There are hundreds of programming languages available for developers’ use in today’s technological landscape. However, many developers find themselves choosing a language that’s over 2 decades old: PHP.
As a powerful and reliable solution for a variety of projects, PHP has a large following of supporters in the dev community and many companies continue to offer PHP development services. However, it’s somewhat losing its popularity to more recent and updated languages. Given that scenario, it’s worth asking – Why should modern developers continue to use PHP in 2021 and beyond?
What Exactly is PHP?
Hypertext Preprocessor, commonly known as PHP, is a widely-used, open-source, general-purpose, server-side scripting and development language. This means that applications written in PHP run on web servers instead of a web browser.
PHP is a great language for both new and experienced developers as it’s simple enough to get started with but also offers many advanced features. For example, instead of having to use many commands to output HTML, PHP pages contain HTML within the embedded code with special start and end processing instructions.
PHP allows devs to jump into a project and start writing simple scripts in an objectively short amount of time. Much famous software utilizes the power and efficiency of PHP, including Facebook and WordPress.
The Advantages of Using PHP in 2021 and Beyond
The enduring use and popularity of PHP are all thanks to its many advantages. Some of the most notable ones include:
- It’s open-source and free. – One of the biggest wins for PHP in the eyes of developers, business owners, and clients is the fact that PHP is free to use. It requires no costly download or licensing fees for any kind of project as it’s distributed under the General Public License. Obviously, this leads to considerable savings for clients paying for development projects. The majority of development tools typically utilized in parallel or combination with PHP are also (typically) free of charge.
- It’s easily updated and maintained. – Thanks to its human-readable decipherable syntax, it’s easy for devs to modify, change, and maintain code without problems. This allows for making quick, cost-effective adjustments to applications entering the market or those that have already been in existence for quite some time. Because of the language’s open-source nature and its consistent and distinct syntax, any team has the ability to maintain and support a PHP-based app or website, not just the original developer.
- The online PHP community offers support and a huge amount of documentation. – There are countless tutorials, manuals, forums, videos, and other reference materials available online for free. This helps facilitate development and assists devs when problems arise in their projects. These online materials also act as valuable teaching materials for new engineers looking to flatten the learning curve.
- Hosting services for PHP-based projects are typically cheaper than those for other languages. – The language’s versatility makes it a popular web hosting option for most major hosting providers. Any reputable and reliable names in the world of web hosting support PHP in their services – and even come with PHP support at no cost to the clients. This sometimes includes free web host plans or even shared inexpensive plans.
- PHP development takes less time than most other languages. – As an object-oriented language, PHP makes it possible for developers to reuse code across projects. These reusable components make the development process much easier while saving time and effort. There are also many different frameworks based on the language available to use, including CodeIgniter, Laravel, WordPress, Symfony, Joomla, and others. Each offers its own functionalities and developmental features for specific use cases.
- It’s super versatile, flexible, and integrative. – Windows, Unix, Linux, and macOS all support PHP code. Most of the top servers, including Apache, Microsoft IIS, Caudium, and Netscape as well as more than 20 of the most used databases (such as MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL) are also compatible with the language. This is also a big help when it comes to creating cross-platform applications.
Although PHP is over 20 years old, it continues to rank as one of the top programming languages used by developers in 2021 – and it will continue to do so in years to come. Its versatility, incredible support through online communities, flexibility, and general ease of use make it a go-to choice for developers of all skill levels and skillsets.