I use a VPS hosted by Hosting24 for improving my knowledge of PHP, and other web-based programming languages. Their VPS is not only fast, but easy to setup and use. They offer many builds (Ubuntu 14.04, and many more). Their live chat has been open whenever I've needed help, and their support employees are very friendly, and even helped people like me when I was a shit Sys admin. They also offer good, and comprehensive guides to using SSH, and your VPS.
I would greatly recommend getting your Shared Hosting, or VPS services from here.
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