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What is PHP: Definitions, Strengths & Usages

Software Development   -  

December 26, 2022

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PHP, which is an abbreviation for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor,” is a scripting language that can be used for many different things. It is open source and is used a lot. It works well for building websites and can be used with HTML. You might need to do more research, though, to get a better understanding of what PHP is. This post was written with that goal in mind.

Specifically, in this article, Designveloper will introduce you to the world of PHP so that you can learn how it works and what its main features are. By the end of this, you’ll feel equipped with knowledge to delve into PHP.

What is PHP?

PHP is a well-known open-source programming language that is often used to make online apps. PHP used to stand for “personal home page,” but now it stands for “hypertext preprocessor.” which is the same thing. But it’s likely that you won’t hear that name again.

In general, PHP is an open-source server-side programming language that can be used to build things like websites, apps, and customer relationship management systems, among other things. It is a programming language that can be used for many things and can be added to HTML. PHP has stayed a popular language among developers because it can work with HTML. This is because PHP makes HTML code easier to understand.

History

In the beginning, PHP was an acronym that stood for “Personal Homepage.” But now it stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a recursive acronym. (It’s recursive in the sense that the first word is also an abbreviation, so the full meaning doesn’t come after the abbreviation.)

This scripting language was first used in 1994, and the next year was its first year on the market. Rasmus Lerdorf was the one who started it, and there have been many different versions of it up until now. Version 8.1.2 of PHP, which came out on January 21, 2022, is the most recent version.

What is PHP?

W3Tech did a survey and found that the language was used to build about 79% of the websites in their database. It is not only used to build the web apps of tech giants like Facebook, but also many CMS (Content Management Systems) like WordPress, Drupal, Shopify, and WooCommerce. We will delve into this further in the next section.

Market

Even though PHP is used in many parts of web development, there is a lot of doubt in the market about how useful it is in the web development industry as it is now. Some of the more recent and powerful programming languages that are often used for server-side development are Python and JavaScript (NodeJS).

In reality, PHP is not going away and is not going down in popularity. Statistics show that about 78.1% of websites now use PHP, and 70.4% of those use version 7. In a simpler explanation, if there are 10 websites online, eight of them will use scripts written in PHP. About 20 million websites and apps use this programming language, and it may be used by many more than that.

The score is also higher for developers who are good at PHP. Some of the most well-known PHP sites are WordPress, Opencart, Magento, Facebook, and many others. In the United States, PHP developers make an average of about $86,000 per year.

Recommended reading: 5 Best PHP Courses to Become a Master

Uses

PHP programming can meet almost all of a software developer’s needs. Still, it does best in three main places. The first one is scripting that is run on the server. PHP is a great programming language to learn if you are just starting out and want to try out server-side scripting. You will need a web browser, a web server, and a PHP parser to get started with PHP server-side scripting.

The second most common use for PHP is command-line scripting. Creating scripts with cron (Linux) or Task Scheduler is a good example of when command-line scripting could be useful (Windows). It also does a great job of separating simple text.

The last one is developing programs for desktop computers. PHP is probably not the best language to use for making desktop apps, but if you are an experienced web developer, it gives you a lot more freedom than its competitors.

PHP can, of course, also do a great deal of other things. For example, it does a good job of collecting information from forms, encrypting user information, and sending and receiving cookies. Because PHP works with all of the major operating systems, people can use it to write code on any kind of computer hardware. This is one of the main reasons so many people use PHP.

5 Advantages of PHP

PHP is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It has become the language of choice for web servers over the course of more than a decade. Below are some of the good things about PHP.

1. Cross-Platform 

PHP is platform-independent. You don’t need a certain operating system to use it because it works on Macs, Windows computers, and Linux computers.

5 Advantages of PHP

You don’t have to worry about compatibility because PHP can be installed on all of the major operating systems. This also means that you can work with other people on a project without worrying about them getting access to the code.

2. Open-Source

PHP is free for anyone to use. The original source code is available to anyone who wants to make changes to it. This is one of the reasons why Laravel, which is one of its frameworks, is used by so many people.

Since PHP is a free programming language that is also open source, you don’t have to worry about extra costs when you are building your project.

3. Beginner-Friendly

PHP is not hard to learn, even for people who have never done it before. If you’ve done programming before, it won’t take you long to figure it out.

Because PHP has been around for so long, there is also already a large community to help you and a lot of legacy code that can help you get started on projects.

4. Database Synchronization

PHP is easy to connect to any database, whether it is a relational database or not. This makes sure that it can quickly connect to any database, whether it’s MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB, or something else.

5. Tools

PHP gives you a lot of different kinds of help, such as integration, code hints, syntax highlighting, and much more. You can use tools to help you with almost every part of working with PHP.

Recommended reading: 12 Free HTML5 Resources to Learn for Newbies

15 Examples of Websites Using PHP

PHP is a scripting language that runs on the server and lets people make dynamic and interactive websites, apps, and e-commerce platforms. PHP is perfect for tasks like making dynamic web pages, sending emails, collecting data through web forms, and sending and receiving cookies. PHP’s ability to save, delete, and change information in a database makes it a great starting point for building web applications like content management systems (CMS), custom online databases, eCommerce websites, gaming applications, and community portals. It can also be used to make web pages that change over time.

