If you are thinking of building a Facebook application, you may already be knowing that you have to have a hosting server external to Facebook.
Basically, when you create a Facebook app, you give Facebook the URL to your application. That application (say a simple webpage) resides on your server.
When someone tries to view it from Facebook (http://app.Facebook.com/yourAppName/) it will forward the request, along with some special keys for validation, to your application’s server. All your application code is on your hosting server, and from there it can make calls back to Facebook’s API/web services to get any needed data.
Then you process the data and generate the output which is displayed in the Facebook application iframe.
Now, if you are seriusly into Facebook app, you will definitely need a dedicated server or atleast a VPS. Because anyways you will expect some serius traffic and, most probably, some monetization. If your application involves quite some processing and image manipulation, you got to get something better than shared hosting.
The Bad about Facebook Application Hosting
Facebook has been known for the wicked bugs in it’s platform and lot’s of unhappy surprises.
There is bad news if you are making Facebook applications as a hobbyist. From October 2011 onward everyone interested into developing a Facebook App will require an SSL certificate in order to allow the application running. An SSL certificate can cost you somewhere between $50-$150 a year per domain. And it’s quite some trouble getting SSL certificates setup on shared servers. You need to pay for dedicated IP addresses for your domains.
So, What would be the most cost-effective hosting for my Facebook App?
Keeping all that in mind, your best bet will be to buy a VPS ( or shared hosting for small apps) hosting account from a company that offers relatively inexpensive SSL certificates. Inmotion Hosting‘s shared accounts do perform well for small Facebook apps. They sell Comodo SSL certificates for $99.95 a year. The good point is they do not charge extra for a dedicated IP which would otherwise cost you $2 per month.
However, they do not have the SSL info documented extensively. You may use the live chat option to discuss the SSL details before making any purchase.
HostGator‘s SSL certificates are from Comodo as well. However, the costs are between $50 to $150 per year. And they do charge you $2 per month per dedicated IP. Not a bad deal though.
There have been companies that provide free hosting for FB apps; with certain terms and conditions. If you are running a facebook application from a FREE hosting provider, do let our readers know about it.