PHP is a server-side scripting programming language that was created for web development in order to generate dynamic-driven web pages. PHP stands for personal home page.
PHP code can be embedded into HTML or used in conjunction with a wide variety of content management platforms, frameworks, and templates. The processing of PHP is typically done by a PHP interpreter, a web server, or a mixture of the two. The end goal is a fully functioning web page that populates dynamic content via PHP.
So why is it still popular?
PHP has a plethora of reasons why it is still widely regarded as the most popular of the programming languages on the web. Here are a few that come to mind:
- Beginners have a low learning curve when it comes to PHP.
- It is considered to be open-source, thus allowing generous permissions allowing code reusability.
- It costs nothing.
- There are other languages that compile with PHP, for example, Java and C#, which allows developers to cross relate the languages and gives them the ability to create a website expeditiously.
- There is a large resource of users on the web who receive guidance and knowledge from other experienced PHP developers.
- PHP is flexible and can be used for small informational CMS type sites and for large social network applications(ie. Facebook).
- There are many extensions, libraries, and APIs available, allowing developers to choose the best tools according to the type of task at hand.
- A large network of software programmers can get hired for projects.
If you talk to any web development company, more likely than not, they have done projects in PHP and it is still considered one of the most popular languages out there. And it must be noted that many household-name websites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, and Digg, are built entirely on PHP or use it in some remote fashion.