binstellar logo

What is PHP and What it is Used For?

In the fast-paced realm of web development, choosing the right programming language can be a daunting task. Even in the abundance of options, PHP stands out as a highly relevant choice. As of 2024, 77% of all active websites use PHP, underlining its widespread adoption and reliability as a programming language. This includes not only small websites but also a significant 22% of the top 10,000 websites, indicating its capability to support high-traffic and popular sites like WordPress, Wikipedia, and even Facebook in its early days​. Approximately 40% of all websites on the internet use WordPress, a content management system built on PHP, showcasing how integral PHP is to the web​ (Kinsta®)​.

However, PHP isn’t just stuck in the past; it’s evolving. With different versions in use, the most popular being version 7, used by over 56% of websites, PHP continues to adapt and improve. Each new version brings enhancements, keeping it relevant in the fast-paced world of web development​ (W3Techs)​. You can reach out to a professional PHP development company to learn more of its capabilities and strengths.

The Uses of PHP in Web Development

As a large number of businesses are going online, the ability of PHP to support diverse web functionalities, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms, makes it an essential skill for web development companies.

Creating Dynamic Web Pages:

PHP’s primary use in web development is to create web pages that can change and respond to user inputs. Unlike static HTML pages, PHP allows for content to dynamically change without needing to reload the entire page. This feature is essential for creating user-friendly and engaging websites.

Handling Forms:

PHP is commonly used for form handling. When a user fills out a form on a website, PHP processes the data. It can validate user input, save information to a database, or even send emails, making it a powerful tool for interactive websites.

Managing Databases:

PHP works excellently with databases. It’s often used to connect to database systems like MySQL to retrieve, add, update, or delete data. This functionality is vital for websites that need to handle large amounts of data, such as e-commerce sites or social networks.

User Authentication and Management:

PHP is employed for managing user sessions and authentication. It can track logged-in users and provide access control, ensuring secure and personalized user experiences on websites.

Building Templates and Content Management Systems (CMS):

Many content management systems like WordPress use PHP for their templates. PHP scripts determine how content is fetched and displayed, offering a high degree of customization and flexibility.

E-commerce Applications:

PHP is widely used in e-commerce websites for functionalities such as shopping carts, product catalogs, and online payment processing. Its ability to integrate with various payment gateways makes it a go-to choice for online stores.

Creating Web Services:

PHP is used for creating APIs and web services. These are crucial for enabling different applications to communicate with each other, like mobile apps interacting with a server.

PHP and Database Management

PHP and MySQL: A Powerful Duo

PHP’s ability to communicate with MySQL, a database management system, is like a bridge connecting a website to its stored data. This connection allows for retrieving, updating, and managing data in a structured way.

Common tasks include inserting new data from a web form into a database, updating existing data, retrieving data to display on web pages, and deleting data from the database.

Creating Dynamic Websites

Many websites you encounter daily are database-driven, meaning they fetch information from a database to display it on the web page. This is where PHP comes in. For instance, when you see different products listed on an e-commerce website, it’s PHP fetching that data from a MySQL database.

News websites dynamically display articles or blog posts that are stored in a database. PHP scripts decide what content to pull based on user actions or requests.

User Management Systems

Websites that require user registration and login functionality use PHP to interact with a database. User details like usernames and passwords are stored and managed in a database, and PHP is used to authenticate users when they log in.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Popular CMSs like WordPress utilize PHP for database management. When you create a post or page in WordPress, it’s stored in a MySQL database. PHP then retrieves this content and displays it on the website.

PHP Frameworks and Their Significance

Frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, and others offer well-organized, reusable, and maintainable code. They help keep code organized by following the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, which separates the data (Model), the user interface (View), and the business logic (Controller).

Benefits of Using PHP Frameworks

  • Speed and Efficiency:
  • Development time is reduced significantly as PHP frameworks come with built-in libraries and tools. For example, tasks like authentication, routing, session management, and caching are streamlined.

  • Security:
  • These frameworks have built-in features and tools to safeguard against common threats like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

  • Scalability:
  • With a structured codebase and the ability to handle complex applications, PHP frameworks facilitate scalability, which is crucial for growing businesses and evolving web applications.

  • Community Support:
  • Frameworks like Laravel and Symfony have large communities of Laravel development companies & developers. This means ample support, tutorials, and third-party packages, which is a boon, especially for new developers.

  • Standardization and Best Practices:
  • PHP frameworks promote coding best practices and standards, making it easier for developers to collaborate on projects.

Conclusion

For anyone stepping into the world of web development or looking to enhance their existing skills, delving into PHP is a wise and practical move. Its widespread use, coupled with a strong community and ongoing developments, ensures that PHP remains relevant and valuable, not just globally but especially in the thriving tech environment of India.

So, if you’re starting your journey in web development you can hire PHP developers and explore its capabilities. With its proven track record, continuous evolution, and vital role in modern web development, PHP is more than just a programming language.

newsletter

SUBSCRIBE OUR NEWSLETTER

Get Stories in Your MailBox Twice a Month.