‘And Then There Was PHP’

The need for dynamic websites — that load content from a database was the main reason for the creation of PHP and other server-side programming languages.

Reign of PHP

PHP being one of the oldest has an overwhelming presence on the Web. It powers various websites like Facebook, Wikipedia and CMSs (Content Management Systems) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla and is used by 81.7% of all websites whose server-side programming language is known according to a survey by w3techs.

Clearly it has too strong a hold on the web development industry to be declared dead yet. However, after the advent of newer programming languages like Python and Ruby, a few of its shortcomings have come to light find more information.

Why we love PHP:

  • Easy To Update: Now, since so many significant sites are already built using PHP, we might want to keep updating those regularly. PHP scripts make this darn easy for us and also being ‘server-side’ prevents updates from being affected by any browser settings.
  • PHP Libraries: PHP libraries are the reason PHP is still alive and kicking. They offer a standard library of interfaces that make object-oriented programming effortless.
  • Abundant Documentation: PHP or any programming language is faster and easier to use when it has sufficient documentation available online.
  • PHP Experts Everywhere: There are so many PHP Experts in the community that it’s rare to encounter an error for which there doesn’t already exist a solution.
  • Easy To Learn: PHP is one of the easiest languages to learn for a newbie ever. So now we know why we have so many PHP experts out there.

Why we hate PHP:

  • PHP is inconsistent: Learning a part of the language should aid in learning the rest. But this isn’t the case with PHP.
  • Script reinitializes for every web request: There is absolutely no way to write scripts that initialize just once in PHP. Scripts reinitialize for every web request. Anybody would lose patience when your website takes too long to respond.
  • A haven of hidden security problems: PHP is very vulnerable to external attacks including SQL injection database dumps thereby making hacking easier.

Bottom Line:

PHP has many benefits to offer as well as several drawbacks. It ain’t quite dead yet but how long it stays alive in the future depends on how successfully these flaws are corrected by developers.