What is PHP? What are the reasons to use PHP programming language
PHP is a popular programming language that has been around for more than two decades in the market. Currently, PHP is used by more than 77% of websites globally, including technology giants like Facebook, Wordpress... In this article, Viet SEO will explore with you what PHP is all about. like the pros and cons of PHP to help you make the right choice for your project.
What is PHP?
PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) is a Server-side scripting language that is executed in WebServer. PHP language provides users with a tight infrastructure including protocols, APIs, databases, etc. This language is used to program websites.
PHP can connect websites with HTML interfaces together to run on the server system. Because of its simple structure, easy to learn, PHP language becomes the basic web programming language, suitable for those who are starting to learn about website programming.
Why use PHP language?
For web programming, PHP language has always been used and popular until now thanks to the advantages that few programming languages can achieve:
- Easy to learn: PHP has a simple structure, easy to understand, you can easily learn this language faster than other types of languages.
- Used by many people: All websites made from Wordpress are programmed in PHP. Therefore, many Wordpress users use PHP to create websites about e-commerce, education, blogs, media, etc.
- Free Support Community: Since many people use PHP, there is also a larger community of support for this language. You will be fully supported with problems and solutions in programming.
- Applies to multiple frameworks: PHP is a programming language that can use multiple frameworks to program features faster. With some projects, you won't need to spend time building a website from scratch.
High security system: With an open source system like PHP, the community easily detects security flaws and fixes them. Users using PHP later versions do not encounter many errors as well as increased security.
Difference between PHP and other programming languages?
There are many different programming languages on the market today. Each language has its own distinctive features and benefits. However, PHP is still chosen by many people because of the difference compared to other programming languages:
- PHP does not run the web program on the browser but through the web server.
- PHP supports many types of databases. Users using PHP can connect to many different databases and get data back when there is a problem.
- PHP can run on a variety of environments from web servers (Apache, Caudium, Microsoft IIS, Netscape Enterprise Server) to current operating systems (Windows, Linux, Mac OS, UNIX).
Outstanding advantages and disadvantages of PHP
PHP is considered one of the simplest programming languages for web development with many outstanding advantages. However, PHP also has some shortcomings that make it gradually lose its popularity. Let's look at the pros and cons of PHP below to consider for your project.
1. Advantages of PHP
PHP has a number of advantages that have made it popular and used by web servers for over 15 years now. Here are some advantages of PHP:
- Cross-platform: PHP is platform independent, PHP-based applications can run on any operating system like UNIX, Linux, Windows, etc.
- Open Source: PHP is free and open source. It can be downloaded anywhere and is ready to use for events or web applications.
- Easy to learn: PHP is not difficult to learn for beginners. You can choose it if you already have programming knowledge.
- PHP syncs with all Databases: You can easily connect PHP with all Databases, relational or non-relational. So it can connect quickly to MySQL, Postgres, MongoDB or any other database.
Improve page load speed: Using PHP makes web pages load faster than many other web development technologies (e.g. PHP is about 3 times faster than Python for most use cases). Load time is an important factor for website ranking. Faster loading speeds lead to happy customers and customer retention.
Compatibility with cloud services: Nowadays, many modern products tend to use cloud computing solutions like Viet SEO for various purposes. Applications written in PHP are supported by various cloud services. Thus, a PHP application can be deployed on a cloud server and gain flexible scalability and other advantages.
Interoperability with HTML: PHP is designed to synchronize perfectly with HTML. Furthermore, the compatibility between HTML and PHP delivers amazing results. For example, if you have an HTML-based website, you can easily integrate PHP coding without affecting the website's existing HTML script, and vice versa.
Support Community: PHP has a very enthusiastic online support community. The official documentation provides full instructions on how to use the features and you can easily troubleshoot.
2. Disadvantages of PHP
Security Issues: Due to the open source nature, where ASCII files are easily accessible, security is the most worrisome drawback of PHP. However, if your business has a team of experienced professionals, you do not need to worry too much about the security of the product.
Lack of libraries specifically for new needs: Although PHP has its own set of libraries, PHP cannot compete with Python in developing machine learning (ML) powered web applications. If your application requires ML functionality or may require it in the future as your business scales, then PHP is not the best choice.
Poor performance: Using many features at the same time can lead to poor performance of online applications. Therefore, it is also not suitable for a huge content-based web application.
PHP has fewer debugger tools compared to other programming languages. These tools are needed to find errors and warnings.
Falling Popularity: While PHP still holds a large market share, its popularity is decreasing. The reason is the emergence of many simple and easy to learn web application programming languages. A bunch of new developers entering the market are choosing simple languages like Python over PHP. As the talent pool is shrinking, in the long run it won't be easy to find professionals who can handle PHP websites and applications.
