Is PHP Still Relevant in Building Websites in 2021?

The Internet world is analogous to our universe in that it may have an end that we cannot see. Thousands of new websites emerge daily, and the pace is not slowing down. Instead, it seems to be picking up speed. Among the abundance of these new websites, each with a competitive edge, is how developers create them and use technologies to match the ever-present requirements?

When choosing the best programming language for a given project, the decision that later proves worthy is always challenging.

Nonetheless, programmers are accustomed to sticking to one or two languages to maintain focus. Admit it: mastering one technology is preferable to learning others at a beginning level. “Why PHP?” you might wonder. This article will discuss the benefits of PHP for building a website and why the technology is here to linger for many years to come. Don’t skip any heading, as you will learn all about PHP’s present and future purpose.

What Are the Main Benefits of PHP?

Despite the undeniable potential of fresh new languages like Python or Ruby, PHP remains one of the most widely spread programming languages on the Web today. To be more precise, PHP approximately 78.9% of all websites today use PHP. Every eight out of ten websites use PHP as their core language.
Developers worldwide appreciate its significant advantages and its ease of use. PHP is about reliable project deliverables. 

Scalability

When creating a website or a web application, all future-ready creators anticipate the project’s eventual expansion. As a result, scalability through technology is critical since the websites must manage the increased traffic that inevitably comes with more customers. When server power is in demand, PHP-based websites can easily take on the challenge.

Open Source

PHP is a completely free technology and comes pre-installed on most Web servers featuring a LAMP box (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).
The vast community of PHP developers is essential and responsible for its success. They use PHP every day, and because of its open-source approach, they also make substantial modifications and improvements.
PHP is a language that even someone without a development background can get because of its easy learning curve. In addition, unlike many other programming languages, PHP has a great support community on Stack Overflow. This powerful community contributes to developing new frameworks, components, and other tools that lead to PHP improvement. It comes as no surprise that PHP is still widely in use and a justifiable choice.

Security

Some argue that PHP does not provide the required security features. However, any programming language is susceptible. It’s only a question of how it is utilized by software engineers.
A developer’s skills and knowledge determine the level of security. One method to avoid security breaches, for example, is to perform extensive software testing.

Software testing should be performed at every stage of development, especially if we are building a web-based application or a website, as superficial flaws in a method can make the entire project fail.

Test-Driven Development (TDD) implementation is an important milestone that every project should consider from the very planning phase.

Cost-Efficient

Because PHP is open source, it does not necessitate the use of any additional costly software. There are no additional licenses or royalties to pay, and there are no limitations. PHP is free to use, and therefore, its numerous integration possibilities also lower development costs.

High Speed

In modern programming and utilizing modern PHP Frameworks, page building speed – or program execution times, are significantly reduced to the JIT (Just-in-time) program code processing. Generally, modern PHP 7 and 8 versions utilize memory well to optimize program execution speed, drastically reducing response time.

Custom development

PHP is a server-side language - it does not execute on the client or browser side. With this quality, PHP is the ideal choice for server-side rendering or usage in building Restful APIs.Developing functional applications is easier than ever due to PHP’s wide use and pre-written code in composer libraries.
Paired with JavaScript, development teams can use PHP and build highly functional and attractive websites or web services. What is more, they can do this in a fraction of the time required by other programming languages.

PHP is tried and tested

One of the primary advantages of being around for a quarter-century is that PHP code has been well tested in various real-world scenarios.

With its latest 7 and 8 branches, PHP is regarded as a stable programming language. Developers commonly trust it, and significant issues from the past have been identified and resolved. Furthermore, various frameworks and tools have been developed to aid in the secure, efficient, and successful creation of PHP-based applications.

The abundance of legacy code

Legacy Code isn’t exactly an advantage of adopting PHP in and of itself, but with so many current websites built in PHP, it becomes a significant factor to consider. Said, it’s typically easier to make modifications in the same language rather than rewriting everything in a different one.
These masses of Legacy PHP code on the Web also ensure PHP’s survival, even if some younger programmers prefer different programming languages when starting new projects. This legacy effect also makes it simpler to locate a PHP developer for your company.

Plentiful documentation

Many tutorials, manuals, and other reference resources are accessible, which aid development and can serve as a source of inspiration and assistance in difficult situations. These resources are also helpful for new programmers, as they make the learning process easier while progressively raising complexity.

Excellent combinability with HTML

PHP has HTML programming built-in. A PHP script, in most circumstances, does not interfere with a web page’s HTML code but rather completes it while staying inside the boundaries established by the <?PHP ?> tags. In the other direction, if you’ve developed an entire page in PHP, you may use a script to incorporate HTML code. The difference between this and a conventional HTML page would be the reversed order of starting tags: the PHP tags would come first, followed by the HTML tags. After all, PHP is regarded as the “Web Language” and was explicitly built to make static HTML pages dynamic.