When it comes to making a strong digital experience that strengthens the relationship between a brand and its customers and gives you a competitive edge, PHP is the only language that can do it.

Let’s take a look at how PHP is used in the real world, shall we?

1. Wikipedia

Wikipedia

Nothing is changed more often than Wikipedia when it comes to adding new content. PHP’s reliability and ability to grow are what made it possible for Wikipedia to grow at a rate of 1.9 changes per second and 594 new entries each day.

2. Facebook

Facebook

Facebook has more than 2.9 billion users all over the world, so both its desktop and mobile websites need to be able to handle a lot of traffic all the time. In 2004, the site’s founders, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, wrote all of the code for the site in PHP. In 2010, the company started using HipHop for PHP, a tool that allowed any source code to be translated into the source code of another programming language. HipHop for PHP can turn any source code into any other programming language’s source code.

3. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Mailchimp has a large share of the email market (60.51%) and helps more than 12 million users. All of this is done on a PHP basis.

4. Yahoo

Yahoo

When Yahoo first started, it was a PHP-only website, and the language was used to run its Mail, Answers, and News sections. In order to compete with Google, the company switched to a framework that could support more than one programming language. PHP, on the other hand, gave Yahoo a solid start in the market.

5. Canva

Canva

Canva has grown a lot in the past few years. It now has a photo editor that is easy to use and templates that can be used to make graphics for the web or for print. Ten million people in 179 different countries are using the well-known design platform right now.

6. Slack

Slack

Since its start in 2009, the communication and collaboration app Slack has been run by PHP. Because simplicity and effectiveness are so important to Slack, the company has made it a goal to use PHP as much as possible in all of its products and services. This choice makes a lot of sense.

Recommended reading: The 5 Best Web App Languages in 2022

7. Tumblr

Tumblr

In the past few years, Tumblr has changed hands a few times, but one thing has stayed the same: the website still uses PHP. People know that Tumblr is a good place to find funny memes and strange things to read online. Tumblr has been helping its users find the content they like best and giving them a taste of what’s popular online every day for the past six years.

8. WordPress

Wordpress

WordPress is not only one of the most well-known projects built on PHP and MySQL, but it is also one of the most widely used content management systems. The content management system WordPress is used to make more than 500 new websites every single day. PHP is used in every part of WordPress to make it easier to talk to the database, get information from it, and then output that information as static HTML.

9. Spotify

Spotify

The cloud-based music site Spotify is run by the PHP programming language. Spotify has become one of the most popular music services in the world because users can find millions of songs by doing a simple search. Spotify’s popularity has also been helped by the fact that the company keeps using and improving PHP code.

10. Skillshare

Skillshare

Users of Skillshare, an online learning platform that works on a subscription-based business model, can pay either monthly or annually to access the different e-learning courses that are available on the platform. As part of the platform’s technology stack, PHP is used for back-end development on the Skillshare web-based learning platform. By clicking here, you can see Skillshare’s entire technology stack, which is listed on StackShare.

11. Flickr

Flickr

Flickr is a website for sharing photos that is home to more than 10 million groups and billions of photos. In addition, they use the LAMP architecture to support their website. PHP is their main language for the server side, MySQL is their database management system, and Memcached is their caching layer.

12. Drupal

Drupal

Drupal is a free and open-source content management system that is used by millions of people and businesses around the world to build their websites. W3Techs says that only 1.9% of all websites on the internet use it. Symfony is a PHP framework that is used by Drupal as part of its technology stack. Because Drupal is so popular, it is a great model to look at if you want to make your own content management system with PHP.

13. Magento

The eCommerce platform Magento, which is now called Adobe Commerce, is focused on making online shopping easier and more efficient for customers. PHP was the technology that made this experience possible, and the website still uses PHP’s basic architecture for its object-oriented applications.

14. Delivery Hero

Delivery Hero

This is a great shipping program that can be used in more than 50 different countries. These services can also bring you food from restaurants and items from stores. Delivery Hero hired a PHP web development company to improve the functionality of the company’s website.

15. Etsy

Etsy

Etsy is one of the best places to buy and sell handmade goods and craft supplies online. It has 4.36 million active sellers and 81.9 million active buyers. In 2020, the market brought in a total of 1.72 billion dollars. Etsy is one of the biggest PHP-powered marketplaces, and it uses HHVM to speed up its performance. Etsy is a business that competes in the retail market.

FURTHER READING:
1. Stacks and Queues in Data Structures
2. What Is Big Data Analytics and How It Useful for Business?
3. HTML5 Tutorial: The Basics

Conclusion

PHP is still a language that is used a lot and is seen as important when it comes to building websites. Even though PHP is often made fun of and people argue about whether or not it is still useful, PHP developers are still able to make a good living with it. It looks like PHP won’t be going away any time soon.

But if you have more questions about PHP or want to use this scripting language to make your online solution work like a pro, you should leave the job to experts like Designveloper who are well-versed in the field. Don’t be afraid to contact us if there’s anything about web development that you need help with.

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