PHP - The leading web programming language, cross-platform

PHP is a server-side scripting language. used to develop static or dynamic web pages or web applications.

What is PHP?

PHP is a server-side scripting language. used to develop static or dynamic web pages or web applications. PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-processor, before that it stood for Personal Home Pages.

PHP is a free programming language used mainly in web applications (it is used in the increasingly popular PHP-Nuke web portal software). It boasts compatibility with countless other protocols, such as CGI, and other programming languages, such as C++ or Python. Over decades of development, it has evolved into an object-oriented programming language that can be used for general to specific applications.

PHP scripts can only be interpreted on a server with PHP installed. PHP scripting clients only require a web browser. The PHP file contains PHP tags and ends with the extension '.php'.

PHP Syntax

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A PHP file can also contain tags like HTML and client-side scripts like JavaScript.

  1. HTML is an added advantage when learning the PHP language. You can even learn PHP without knowing HTML but you should at least know the basics of HTML.
  2. DBMS database management system for database-enabled applications.
  3. For more advanced topics like interactive apps and web services, you'll need JavaScript and XML.

The diagram below illustrates the basic architecture of a PHP web application and how the server handles requests.

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Why use PHP?

There are many programming languages ​​out there; so you might be wondering why you should use PHP for web development. Here are some reasons that might convince you:

  1. PHP is free and open source.
  2. Easier to get used to than other languages ​​like JSP, ASP, etc.
  3. Rich supporting documentation
  4. Most web hosting servers support PHP by default unlike other languages ​​like ASP which need IIS. This makes PHP a cost-effective option.
  5. PHP is updated regularly to keep up with the latest technology trends.
  6. The other benefit you get with PHP is that it is a server-side scripting language; this means that you only need to install it on the server and clients that request resources from the server do not need to install PHP; just a web browser is enough.
  7. PHP has built in support for working side-by-side with MySQL. This does not mean that you cannot use PHP with other database management systems. You can still use PHP with
    1. Postgres
    2. Oracle
    3. MS SQL Server
    4. ODBC, etc.
  8. Cross-platform PHP; this means you can deploy your application on a number of different operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc.

What is PHP used for?

In terms of market share, there are more than 20 million websites and applications on the Internet developed using the PHP scripting language.

The diagram below shows some popular websites using PHP:

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