In the web world, the Internet has gone through a great boom. PHP reigns the dynamic Web design tools today and has expanded beyond just web development. It is a great tool to build interactive websites and applications. Less typing, simplicity, safety features, and robust functions make it immensely appealing to mobile developers. The arena for developing PHP mobile apps is also expanding, and many developers show interest in joining the workforce to work on creative apps.
PHP was created as a simple tool in 1994 to code a personal page and has evolved into one of the most sought-after programming languages to create dynamic web pages by interacting with databases. The new versions have added features to support high speed, power, and sophistication to do a lot of things pretty well. It is now stepping into applications in the field of artificial intelligence. The popularity of PHP lies in how easy it is to learn and the ability to adapt to the right solution every time.
The World of PHP
The most exciting feature of this fourth most popular programming language is that it can be used to create interactive and dynamic content. You can easily embed PHP code within HTML pages to create dynamic content quickly. It is a server-side scripting language that runs on a Web server. It is also an interpreted language that is processed by the PHP engine every time.
PHP is flexible to carry out different tasks like:
- It can read and process the contents of a form sent through the Web by visitors
- It can read files on the Web Server
- It can work on data in the database stored in the Web Server
- It can take and process data from other Websites
- It can create dynamic content, for example, populate charts dynamically
- It’s cross-platform, and you can run PHP programs on Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and Solaris and generate output in different forms like images, PDF files, etc
PHP encompasses two major conceptual models in web programming
- Procedural Model - Organized into functions that act on data structures
- Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) - Uses objects composed of both data and functions that operate on it
PHP allows the use of procedural code where speed and coding ease is essential, especially for smaller projects. OOP helps in creating a great code structure for handling significant and complex projects. Developers are expected to handle both methods while working with PHP.
PHP has several frameworks that help the programming process to be less complicated and time-consuming. They are Symfony, Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and Zend Framework. The content management systems like Composer, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, October CMS, and WordPress are used with PHP to support web page management.
It also helps to understand better a fully functioning setup for developing dynamic Internet web pages. This setup is bundled together to get your web development server up and running in no time. Some of the setups used are listed below.
- WAMP - Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP
- MAMP - Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP
- LAMP - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP
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Comparison of PHP with other programming languages
PHP is not a general-purpose language like Python or Ruby but is focused on building dynamic websites. The most significant advantage of using PHP is that it has many Internet service providers and Web hosting companies that support its applications. Many developers are using PHP as it can be used across many platforms and can be integrated with all common Web servers. Several websites also have PHP installed as it is easy to move the Web site on to another server platform, and no modification of code is required when you deploy the code from one setup to a different type of system.
We have listed below how PHP compares with other programming languages:
- Python - It is a general-purpose programming language used to build websites. Though it doesn’t have many Web-specific features built into the language, there are valuable modules and frameworks that facilitate the Web building process. Python apps can be integrated and hosted on a Google server. It is a handy programming language, but PHP is a lot more popular as it has got many built-in features to help build dynamic websites.
- Ruby - Like Python, Ruby is also a general-purpose programming language used in the Web world. It has a robust Ruby on Rails application framework and extensive object-oriented features to quickly build a complete web solution. It is a popular choice among Web developers, but PHP is a lot more popular with new features.
- ColdFusion - It is one of the first Web application frameworks released in 1995. It is easy to learn, and you can build Web applications very quickly. However, it is not as flexible as PHP for certain tasks, as the server software that runs your apps can be expensive.
- Perl - Perl is one of the first programming languages used to create Web content. It used CGI scripting initially and later evolved to integrate with Web servers like Apache. It is a powerful scripting language but is more challenging to learn than PHP and is more of a general-purpose language.
- ASP - ASP is Microsoft technology that has been introduced in 1997. It is also one of the first Web application technologies to integrate closely with the Web Server. The scripts are written in VBScript and guarantee fast performance. However, it is easier to write structured, modular code in PHP than in VBScript.
- ASP .Net - It is an evolution from ASP that uses a framework of libraries to build websites. You can use C#, VB .Net, and J# for coding. PHP also has plenty of free application frameworks and libraries available. PHP is easier to learn than C#.
Requirements - hard skills
- Proficient at designing, developing, and documenting high-quality PHP code
- Extensive knowledge of development software engineering, testing methods, tools, and techniques to provide innovative solutions
- A good understanding of server-side logic, definition, and maintenance of the database, and ensuring high performance and responsiveness to user requests from the front-end
- Learn, understand and use PHP frameworks used by the application and contribute to the development, troubleshooting, and maintenance of a custom framework
- To possess skills in managing back-end services and the interchange of data between the server and the users
- To be able to build APIs, back-ends, and tools that interact with cutting-edge hardware and web services
- To possess excellent problem-solving skills and love taking up technical challenges
- Has a better command over operations and business practices
- Has good project management and IT skills
PHP is all about web programming. The developer needs to understand how PHP runs and how it interacts with your web server and browser. PHP applications can do a lot of work like store and load images, handle payment processing, and connect with services like PayPal. They have a lot of complexity built-in, and the PHP developer will be required to write code that can manage the complexity and convert it into usable web applications that users can enjoy. A senior developer will be required to collaborate with the team in defining architecture and translate the design vision into successful implementation. He/she can design website layouts and provide advice and leadership to the development team.
- Responsible for integrating the front-end elements into the application
- Develop solutions that can keep up with a rapidly evolving product promptly
- Optimize PHP code and database queries and functions
- Work with Q/A team to develop and maintain the unit testing platform
- Manage application dependencies
- Research and learn new features and integrate them into the existing infrastructure
- Passionate about working in a high-energy environment and eager to improve design for a great user experience
- Clear attention to detail that will help grow the customer services in a robust way
Many small tech startups and individual entrepreneurs continuously adopt the Web for their projects using PHP. The PHP developers are employed as regular employees or freelance contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers can anticipate a 27 percent employment growth by 2024. Opportunities abound as there is an increased demand for e-commerce, dynamic websites, and mobile apps.
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