Why do I need PHP?
Often times, one of the first things a web developer will correct a novice on is the fact that HTML and CSS are in fact not programming languages, and that a basic webpage is in no way actually programmed, but rather scripted. This then leads these corrected individuals to assume that no programming language is used in the development of a webpage unless there are fancy animations or other transitional effects put in place.
However, you do have choices when it comes to your server-side programming language. Why choose PHP in particular? There are those dedicated, old-school developers the still advocate for the use of pure Perl, one of the older, forerunner languages used for this and other applications.
Others, however, would argue in favor of ASP.net, due to its ready availability through things like Visual Studio, a free version of which is easily available with any copy of Windows 10. With these in mind, what makes PHP so special?
PHP is a descendant of the same family of languages that spawned C#, C, C++ and other standard languages widely used to this day. While it definitely has its own personality, as do all of these languages, the basic rules that govern its syntax and way of thinking are pretty universal among it and other languages in this family.
This makes it very easy for any developer experienced in one of these other languages to fairly quickly pick up PHP, and for anyone unfamiliar with languages to pick up PHP and then readily adapt to these other languages as well. Once you master one C family language, you can easily begin working with the others as well.
Further, in this vein of standardization, PHP will work the same way when talking to any browser, and when running on any type of server. It is completely cross-platform, and when you’ve installed the latest build of PHP, it will work with any web smart device, no matter where you host it or how you configure it.
As the years go by, this concept, known as platform agnosticism, is increasingly crucial. A lack of dependence on any particular platform, or a need to do any special development for multiple different platforms is highly valued and is going to be a straight out standard in the next generation of software and technology. PHP isn’t new, but it’s definitely a forward-thinking infrastructure at heart.
Power and Efficiency
PHP may have descended from C, but when it was created, it was developed with the web in mind. It’s a little less strict than traditional C, especially when it comes to things like arrays, string operations, and other more abstract elements that C doesn’t really jive well with.
PHP is also open source, meaning that if you need some sort of very special implementation with your own unique proprietary functionality, it’s entirely possible to make that happen. Of course, you run the risk of breaking its universal compatibility if your changes are less than surgically precise, but the option to do it is very much present.
PHP is able to work with just about any database system, as well as any standard web protocol. This means that it works excellently to verify information, work with email for confirmation, and talk to any type of data storage medium commonly used for Internet purposes. It’s definitely viable for the new cloud concept that has become so popular.
This makes PHP very future proof, and very efficient.
PHP is currently the most widely used language of its type, meaning that any type of quandary may encounter is easily resolved. There are copious amounts of documentation online for how to do just about anything either simple or complex in PHP. In the event that you encounter something you can’t figure out how to do in PHP, it’s similarities to C means that an example and said language could easily be applied to PHP with minor tweaks.
To learn more about PHP, its history, and its power, fill out the contact form below. PHP is a wonderful language and a powerful tool. We like to share this technology with you, and give you the true power you need to take full advantage of your web development experience.