Skip to content
Fragmented Development

Mind Your Versions

This blog, the main site, and many of my other sites are hosted by the "colorful" web host GoDaddy. I use them for several reasons, like reliability (100% uptime on their Linux servers) and their reasonable price. In fact, I have been an extremely happy customer – almost a fanboy – but I have run across a dilemma.

GoDaddy, for some reason, has stuck hard with PHP 4. When I became involved in PHP programming, PHP 5 was still brand new, shiny, and untested. At that time, I would have understood if they chose to stick with PHP 4, because it was the reliable language and PHP 5 was still a tad experimental. But right now, half a decade since I started developing with PHP, version 4 has seen it's last update. We'll be dealing with PHP 6 soon, and it's extremely hard to go backwards. The transition between versions has been such a sea change that you almost need to develop parallel versions of your scripts to offer backwards compatibility.

This is a very specific problem, so I'm going to make an analogy: developing for PHP 4 would be like, in my opinion, running Windows 95 now. Sure, you may be able to do most everything in the old version, but it's like riding your bike backwards and upside down. Possible, but annoying as hell.

To their credit, GoDaddy is planning an upgrade to their platform and I've opted-in to it. However, I'm not sure I can wait for them to catch up. So... do I leave my beloved reliable host or do I stick around and wait?

For now, I'm brushing up on my PHP 4. We'll see how long that flies.

Tags: php server

Add Your Comment