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Rumors of PHP's death have been greatly exaggerated

Long live PHP!

Jyotirmay Samanta
© Shutterstock /costas anton dumitrescu

According to a report from W3Techs, PHP is used by 79% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. And yet, many programmers are lining up to hold a funeral service for the language. Rumors of PHP’s death might be greatly exaggerated. In this article, learn about some of the reasons PHP is still a great language to develop enterprise applications with.

Over the weekend our post discussing PHP’s place in the TIOBE Index for September provoked a lot of discussion. This morning, we want to continue to talk about PHP, but this time with a featured post by Jyotirmay Samanta who wants the world to know that there’s life in the old girl yet. Before you get to the article, if you’re a PHP developer working on an interesting project, why not get in touch with us and talk about it – editor@jaxenter.com. Now, on to the article!

The hullabaloo against WordPress Gutenberg editor blocks being made of JavaScript instead of PHP made everyone think “Is the reign of PHP over?” Well, no! At least that is what the statistics say. W3Techs ran a report that suggests “PHP is used by 79% of all the websites with a known server-side programming language”. That is 8/10 websites! So, our guess is PHP is here to stay.

PHP trends over the last year have shown a little decrease though, somewhere around 1%. But, the number of developers hasn’t shown any decrease whatsoever. So, developers are, in fact, learning the language and are keen to develop PHP based applications.

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According to an article by TechRepublic, PHP is still in the “7 programming languages that every developer should learn in 2018” list. So, why is it that we constantly hear people say that the language is dead? Let’s take a look at a few myths.

Why is there a myth that the time of PHP is up?

PHP doesn’t scale and is slow. These are the most discussed myths. Really? Facebook, Wikipedia, Slack, and WordPress are all developed using PHP.

Wikipedia is the fifth most visited website and Facebook has over 2.38 billion monthly active users as of 2019. Doesn’t scale? Come again?

SEE ALSO: PHP in decline: The rise and fall of a programming language

And with the latest PHP versions, it is faster than ever. According to hackr.io, PHP 7 is three times faster than Python. Take that! But, if you are not a developer, these stats won’t matter to you. So, let’s see why choosing PHP as your tech stack doesn’t mean disaster, as you were told.

PHP business elements: Why develop enterprise applications in PHP?

 

 

Tons of developers

As I mentioned previously, 8 out of 10 websites still run on PHP. This means ample developers know how to code in PHP, both experienced and beginners. This also translates to easy hiring. Out of the applications Binaryfolks receives, more than 80% of the applicants have some experience in PHP.

Low development costs

PHP has been around since forever. The fact that it is an open-source server-side programming language helps reduce the cost. Also, developers have the option to choose from several frameworks and can also use tools and features provided by these open source frameworks.

With PHP, you can churn a decent software application in less than $15K!

Faster time to market

The tools, features and the code snippets that the open-source PHP frameworks provide help accelerate the application development. PHP has a huge library of open-source packages (https://packagist.org/) that can be used across multiple frameworks, thus saving a hefty amount of development time.

Also, the code generation feature by certain frameworks helps automatically generate code based on settings and parameters that the developers choose. Again, saving time!

Huge community support

We all struggle with bugs at times. With the language being around for so long, there is a huge community of developers who are ready to provide instant support, unlike many other programming languages.

Scalability

Scalability is the first thing that pops up when we talk about application development (For ex: Enterprise Software [e.g. ERP] development). You have to make provisions for the ERP to handle an increasing amount of load or in simple terms ability to accommodate growth.

PHP applications are made scalable by adding more servers to a group of servers. The workload between the servers is distributed by load balancers.

SEE ALSO: Smart Home technology: Making life easier with automation

Security

PHP has a bad name when it comes to application security. But contrary to popular belief, it rarely has any in-built security flaws. Its lack of security is mostly because of the developers who implement the language.

But, PHP 7 came out with security upgradations that truly revamped the security protocol of the language. Some security best practices in PHP is to update it on a regular basis, using htmlspecialchars to avoid cross-site scripting, using ORM like doctrine or eloquent to minimize SQL injection attacks, etc.

The language is still a top choice if you are looking to develop an eCommerce website or a custom CMS. Also, it is much preferred for API development.

PHP, in fact, is all set to enter a renaissance. Version 7.1 seems a completely new language with new and improved features. I’m sure that it is going to further evolve and come out stronger and better. The greatness of PHP is that it is open source. That means full code visibility and a large community of developers resulting in new ideas, quicker development, and troubleshooting.

You might not like PHP, but calling it dead is a bit too extreme. Just because the focus of a group of developers is on one specific language doesn’t mean all other languages are dead or dying. Like the latest trend of proclaiming celebrities dead in 2018 subsided, I hope “PHP is dead” also subsides in 2019! Amen!

Author

Jyotirmay Samanta

Jyotirmay is an Entrepreneur and Technocrat with more than 18 years of experience working at companies like Google, Amazon, Salesforce, etc which helped him understand the different work cultures, technical capabilities and values across different continents. At present, he is the CEO of BinaryFolks – A Custom Software Development Company with a specific focus on Cutting Edge SaaS-based Web Application Development and Mobile Application Development.


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1 Comment on "Long live PHP!"

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Amit
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Yes, correct! I completely agree and PHP is an evergreen platform. Due to its beauty and open source still people are not attracting towards .NET.

@Jyotirmay, you have created a great post :)