PHP is a widely-used, open-source, general-purpose scripting language which is especially suited for web development. It is used to develop static and dynamic websites, as well as for developing web applications. Previously referred to as Personal Home Page, it is currently known as Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP has been in use for decades since its original creation by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lendorf in 1995.
Admittedly, that’s quite a history in the world of programming since then, there has been releases of more recent programming languages such as C#, Scratch, Python, Ruby etc. The question remains: ‘Is PHP still a relevant programming language?’ ‘Why do prpgrammers/developers still code in PHP?‘
- As of April 2007, over 20 million internet domains had web services hosted on servers with PHP installed. PHP was also recorded as the most popular Apache HTTP Server module.
- As of January 2013, PHP was used in more than 240 million websites and was installed on1 million web servers.
- As of August 2019, PHP was used as the server-code programming language on 78.8% of websites with Web Content Management Systems were written in PHP. Two of these popular are Facebook and WordPress.
- As of April 2020, 39.6% of all websites on the web used the PHP 7 (an updated version).
These stat. answer the question of relevance.
Here are some reasons why programmers still favor the use of PHP in coding.
Relatively Very Easy To Learn
PHP was, and is still is a very popular language. One of the reasons for this is that it is a very easy coding language to learn. This makes it a very good option for those who are new to programming and have no prior knowledge or experience. There are many available learning resources for PHP such as tutorials, manuals and many other reference materials. These are invaluable to a beginner to coding as they provide help, aid development of coding skills, making the learning process easier with gradually increased difficulty. It is safe to say that most developers started out with, or have worked with PHP at some point in their careers.
Wide Range Of Database
One of the most significant features of PHP is its support for a wide selection of databases. It includes free and open-source libraries in its source distribution. It has built-in modules for accessing File Transfer Protocols (FTP) servers and many other database servers such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL, POSTGRESQL etc. With more database options, the programmer can handle and redirect data easier and faster.
PHP is an open source. This means that the technology is free in all senses. It does not require any additional expensive software to work with – no need to pay for extra licenses or royalty fees. Most of the development tools used in combination with PHP can also be used free of charge. Also, the most common operating scenario for a PHP website is the LAMP stack. This component is free and the stack is well tested. This infer that the required time and funds for web development is greatly reduced.
A large community of programmers are working with PHP each day and are bringing positive enhancements to it. Also, since PHP is easy to learn, programmers can easily get in touch with experts through forums and blogs to discuss problems associated with PHP coding and get directions and guidance. Therefore programmers can learn faster and implement innovative solutions as soon as possible.
PHP’s open source allows developers to use any text editor for coding including Notebook ++, jEdit, etc. Also, the high-end scripting language is compatible with multiple platforms, which means developers can use any primary operating system like Windows, Linux, macOs. Such flexibility makes development faster and less costly.
Improved Loading Speed
PHP uses its own memory and as a result, both workload and loading time are reduced. A lower loading time is an important factor as the developer gets to deliver to the clients more quickly. This keeps the client satisfied and further enhances the developer’s credibility.
Availability Of Jobs
About 75% of the web is powered by PHP and all these websites will need periodical maintenance. It is safe to assume that there would be lots of jobs involving some sort of PHP coding and PHP developers would be needed for that. If you want to start a career as a PHP developer, you won’t run out of jobs anytime in the nearest future.
In conclusion, PHP has been in use for decades and will most likely be around for some time yet. Unlike some programming languages that decline rapidly in quality over time, PHP is being improved yearly. More diverse tasks such as data gathering, redirection, integration with mobile, etc are being done with PHP. Therefore, PHP remains a good choice of a programming language as it is easy to learn, highly flexible, and very cost-effective.