What is the application of PHP?
According to PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language Index), PHP is the fifth most popular coding language in the world. PHP is being widely used in developing applications such as:
1. Web-based websites and applications
The PHP language is used to develop both static and dynamic websites as well as web applications that require top-level customization and a highly interactive user interface.
PHP's 3-tier architecture, consisting of a database tier, a middle tier, and a client tier, ensures that the web applications developed have an interactive user interface, can seamlessly integrate with the database, and have can perform online transactions. Furthermore, PHP comes with many built-in mechanisms, such as routing, user authentication, CSRF protection, and SQL query builder, so PHP remains among the top web development languages.
2. Web Content Management System (CMS)
PHP can establish a strong connection with databases like Oracle, MySQL, MS Access, etc. and designed to work with other services based on certain protocols like HTTP, LDAP, POP3, IMAP, NNTP, SNM, etc.
PHP is used to manage small static websites and also large content-based websites like CMS. Drupal, Joomla, Facebook, MediaWiki, Silverstripe and Digg are also PHP-based. A very famous platform is WordPress which is also managed with PHP.
3. E-commerce application
Another popular use of PHP is creating powerful eCommerce applications. Since PHP supports creating interactive user interfaces and online transactions, it is quite simple to develop eCommerce applications using PHP.
In addition, many PHP frameworks like CakePHP and CodeIgniter, make it easy and efficient to create eCommerce applications. Famous eCommerce platforms like Magento, OpenCart, Zen Cart, PrestaShop, AgoraCart and Ubercart etc. are all based on PHP.
4. GUI based application
Along with web applications, PHP is widely used to create GUI-based applications. There are many tools available, such as PHP-GTK 2, DevelStudio and ZZEE PHP GUI, that allow you to write scripts in PHP and compile them into .exe files for execution.
5. Image processing and graphic design
Many PHP image processing libraries like Imagine, GB library, ImageMagick can be integrated with PHP applications. You can take advantage of image processing features, image manipulation, rotate, crop, resize, thumbnail... Various types of formats are also available for images including jpeg , gif, wbmp, XMP, png, etc. Php is used to develop powerful applications and websites.
6. Data representation
Data representation plays a very important role to attract users to the website and increase the popularity of the application. The PHP programming language provides many forms of data representation such as Images, Graphs, Charts, etc. makes data easier to represent and simpler. Various E-Commerce websites, desktop applications and software can be designed using this feature, thereby attracting more users and helping to increase brand effectiveness for the business.
7. Create PDF files
PHP is very useful in creating PDF files. It has a built-in library called PDFLib that allows you to create and manipulate PDF files. In addition, this library will assist you in creating an online invoicing system where users can create HTML-oriented invoices in PDF files.
8. Create Flash
Ming is an example of an open source library that supports creating Flash in the .SWT file format. This file format contains most of Flash's features, such as gradients, bitmaps (png and jpeg), morphs, shapes, text, buttons, actions, and animations. Additionally, PHP simplifies the design and adding of Flash components such as login forms and email forms to dynamic web pages.
5 effective ways to learn PHP
For novice programmers, PHP is one of the best options to start with. It is a super simple language that is easy to understand and use. Here are some effective ways to learn PHP that Viet SEO suggests for you:
1. Learn HTML and CSS first
Learning other web programming languages such as HTML and CSS can give you a clear understanding of the processes you can use to design and modify web pages programmatically before learning PHP. HTML forms the basis of many web pages and often controls the user interface, which is what users will see.
CSS is a language that can change the format and appearance of programming languages such as HTML and PHP, and programmers use CSS to create attractive looks for web pages after they have created functions. basically through HTML.
2. Install a local development environment on your computer
Installing a local development environment can help you read and understand how the server-side of a website is laid out. Normally, users never see server-side processes, so you need to work with this environment.
3. Install the code editor
A code editor or code editor is a program that helps you write in the programming languages you know. It will help visualize your code. Code editor also has useful tools such as: Code autocomplete, Advanced searches, Code highlighting.
4. Master the basics
The most important thing is to practice the skills you have learned and learn about PHP. Once you've been using PHP for a while, consider enrolling in PHP courses or checking out online tutorials to learn more. Learning from experienced people how they use the PHP programming language can also help you learn more useful tips.
It can be said that PHP is a versatile language and suitable for those who want to follow the web programming direction. Learn about PHP, you will understand the basic knowledge of websites as well as necessary programming skills. Follow Viet SEO for more PHP articles.
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