about PHP language

PHP: A Comprehensive Overview of Server-Side Scripting Language

As you know, website design is divided into two parts: user and server side. This article will introduce you to one of the most popular server-side programming languages. This language, known as PHP among programmers, provides many benefits to its users.

Over the last two decades, PHP has proven to be a robust and reliable solution, drawing many developers to it. But what exactly is PHP, and what makes it so popular? In this article, we answer the question of what is PHP programming language and explore this language’s uses, benefits, and job market. In the following, we will introduce some technology leaders who use this popular language. We will address the constant question, is PHP’s age over?

What is PHP used for?

We want to discuss the PHP language and its uses. In that case, PHP is a popular open-source scripting language created specifically for website design and content production and can be used in formats including HTML. Instead of putting many C or Perl codes and tags, you can easily publish your output in HTML format with fewer and easier codes.

PHP programming language has unique tags for start and end, which you can quickly enter in PHP mode in your HTML code by using the above tags. One of the types of hosting suitable for sites designed with this language is Linux or Cpanel.

Besides web development, PHP can also be used to develop desktop applications. Nevertheless, this language is frequently used in web development and tasks such as back-end development. While PHP benefits almost everyone, it is more common among web programmers.

PHP benefits for web development

PHP is a universally compatible scripting language, boasting seamless integration across all major operating systems, including Linux, Windows, and MacOS. It also boasts widespread support for leading web servers such as Apache and IIS. Its versatility shines in customizing WordPress content management systems, offering a comprehensive approach to website customization. PHP distinguishes itself with robust online support and comprehensive documentation, making it an accessible option even for newcomers to programming. For people who want to enter the programming field, we recommend reading the article “How to become a programmer” in addition to this article.

The execution of PHP occurs on the server-side, rendering its output in HTML for user interaction. Integrating PHP into HTML is straightforward, requiring only the insertion of <? at the beginning of the PHP segment within the HTML structure. This initiates the PHP scripting, which can be concluded with ?>, signaling the end of PHP code within an HTML document.

But why choose PHP among the myriad of programming languages? Beyond its primary application in server-side scripting, it has many more features, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Cross-platform and desktop applications developed through the PHP-GTK extension illustrate its adaptability.
  • PHP scripts can be run from the command line without a web browser or server.
  • PHP is used to develop messaging bots for platforms such as Facebook, Slack, and Telegram and has significantly contributed to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • A wide range of libraries and frameworks enhance PHP’s functionality due to its exceptional compatibility with other programming languages. Zend, Symfony, Laravel, and Yii are popular frameworks demonstrating PHP’s flexibility and robustness.

In summary, PHP’s comprehensive features, including its cross-platform support, ease of integration into web and desktop applications, and its pivotal role in emerging technologies, prove its value in contemporary web development scenarios.

about PHP language

What are the advantages of PHP over other server-side languages?

PHP is a dynamic and adaptable scripting language, appealing to many developers, from beginners to experienced professionals. Due to its continuous evolution, it remains relevant despite rapid technological changes. Notably, PHP is ranked as the sixth most popular programming language globally, according to the Popularity Index of Programming Languages (PYPL), highlighting its significant presence in the programming world. PHP has many advantages, including:

Ease of learning for beginners 

PHP distinguishes itself by its ease of learning compared to other programming languages. It offers a gentle learning curve, especially for beginners who can start by integrating PHP into HTML.

Versatility in applications 

PHP’s flexibility is obvious in its wide range of applications. This includes creating and managing blogs, desktop applications, and social networks, developing e-commerce sites, and facilitating email communication.

Abundant resources and documentation 

Many documentation and learning resources are available online for PHP developers. Learning PHP and advancing your skills with countless online tutorials and guides is easier than ever.

Exceptional performance 

PHP’s standout feature is its speed, particularly compared to other server-side languages like Python. PHP’s performance enhances website loading times, improving SEO ranking.

Open-source advantage 

As an open-source language, PHP enjoys robust support from a global community of developers. This collective backing fosters continuous improvement and innovation and significantly reduces development costs.

Cross-platform compatibility 

PHP’s flexibility extends to operating systems. Whether you’re working on Mac, Windows, or Linux, PHP seamlessly adapts, ensuring developers can work in their preferred environment without constraints.

