Of course its not a sauce but if you run a Linux server you Do need it in abundance 🙂

PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. Web site developers use PHP based on their specific needs because HTML output requires a lot of commands to execute. Instead of this cumbersome activity we can use PHP instead. PHP pages contain HTML with embedded code that notifies the inclusion of the PHP script. The PHP code is enclosed in special start and end processing instructions that allow you to jump into and out of “PHP mode.” There are various methods of PHP available from existing web hosting companies. PHP allows user to switch between methods.

The default method that runs your account is the ultra fast mod_php apache module. Web hosting companies provide mod_php built directly into the web server which help process your php pages inside the web server process itself. Now there’s no need to create a new process for php.

PHP is also capable of providing control and security to developers. Web Hosts give you the option to run all or parts of your site with php as a CGI (Common Gateway Interface). Your scripts will still run fast but have the added protection and convenience of running as your user. You’ll also have access to your own php.ini. They also give you the option of running php4 on part (or all) of your site. This is useful for running older scripts that are not compatible with php5. It is also helpful if you need to move a site that relies on php4 and cannot be updated to php5 compatibility.

Some web hosts provide custom php build features. Some customers may require highly specific needs for their php build. They are provided with tools to do their own build and then install the totally custom php binary to run the site.
It is very important the web host you choose fully understand the features and functionalities of php. Choose a company with experience in debugging problems. Look for companies that provide the following features:

Hosting with your own private php.ini
Php options inside of apache’s .htaccess file
Fully configurable upload size, post size and memory size
Installations of non-standard PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) modules on request

There are literally thousands of web hosts to choose from but choose the web host that best satisfy your needs whether its e-commerce or photography. Understanding your website requirements helps later when it grows into a phenomenon.

Thankfully if you host with us you have all the above features built into your hosting control panel 🙂

Mark