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perrin (4270)

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Perrin is a contributor to various Perl-related projects like mod_perl, Template Toolkit, and Class::DBI. He is a frequent speaker at OSCON, YAPC, and ApacheCon, and a contributor to several perl-related books.

Journal of perrin (4270)

Wednesday July 08, 2009
08:31 AM

There is no Perl web hosting problem!

[ #39253 ]

I keep seeing people refer to some kind of crisis in the world of cheap Perl web hosting. They talk about ISPs not supporting mod_perl and invoke PHP as an evil horde conquering all hosts.

Well, I'm fine with PHP, and congratulate it on its success. However, Perl is not in trouble.

First, for those who do want the full power of a mod_perl installation, or want to choose their own version of perl, their own webserver, etc., virtual hosting with root is available for about $30-$35 a month. That's not much for getting your own box. And yes, there's mod_perl hosting out there too, but I can't see why you'd use it when you can get full control this cheaply.

But obviously not everyone wants to administer their own system, so for everyone else there is FastCGI. Hosts with FastCGI are available for $5-$10 a month! Even if PHP became available for $2, that wouldn't be enough of a difference to matter. And FastCGI works just fine for perl.

There are other things you can complain about if you really want to: installing modules on some hosts is not obvious, and configuring FastCGI on some is not well-documented. However, unlike pricing, those are problems you can solve yourself. So please stop with the ISP panic. Perl web hosting is alright.

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  • Can you link to some of those complaints? The ones I see are peolpe pointing out that with PHP, you can FTP a file over and it magically works. That's not typically the case with "out of the box" mod_perl or FastCGI, but it's one of the two (in my opinion) killer features that PHP offers out of the box. Or have I missed these complaints?

    The other "killer feature" is one that we tend to scream about: just upload a Web page with embedded PHP and it magically works. People forget what a huge appeal there

    • He didn't link to it, but I have a sneaky suspicion he's referring to this [] ;-)

    • If you search PerlMonks for things like "cheap hosting" you'll see a lot of hand-wringing about PHP and people describing this as a mod_perl problem.

      What you're saying about ease of getting started with PHP is true, and personally I'm not interested in fighting that battle, but people who are should probably work on getting Mason included in the perl core. It runs fine on FastCGI and delivers a similar experience.

  • If the smallest possible installation for a mod_perl application is in the range of $US450 a year, that's quite a bit for small operators.

    If they can find something for $100, they'll use whatever is needed to be able to afford that (bearing in mind many people are from locations where their currency is weaker).

    • I had no trouble finding hosting that supports mod_perl for $30/month, but people who are really broke will probably use FastCGI, which I found for $6/month. I can't see costs this low being a barrier for people.

      • Hey, I want to sign up!

        Could you and people give some URLs for these great, money saving, perl smoking, isps? And experiences?

        I use 1&1 ( and like it, but their cheapest tier lost out a bit a while ago.


        • I didn't look hard for these -- just found them on the first page of Google results. The names are here [].

    • It probably is the people who are using the $100/year solutions that are generating these complaints. I don't blame them - if I had to deal with the issues of an $8/month hosting account I'd be complaining too.