There are many blogs lying on “Is PHP dead” from 2011 presenting a number of different facts & figures supporting it. But the reality is that almost 80% of the internet is running on PHP as of 2019. So it clearly indicates that PHP is not dead yet. Wikipedia runs completely on PHP and Facebook is another great example using PHP.
PHP is slow. Yes, totally agree!!
But the old PHP can be slow. PHP 7 is fast. In fact, it is 3 times faster than the Python language. Moreover, PHP is a good choice for content driven websites. E-commerce is not far behind as most business owners put great focus on selling instead of coding.
Let’s take this troll off and find out the reasons below what makes PHP still an ideal choice for startups and small businesses.
How PHP is the best fit for your web development startup?
-> PHP, especially after version 7.0, is fast, simple, very syntax rich. It comes with embedded security libraries while being the cheapest language available on every hosting provider.
-> PHP runs on multiple CPU cores (Node.js needs additional work) and can be used both as sync and async (like Node.js) with an additional script.
-> PHP implements type hinting, interfaces, facades, traits, singletons, closures, structured exceptions, generic containers, iterators, namespaces, packages (Composer, akin to npm), unit tests, continuous integration.
-> It comes with thousands of packaged (and stand-alone) libraries, MVC / REST frameworks.
What is the future of PHP?
PHP powers the huge majority of the websites in the world. By far. This is thanks to some “giant” applications like WordPress or very large “users” (Facebook and many others).
When not used as the async, event-driven model, base PHP faces upper limits on the number of concurrent website hits that are below Node.js, Go and Scala. Not using PHP as the async, event-driven model allows to quickly and easily create complex applications that are still more than fast enough to be used by large enterprises. When used with an async model, its speed grows. PHP 7.2 is about 5% faster than PHP 7.0
Since achieving enterprise-grade, ultra-massive throughput (a la YouTube-Netflix-Amazon scale) involves a whole re-thinking of data centers, servers, services stacks and so on, the embedded costs of using async PHP or another solution become just “one of many balance voices” in the whole project.
Facebook developed both a PHP compiler and a PHP virtual machine (HHVM) to further improve performance. Facebook is perhaps the most known PHP “business card”, it’s the living proof of a modern and ever-evolving, ultra-massive website that runs the PHP language.
Reasons why PHP is going to stay for many years:-
Easy to learn
Very rich, both on syntax features and constructs
Easy to find everywhere, on any hosting, with no additional costs
A huge amount of third-party libraries, packages, tutorials, books
Cheapest costs of all
Cheapest, easiest to find developers for your company
Even in the default configuration, more than adequate for all but the most demanding heavy usage. With additional effort, able to scale up to Facebook levels.
So far, we can conclude that PHP is not dead yet. Now, we can hope that 2019 is going to bring an end various blog posts regarding “is PHP dying”.
PHP is a great language to build APIs that play nice with modern front-end frameworks like React, Vue, and Angular.