If you’re a developer you’re probably familiar with Heroku, the startup that was just acquired by Salesforce for $212 million in cash. Heroku helps developers deploy and scale their Ruby applications, effectively allowing them to outsource maintenance and administrative tasks so they can get to coding. Now there’s a new startup called PHP Fog that has a similar mission, except it’s hoping to make lives easier for PHP developers.
The company has just raised $1.8 million in funding in a round led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from First Round Capital, Founders Co-Op, and a number of angel investors. The service is still in private beta, but 100 TechCrunch readers can sign up right here.
Founder Lucas Carlson says that while PHP Fog has some similarities with Heroku, it has a few key differences (aside from the language). One is that PHP Fog gives each user their own virtual machine so that developers aren’t impacted by each other’s applications (Heroku has shared resources).
He also says that you can actually start building and scaling your website without having to write a line of code by taking advantage of the service’s ‘PHP App Store’, which offers one-click installs of apps like WordPress and Drupal. But most developers will probably be taking advantage of the service’s full git integration.
Finally, he points out that the base of PHP developers is sixty times larger than Ruby’s, and that there’s more diversity, with many developers using apps like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and others.
PHP Fog isn’t the only service looking to offer developers a Heroku-like platform for languages other than Ruby. We recently wrote about DotCloud, which aims to offer similar services for a wide variety of languages. Carlson is skeptical about this goal, explaining that he doesn’t think it will be possible for them to offer the specialized service that some developers need. Another competitor is CloudControl, which also offers a PHP solution.
AppFog (formerly PHP Fog) provides instant installation and N-tier scalable cloud deployment for PHP and other applications. AppFog allows one click installations of popular tools like Drupal and WordPress, and extend this with super simple scaling tools. In the past, deploying PHP and similar apps was as painful as configuring Windows 95 network settings. AppFog makes cloud deployment, scaling and running apps as simple as installing an iPhone app.