Surely you have heard about PHP. The reason is that it’s one of the oldest programming languages. Further, it has been around us for around 28 years! But, you might think: "Wait, isn't PHP dead?" "Aren't there better and newer programming languages?" "Why do we still care about this old friend?" Well, stay tuned because we can answer these questions. This article will discuss why PHP is still relevant and far from retiring.
What is PHP Lang?
Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is an open-source programming and server scripting language. Created by Rasmus Lenford, it's a general-purpose scripting language. Moreover, it helps develop static or dynamic web pages and apps in HTML codes. It's one of the first Back-End languages able to embed HTML. This feature makes it easier to add functionalities without calling external files for data. Later, it evolved with regular updates, features, and capabilities. Moreover, it's compatible with many databases and can communicate with many services.
Is PHP a Programming Language?
Well, yes and no. While it is a language, it's not a programming one. Instead, PHP is a scripting language. The main difference between these types of languages lies in their purposes. Programming languages focus on setting instructions to communicate with computers. Contrariwise, scripting languages automate operations within runtime environments. Nevertheless, PHP is open-source, server-side, and general-purpose. Thus, it has many uses in web development and user interface.
7 Key Features of PHP
As we mentioned, PHP is a programming language with open-source software. This concept means that it's free to use and distribute. Everyone can download PHP to develop websites without any payment. You are entitled not to consider it one of the most appealing languages. Yet, we have some strengths that show why PHP is still relevant nowadays:
1. Free. First, besides being open source, PHP has many frameworks. Like PHP itself, these are open-source, some of them including Laravel and Symfony. This first trait is very appealing because it helps control company costs.
2. Ease. Since it's pretty easy, it's part of beginners' learning processes. It's a good starting point if you need to gain extensive knowledge! Consequently, most people can create websites with a single PHP file in shorter periods.
3. Versatility. Some of PHP's main benefits are its versatility and adaptability. This language operates on various platforms, including Windows, Linux, and Unix. Also, it works with lots of databases, like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle. It's often combined with Apache HTTP Server and compatible with Microsoft's IIS.
4. Support. Because it's a veteran and widely used language, PHP has a large and loyal community base. For instance, many tutorials, FAQs, and tips help its developers. Also, its constant updates keep pushing boundaries of what the language can achieve.
5. Speed + Security. Okay, these are two facts, but they show that PHP is stable and efficient. As you might know, there are a few critical features a company's website must have. To do so, PHP uses its memory and competes well on speed, especially while using newer versions. Also, it’s as secure as other languages on cyber security. It has tools and tips to fix vulnerabilities and protect sites from cyberattacks.
6. Stability. PHP has supported significant sites, like Facebook and Wikipedia, for over 25 years. For a long time, it has had many improvements. A vast upgrade includes memory control and escalation for multiple user requests.
7. Legacy. Last but not least, PHP's legacy comes as an essential point of its stability. Its age and permanence have extensive testing, and its most common bugs and errors don’t come as often. As a result, the language is more stable and trusted.
Not considering PHP can be a mistake! Further, a costly one. On top of all these strengths, the amount of sites written with it speaks for itself. Also, it's easier to find devs who handle PHP, aside from their personal preferences.
Comparing PHP with Other Languages
You might be thinking: aren't most languages or frameworks able to perform the same things as PHP? The answer is yes. Because of this, we'd also like to talk about other popular tools. We hope it helps you to make well-informed decisions on your next project.
PHP vs. Python
Python is another popular programming language, beloved for its simplicity and flexibility. Its most frequent uses encompass Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. But it still trails far behind PHP in web development. Yes, Python has an increasing number of frameworks and libraries. Yet, it doesn't provide PHP's levels of connectivity and support.
PHP vs. Ruby
Another open-source language that has been around since the 90s is Ruby. Often, it's used the popular framework Ruby on Rails. Some huge pros of Ruby are its elegant syntax and its robust performance. But, it’s more challenging to learn and has a different level of community support than PHP.
As a summary, and to answer the big question: yes! PHP is still alive and thriving, dear friends. Even with new languages around, there are no signs of decomposition yet. More than 50% of the total websites on the internet today have PHP as the back end. PHP has been the leading tech to develop millions of websites for almost three decades. Moreover, there are few signs of downsides in the market. While we cannot assure you what the future holds, we hope future updates keep it relevant for a long time. Its qualities and community are remarkable. We hope this article helped you at least consider PHP for your following projects!