PHP is a powerful server-side programming language with many uses in the real world. PHP still powers about 78.8% of the web and many of the world’s most powerful applications have their roots in PHP1. One of its superpowers is its ability to run large-scale applications. Facebook, Wikipedia, MailChimp, Magento, Tumblr, Drupal, Moodle, and WordPress to name a few.
- It powers 78.8% of the web
- It is free software
- Extendable using C or C++
- Great online support and documentation
PHP is free software released under the PHP License. This means you can use it for commercial purposes and profit from it. It uses an interpreter powered by the Zend Engine.
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It meant Personal Home Page when it was first created. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language. Rasmus Lerdorf created PHP in 1993 but published its first release in 1995. He wrote it as a series of C programs also known as Common Gateway Interface (CGI). He wanted to create a set of tools to maintain his personal homepage. He never intended it to become a programming language. It evolved in an organic way to where it is today.2
PHP’s main use is as a server-side programming language. Developers use it to create dynamic websites and web applications. It also has many uses beyond creating applications for the web. PHP enables the creation of standalone graphical applications and robotic drone control. It can also run straight from the command line independent of a web server. One can extend it using C or C++ extensions to create functionality that is project specific. Or that it improves software runtimes.
I started using PHP back in 2007 for my first client project. I used Microsoft ASP Technologies, Java Servet Pages (JSP), and Perl. I was starting my first company in the US at the time. I did not have the resources to buy Enterprise Software licenses. I also had not had good experience programming closed-source applications. The support was not very reliable and when a critical error happened, there was no easy way to fix it. Applications would experience outages for hours and sometimes days.
I needed a reliable programming language that had great online support. PHP was free software with great online support. There were lots of documentation available. A growing community of programmers that were sharing information online. Most websites used it and it was stable. I have since used it to develop real-time web-based applications. Rich Internet Applications (RIA). I have used it to power multi-player video games created in Flash and ActionScript. I have developed interfaces, APIs, and all sorts of maintenance scripts. This is why I still use it today and will continue using it for foreseeable future for the right projects.
PHP is a powerful and reliable programming language that is great for business. If you write well-coded applications with good security standards. You will have peace of mind. Your application will perform well in a production environment.
- “Usage statistics of PHP for websites”. W3Techs - World Wide Web Technology Surveys. W3Techs. 26 April 2021. Retrieved 2022–11–20.
- “PHP”. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PHP. Retrieved 2022–11–20.