes ensuring that your Laravel codebase is well-organized and free from any debugging or development-specific settings.
Next, you will need to create a database on the shared hosting server and configure your Laravel application to connect to it.
Make sure to adjust the database configuration in the .env file to match the shared hosting server’s database credentials.
Once your application is ready, you will need to upload your Laravel files to the shared hosting server. This can typically be done using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or a web-based file manager provided by the hosting provider.
It is important to upload your files to the correct directory, often the “public_html” or “www” folder, ensuring that your application’s entry point, the “index.php” file, is accessible from the web.
After uploading your files, you may also need to set proper file permissions to ensure that Laravel can write to certain directories for features like caching and logging.
Finally, run the necessary Laravel artisan commands for migrations and other tasks to get your application up and running. Remember that shared hosting environments may have limitations, so it is important to test your application thoroughly to ensure it works as expected in this setup.
Why Cloud Hosting is your go-to move?
An affordable and straightforward solution becomes clear when considering the suboptimal fit of shared hosting for Laravel-based applications.
Fortunately, there is a cost-effective remedy to address Laravel hosting requirements, ensuring that all needs are well met.
That solution is cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, you can unlock the ideal blend of performance, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness for hosting your Laravel applications.
Why Should You Use Cloud Hosting for Laravel?
Cloud hosting is a strategic approach that involves entrusting an organization’s computing and storage resources to a service provider that offers infrastructure services.
Managed cloud hosting solutions, provide a seamless means to deploy Laravel applications to your server with just a simple click, using Git or SSH terminal. This deployment is complemented by a robust suite of web security features for peace of mind.
Advantages of embracing Cloud Hosting
The future of hosting lies in the cloud, and it stands as the recommended solution for addressing all your Laravel hosting requirements. Let us delve into how cloud hosting can prove beneficial:
Cloud hosting is distinguished by its high reliability. Instead of relying on a shared server, opting for a dedicated virtual cloud server ensures that resources, including disk space, are sourced from an extensive network of underlying physical servers. In the event of a server going offline, your website’s availability stays intact, as virtual servers seamlessly draw resources from the remaining server network.
Cloud hosting servers excel in offering scalability for your websites. Resources are accessible in real-time on-demand and are not confined to the physical limitations of a single server. This flexibility becomes particularly helpful when your website experiences a surge in visitor traffic or the need for additional functionalities. With shared hosting, you would face limitations, but cloud hosting provides the resources you need with ease.
- Performance & Security:
Cloud hosting takes center stage when it comes to enhancing the performance and security of your Laravel applications. Unlike shared hosting, the risk of resource depletion is minimal, allowing for scaling up whenever needed. Consequently, the application’s performance remains consistently high. Furthermore, cloud hosting offers advanced security features such as firewalls and IP whitelisting, bolstering the protection of your applications and data.
Cloud Hosting Providers
Prominent cloud hosting service providers include industry giants like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google’s Google Compute Engine (GCE) hosting, and DigitalOcean (DO).
AWS, for instance, offers its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers for handling a wide range of computing services, coupled with storage solutions like Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Glacier.
Google provides the Google Compute Engine (GCE) along with Google Cloud Storage, which caters to enterprise-level hosting needs. In addition to these major players, DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr are recognized for their reliable cloud hosting services.
Each of these cloud hosting platforms has distinctive features and hosting plans, allowing users to tailor their hosting environment to specific requirements. Traditionally, large organizations have resorted to hiring system administrators to manage server loads, a practice incurring significant costs in terms of human capital.
However, to streamline operational efficiency, an increasing number of companies are now turning to “managed” cloud hosting services, which provide expert oversight, thereby enabling them to run their operations more efficiently.
The feasibility of hosting a Laravel application significantly depends on the chosen hosting provider. Access to SSH, crontab functionality, and the ability to set the website’s root directory to the “/public” folder are crucial considerations for this approach.
While there are some drawbacks to this method, they are manageable, contrary to initial assumptions. Currently, two Laravel apps are in production on shared hosting.
A prominent challenge pertains to the absence of console commands. Solutions like Voyager can address this issue, along with the schedule command found in the app/Console/Kernel.php.
Another alternative is Artisan::call(). The preferred method is typically employing Voyager. Artisan: down is initiated through the admin panel, and the generated down file is later removed from the ../storage/framework directory when it is time to restore the website (as accessing example.com without running artisan: down leads to an HTTP 500 error).
For tasks like migrations or other processes requiring the application to be in a non-production state, the app is placed in maintenance mode, and the APP_ENV in the .env file is changed to “local.” From personal experience, trying to economize by hosting a Laravel app on shared hosting presents its fair share of challenges.
Key limitations include the inability to use console-based PHP artisan commands and a lack of control over the application. Migrating to VPS hosting, which is now cost-effective and straightforward to set up with the help of comprehensive documentation, proves to be a more robust solution.
Also, read: Top tips to Build Secure Mobile Apps
In conclusion, the decision of whether to host a Laravel application on shared hosting should be made with careful consideration of the limitations and challenges it presents. While it is technically possible to run Laravel on shared hosting, the compromises in performance, security, and control can outweigh the cost savings. Shared hosting environments, designed for simpler websites, may struggle to meet the demands of Laravel applications, leading to slower response times, security vulnerabilities, and restricted administrative access.
As we discussed, the inability to use essential Laravel features, such as console commands and easy deployment, can hinder the development and maintenance process. Furthermore, the shared nature of these hosting platforms means that one’s website’s performance and security are interconnected with those of other websites on the same server, introducing an element of unpredictability.
Considering these challenges, the alternative options, such as cloud hosting or VPS hosting, offer more robust solutions for hosting Laravel applications. They provide the performance, security, and administrative control necessary to support the demands of modern web applications. Therefore, when considering the hosting of Laravel, it is wise to prioritize a hosting environment that aligns more closely with Laravel’s requirements to ensure the best possible performance and security for your web application.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Shared hosting often lacks the resources and server configurations needed for Laravel, leading to mediocre performance and security risks.
Shared hosting can expose your Laravel app to potential threats from neighboring websites, as isolation is limited, making your data vulnerable.
Optimization is limited due to resource constraints. Shared hosting may not support advanced caching or scaling options for high traffic.
Consider VPS, dedicated servers, or managed Laravel hosting services, offering more control, resources, and tailored environments for Laravel applications.
Prioritize performance, security, and scalability by researching hosting providers, considering the specific needs of your Laravel application, and matching them to a suitable hosting plan.
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