The Way Forward using PHP

What is it

Created in 1994, PHP was a computer language designed for web development. It also took hold as a general programming language shortly after. The acronym PHP now stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Originally it stood for Personal Home Page when it first created, until its obvious value to change global programming was realized.

PHP programming code is known as 'open-source' language. Open-source refers to any computer code, programming, application or code that is available freely without restriction. Imagine an automobile manufacturer making all its designs and technologies available without any legal repercussion to all. Further, the technologies used can be modified, redistributed and adopted without any fear of legal repercussion. It is no wonder the internet has grown leaps and bounds in such a short period of time. Think of the amazing vehicles that could be here today had automakers embraced open-source, a hundred years ago!


Why is it used

The uniqueness of PHP is that rather than having the programming script execute on each website visitor's computer, it significantly speeds up the browser experience by executing the PHP scripts on the website's server. This alone has made PHP a global gold standard.

Web pages can still be designed using the standard HTML flavors available. PHP has the ability to be embedded in the HTML code and is well suited for web development in the creation of dynamic pages for web applications, ecommerce applications as well as database applications. It is considered a friendly language with abilities to connect easily to MYSQL, Oracle and many other databases.

PHP enhances the user experience for operating systems like Linux, Unix, Solaris, Microsoft Windows, MAC OS and many more. It supports many web servers including Apache and IIS. To use PHP give a web development team flexibility in working with a variety of operating systems and/or web servers.


How it is Used

Primarily used for web development, PHP has secured its place in the following areas:

  • Server-Side Scripting
    • PHP Parser - a program converting source/human readable code into a format easier for the computer to understand.
    • Web Server - a program executing the files that form web pages from user requests
    • Web Browser - an application used to display content on the internet
  • Command-Line Scripting
    • With the use of PHP parser, this script can execute freely without a server program or browser. An example of this is use for simple text processing tasks such as task schedulers.
  • Desktop Application Development
    • PHP use here can be used for creating client-side applications (e.g. desktop applications). Desktop applications are characterized by their GUI (graphic user interface).


Advantages of using PHP

It is one thing to understand a programming language, but it is another thing to understand its authority over other languages.

  • Open Source - Readily available and at no cost. PHP programming language is easier to learn than C and Java.
  • Cross-Platform - Enables operation and interfacing across various operating systems.
  • Support - A very popular language, PHP has an abundant resource available for reference and guidelines. There are many support groups, forums, teams supporting PHP. With the knowledge base made available in many languages, PHP has one of the largest contributing communities and is one of the most supported programming languages in the code-space.
  • High ROI - PHP's web development allows for extremely engaging and dynamic websites to be built. Ultimately affecting the bottom line of pages used by visitors to the sites who remain longer because of the dynamic engagement.
  • Embedding - One of the easiest languages to embed into HTML
  • SFS - Known as Safe, Flexible and Speed. All top qualities attractive to business owners choosing a web development language.
  • Future-proof - Already well established, PHP's future has unlimited possibilities.
  • Quick - Turnaround time on a PHP project is faster.
  • Extensions - PHP uses multiple extensions and is extremely scalable because of this. This helps build an ROI and an advantage over the competition as the results are measurable.
  • Other Tools
  • Pre-Configured - Many hosting providers will already have a pre-designed PHP setup available without the need for a special customized deployment.


Final Thoughts

With PHP server-side scripting used by most websites nearing 82%, it is no wonder PHP has become the most popular language in web development. Major organizations using PHP for parts or all of their web development include Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, Wordpress, iStockphoto, Yahoo, SourceForge, MailChimp and many, many more.