In summary, PHP’s blend of accessibility for beginners, multiple capabilities, extensive support resources, superior speed, cost-effective open-source nature, and cross-platform compatibility establishes it as a preferred choice over other server-side languages for a wide range of applications.

What are PHP’s disadvantages?

Along with all the advantages PHP provides to its users, there are also some drawbacks that we will introduce below. Remember, to improve your performance, it is better to familiarize yourself with a language’s features before you start learning it. The following are the disadvantages of this language:

  • PHP is not suitable for desktop applications
  • It runs slower than other programs
  • PHP may have security bugs
  • It takes more time to resolve PHP errors than other programming languages
  • Less security than the net
about PHP language

Several websites are built with PHP

Several famous sites use PHP for their design. In the following, we provide a list of websites that use PHP.

  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo
  • Tumblr
  • WordPress content management system

Is learning PHP challenging?

PHP programming language stands out as one of the easiest languages to learn. Naturally, an individual’s experience learning PHP can vary based on their approach and programming background.

Can PHP be used in front-end development?

PHP is a server-side or back-end language. It operates on the server, and its scripts facilitate communication with client-side or front-end code. In the article “What is Back-End Programming?” you can read more about back-end programming and the programming languages it requires.

Get to know PHP frameworks

Frameworks are a platform for building PHP web applications. They use code libraries for common functions, reducing original code. The frameworks developed for this language provide the basic structure to facilitate web application development and are used by most developers. In the following, we will introduce some of the most well-known and efficient ones.

  • Laravel
  • Symfony
  • Laminas Project
  • FalconFuelPHP
  • CakePHP
  • YiiSlim
  • Codelgniter

PHP job market

Thousands of websites and web applications are launched every day, making PHP programmers for hire in high demand. PHP’s role in web development cannot be overstated; its adaptability and excellent performance have been game-changers for web applications, signaling a growing demand for skilled PHP developers.

PHP developers are crucial in the digital era, where business strategies are increasingly web-centric and e-commerce is booming. They bridge the gap between companies and their clientele, crafting unique websites that adapt to specific business needs and enhance customer interaction.

Is PHP’s era over?

The rise of alternative programming languages like JavaScript, Python, and Golang, which offer robust server-side solutions, might suggest a decline in PHP’s popularity. As a result, we must ask critical questions: What is the future of PHP? How much is PHP developer salary?

However, the evidence suggests otherwise. Despite criticisms and declining predictions, PHP is used by 80% of web servers worldwide. This statistic shows its enduring presence; eight of ten websites rely on PHP, necessitating ongoing support, updates, and maintenance.

Furthermore, major digital platforms and websites such as WordPress, Facebook, Wikipedia, and Slack continue to employ PHP. Alternative languages would likely replace PHP if it were truly near the end of its lifecycle. However, such shifts are rare, given the significant resources and potential complications in migrating large-scale systems.

Despite the ever-changing tech landscape, PHP maintains a crucial role in web development. PHP developers remain in high demand due to widespread use and the continuous need for PHP-driven websites and applications. There is no evidence that PHP’s era has ended, as its widespread use and critical role in modern web infrastructure refute that theory.

about PHP language

How to learn PHP?

One of the biggest problems with learning this language is that people newly introduced to this field need help knowing where to start and how to proceed. Professional programmers usually provide the best guidance. Their experiences help trainees escape confusion and learn PHP in the most effective way possible. In the following, we will share some key points about this issue.

Define the need and why we want to learn PHP

An essential first step in any project is to determine the purpose. Knowing your purpose will make you more eager to learn and know you are not wasting your time. To become a professional at this language, you must spend at least a few years learning it. Therefore, it is better to start learning it when you have chosen the right path.

Learning the basic concepts of programming

Programming languages are a set of basic principles and concepts. If you are new to PHP, it is better to familiarize yourself with loops and their applications. A programmer who uses another language is usually more comfortable in these parts and progresses more rapidly.

Final thoughts

As you know, website design is done using user-side and server-side languages. One of the most famous server-side languages is PHP. This language has specific features you should know to choose it as a programming language. In this article, we explain what PHP is and its features.

You can find more information on other programming topics, such as “What is a 10x programmer?”.

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