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PHP in 2022: Ride or Die?

Ivana Pererira

Table of Contents

Back to Basics
What can PHP do?
PHP’s competitors
Conclusion

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 be thinking: “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. In this article, we’ll discuss why PHP is still relevant and far from retiring.

Back to Basics

Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) is an open source programming and server scripting language. Created by Rasmus Lenford, it’s usually used as a general purpose scripting language. Moreover, it’s useful to develop static or dynamic web pages, and web apps included in HTML codes. It’s one of the first Back-End languages able to embed HTML. This makes it easier to add functionalities without calling external files for data. Its use has evolved over the years, with regular updates, features, and capabilities. What’s more, it’s compatible with a lot of databases and able to communicate with many services. We’ll be introducing those right below.

PHP Basics

What can PHP do?

As we mentioned, PHP is a programming language with an open source software. This means that it’s free to use and distribute. Everyone can download PHP to develop and create websites without any payment. You are 100% entitled to not consider it one of the most appealing languages. Yet, we have to introduce some strengths that show why PHP is still relevant nowadays:

Free

First of all, besides being open source, PHP has a wide range of frameworks. Like PHP itself, these are open source, and some of them include Laravel and Symfony. This is a very appealing feature, because it helps to control company costs.

Easy

Since it’s an easy programming language, it’s part of beginners’ learning processes. Because of this, it’s a good starting point if you don’t have extensive knowledge on the matter. As a consequence, most people can create websites with a single PHP file in shorter periods.

Versatil

Some of PHP’s main benefits are its versatility and adaptability. This language operates on a variety of 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 it’s compatible with Microsoft’s IIS as well.

Support

Because it’s a veteran and widely used language, PHP has its large and loyal community base. For instance, there are tons of tutorials, FAQs and tips to help its developers. Also, its constant updates keep pushing boundaries of what the language can achieve.

Fast & Secure

Okay, we know these are two facts, but they come together to show that PHP is both stable and efficient. As you might know, there are a few important features a company’s website must have. To do so, PHP uses its own 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.

Stability

PHP has been supporting major sites, like Facebook and Wikipedia, for over 25 years. For a long time, it had many improvements in its stability and performance. A huge upgrade includes memory control and escalation for multiple user requests.

Legacy

Last but not least, PHP’s legacy comes as an important point of its stability. With its age and permanence, it has been tested a lot, and its most common bugs and errors have been fixed. As a result, the language is more stable and trusted.

Not taking PHP into consideration can be a mistake. Furthermore, a really expensive 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.

What can PHP do?

PHP vs JavaScript vs Python vs Ruby

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.

JavaScript

This is, without a doubt, the most popular programming language. Also, it has been around for almost as long as PHP. JavaScript is often used as a client-side language, so we can’t make a direct comparison with PHP. Yet, the rise of frameworks like Node.JS allows devs to code the server-side scripts with JS. Both languages are versatile, but only JS allows full-stack development. Yet, PHP is easier to learn and maintain; so using it can mean lower dev costs.

Python

Python is another popular programming language, beloved for its simplicity and flexibility. Its most frequent uses encompasses Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. But, it still trails far behind PHP on web development. Yes, Python has an increasing number of frameworks and libraries. Yet, it doesn’t provide PHP’s levels of connectivity and support.

Ruby

Another open source language that has been around since the 90s is Ruby. Often, it’s used with the popular framework Ruby on Rails. Some huge pros of Ruby are its elegant syntax and its robust performance. But, it is both more difficult to learn and does not have the same level of community support as PHP.

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Conclusion

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. In fact, more than 50% of the total websites on the internet today have PHP as their back-end language. For almost three decades, PHP has been the leading tech to develop millions of websites. Moreover, there are few signs of downsides on the market. While we cannot assure what the future holds for it, we hope future updates keep it relevant for a long time. Its qualities and community are remarkable. We hope this article helped out to, at least, consider PHP for next projects or businesses!


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