Popular websites that use PHP

As previously said, PHP is used to build most websites on the Internet. However, you might be curious as to which of the world’s most popular platforms have employed this programming language. The following list should be enough to persuade you:

  • Facebook 25.7B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Wikipedia 15B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Yahoo 4.8B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Flickr 65.44M Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Tumblr 328.9M Monthly Estimated Visits

PHP is Still Good

PHP has been seen in the past as a relatively simple and “light” option. This is because it is easy to write in and deploy. Even unskilled programmers can finish a project quickly. This is still one of PHP’s most significant advantages today. Nonetheless, PHP version 7.x is far more capable than its predecessor, the number and diversity of options have increased substantially (PHP 8 will be released later this year). Why does this happen, and how does it occur?

SomePHP version upgrades are insignificant and only introduce minor changes or bug fixes. Others, on the other hand, completely change the product.
A bulk of new frameworks enabled PHP to perform better things, like Symfony, Laravel, Lamina, Yii, Cake, Code Igniter, and more.

Admin panels, CRMs, web sockets servers, profilers, payment connectors, and queue managers are just a few of the packages and solutions available with frameworks. They offer environments that enable PHP to perform much quicker and structured.

The fast advancement of the Web, with more interactive features, more innovative design, and greater functionality, necessitate frameworks.

You can accomplish anything by mixing a library of your selection with a framework that best suits the task at hand, going beyond Content Management Systems like WordPress.

When comparing the 5th Version with the 7th Version of PHP, one thing highly noticeable is the performance and speed of the 7th Version by two to three times. That implies the PHP development community takes criticism seriously and uses it to improve.

PHP Improves

Over time, the quality of specific programming languages degrades. In the case of PHP, however, the situation is reversed as demand increases. New difficulties necessitate enhancements, regularly provided through upgrades.
Today’s PHP backend programming is more than simply a database supplement to your front-end work. PHP is capable of a wide range of activities, including data collection, redirection, mobile integration, and so on.
What is there to say about PHP other than that? It has both a benefit and a drawback in terms of its simplicity. Some university research systems, for example, do not allow for the creation of complex systems. However, all commercial projects are similar, and they might be tricky in terms of marketing while being simple to develop.
As a result, many people believe that PHP is the most widely used programming language globally. When combined with JavaScript, PHP can efficiently deliver any project to a successful release. When it comes to programming languages, it’s comparable to English. It is well-known, and it can be readily modified and utilized for an endless variety of applications.

Faster and Easier

What else can be said about PHP’s elegance? On average, delivering a project with PHP takes less effort than using another programming language for the task at hand. When PHP is utilized as your primary programming language, your time to market (TTM)is drastically shorter.

As a result, for example, developing your WordPress site using PHP will increase the likelihood that your product will reach out to customers in time, be current and cost effective.

In addition, since PHP is relatively easy to learn, the abundance of skilled programmers is overpowering.

Cheaper

PHP developers’ hourly rates are also less expensive than Python or Ruby developers. As a result, developers are simpler to come by and less expensive to recruit.
PHP makes it very simple if you need to connect third-party CMS solutions such as WordPress or Wix. Depending on what sort of feature your business model requires, you may perform sections of your project using PHP or do it entirely with PHP.
From MSSQL and IBM through DB2 and Oracle OC18, PHP supports a wide range of SQL and NoSQL databases. It will be easy to manage and reroute your data with additional database choices. All embedded systems can function more fluently and quickly with faster speeds.

Conclusion

Given everything about the potential of using PHP so far, it is reasonable to conclude that PHP has become more efficient and capable of handling a more comprehensive range of jobs while being user-friendly and inexpensive. Because of its simple syntax and rapid onboarding, PHP is the ideal choice for commercial applications.
Today, thanks to the power of PHP’s simplicity, you can construct websites in three stages. With a simple WordPress site and landing pages, progressing to more sophisticated online platforms like Facebook, and finally reaching production-grade with hundreds of dynamic website features. With PHP, it is quite possible.

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Author

Ivan Georgiev | Software Engineer

Ivan is an extremely intelligent and knowledgeable professional with a hunger for improvement and continuous learning. Being versatile in a number of programming languages, he picks up on new tech in a matter of hours. He is a person that masters challenges by investigation and clear, structured execution, bringing in his experience and innovative ideas to solve problems quickly and efficiently. Ivan is also a Certified Shopware Engineer.