How Relevant is PHP for Web Developers in 2017?

The relevance of PHP for modern web developers can be determined from the usage statistics posted on various websites. In addition to being one of the in-demand programming languages of 2017, PHP is also more popular than other programming languages. At present, over 82% of websites use PHP as a server side programming language. Unlike other programming languages, PHP was designed specifically for web application development. But many programmers nowadays use PHP as a general purpose programming language. Also, PHP has been evolving consistently to meet the emerging trends in web application development. That is why; the modern web developers prefer writing a variety of websites and web applications in PHP.

Why Developers Prefer PHP to Other Server Side Programming Languages?

Performance

Most users nowadays abandon websites that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Hence, the web developers have to explore ways to keep the visitors engaged by increasing the website’s loading speed. PHP 7 comes with a just in time (JIT) engine that compiles the PHP code into machine language. The JIT engine enhances PHP code execution speed significantly and helps programmers to speed up the web application. Also, PHP 7 is about two times faster than PHP 5.6. Hence, the developers can easily speed up websites using the latest version of PHP.

Compatibility

PHP works seamlessly with major operating systems, databases and web servers. It supports popular operating systems like Windows, OS X, Linux and Solaris. Also, PHP applications can be deployed on popular web servers like Apache, iPlanet or IIS without any hassle. At the same time, the programmers also have option to choose from a number of databases including MySQL, Oracle, and MS Access. PHP also supports some of the commonly used protocols including HTTP, POP3, LDAP, NNTP, SNMP and COM. So it becomes easier to make the PHP web application interact with other services and applications that use these protocols.

Flexibility

PHP is one of the most flexible web programming languages. It enables programmers to make changes to the code during different stages of development. They can easily add new features or functionality to the website even after writing the code. They are not required to write any fresh code or write command functions from the scratch to accomplish the task. They can simply make changes to the existing code and modify the command functions to add new features or functionality to the website.

Scalability

As noted earlier, PHP is currently being used by several high traffic websites. It is also used by developers across the world for developing a wide variety of websites and web applications. The programmers have option to create small and simple websites by embedding PHP code into HTML. At the same time, they can avail the resources and tools provided by various PHP frameworks to create large and complex web applications within a shorter amount of time. They can even use specific framework to use PHP for desktop GUI application development.

Frameworks and Content Management Systems

PHP scores over other programming languages in the category of frameworks. The frameworks make it easier for developers to build a variety of websites and web applications rapidly without writing longer lines of code. Based on the requirements of the project, the programmers can choose from several popular PHP frameworks including Laravel, Phalcon, Symfony 2, Nette, Yii Framework, CodeIgniter, Zend or CodeIgniter. The small businesses can even use content management systems like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal easily create and update websites.

LAMP Stack Components

The developers can further simplify web application development and deployment by using PHP as a component of LAMP stack. While using LAMP stack, they can avail Linux operating system, Apache HTTP Server and MySQL, along with PHP. However, the components of LAMP stack are interchangeable. Hence, the developers can easily customize the software stack according to precise needs of each project. They can always take advantage of the four open source components of LAMP stack to build and deploy web applications more efficiently.

Open Source

Nowadays large, midsize and small enterprises opt for open source technologies to curtail project overheads. As an open source technology, PHP can be used by businesses without paying any licensing fees. The programmers can further reduce the development time significantly by taking advantage of several open source PHP frameworks. Also, they can avail the code snippets and prewritten scripts shared by members of the active PHP community to avoid writing additional code.

Easy to Learn and Use

Despite being inspired by C and Java, PHP’s syntax is logical and well organized. So the beginners can easily learn and use the server side programming language. The beginners can even learn the command functions of PHP without putting any extra time and effort. They can even refer to the online user guide and documentation to master PHP within a shorter amount of time. Also, the beginners can stay connected with the large PHP community to clear their doubts and queries without any delay.

However, the PHP programmers still have to put extra time and effort to write the web application in PHP. They have to avail the resource provided by various frameworks and content management systems to reduce development time significantly. The frameworks and content management systems contribute hugely towards keeping PHP relevant over a longer period of time.