Quick MySQL 5 penetration survey

December 10th, 2006. Tagged: mysql

In a previous post about the MySQL triggers, I mentioned that inexpensive web hosts are now offering MySQL 5. This was based on ICDsoft's hosting plan, this is a (highly recommended, awesome support!) company I've been using for years and I was thinking that it represents the avegarge $50-60/year web hosting solutions offered worldwide, which is what most people use when they start a web site.

I decided to do a quick check what is the status of the MySQL 5 penetration today. Turns out, not so bright. Here are the results:

  • bluehost - 4
  • hostgator - 4
  • lunarpages - 5
  • ipowerweb - 4, on demand 5
  • anhosting - 4
  • hostmonster - 4
  • ixwebhosting - 4
  • startlogic - 4
  • powweb - 4
  • dreamhost - "slowly upgrading" to 5
  • site5 - 4, no specific plans for a 5 date
  • yahoo - 4
  • laughingsquid - 4

How was the survey conducted? Googling I found webhostingjury.com, than this webhostingjungle.com review site, and I checked the top ten hosts, all of them happened to be less than $10 a month. Then I added those that I know - site5 and dreamhost and finally those that are listed on wordpress.org/hosting. I can only hope that most hosts don't update their FAQ pages, but they do update their MySQL.

Interesting reads while doing the survey:

  • "We will upgrade ... when cPanel upgrades" (source). I sent an email to cPanel® support to ask for their plans, waiting.
  • "We strongly recommend that you use the MySQL 5 database engine for your applications... better supported ... more features" (ICDSoft's support)
  • "upgrade could cause some breakage of your application" (Dreamhost's wiki)

I guess that last one explains it best. Basically the same as what happened with hosts unwilling to upgrade to PHP5, because some older and popular free apps would be broken. I hope more hosts start offering both 4 and 5, like ICDSoft do, as a transition. And maybe the break-through will be when cPanel® upgrades, since this is probably what most hosts are using.

Anyway, the good news is that if you want good and cheap web host with MySQL 5 support, you have options, however limited.

I got a promising response from cPanel® support:

cPanel and WHM already supports MySQL 5 and in fact we recommend it for all new installations of our product.

However, the problem with MySQL 5 and why most web hosting companies hesitate to implement it has to do with PHP Scripts. Many PHP scripts have a habit of breaking under MySQL 5 and rather than having many angry customers, they'd rather stick with MySQL 4.1.

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