Debunking Myths About PHP Development

Developer code review

8 Oct 2021

Mark Goy

Is it a misconception that due to the legacy of PHP it is no longer a great programming language, some saying that it is 'not as good as other languages'? Is there any truth in that statement? In this article we are going to debunk the top 5 myths we have heard about PHP development. 

Is it a misconception that due to the legacy of PHP it is no longer a great programming language, some saying that it is ‘not as good as other languages’? Is there any truth in that statement? In this article we are going to debunk the top 5 myths we have heard about PHP development. 

There are only two kinds of languages: the ones people complain about and the ones nobody uses. – Bajarne Stroustrup

What is PHP development?

First of all, what is PHP? PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Interesting fact: PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page. Now PHP is widely known and thought of as Hypertext Preprocessor.

The world of technology is expanding constantly, with new software emerging regularly it has made the web development process more exciting and easy. In spite of the influx of the numerous frameworks in the market for programming excellent websites, PHP remains the most versatile language on the market. PHP can be successfully implemented in any industry.

According to W3Techs data PHP is used by 78.7% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know. If you find it hard to visualise 78.7% of all the internet, BuiltWith offers more tangible data — this equals to over 34 million websites all running on PHP

Case study

3PL Logistics Client

3pl software

In this article we are going to debunk certain myths about PHP and remove the misconceptions, to sort fact from fiction! Read on as we deconstruct the top 5 myths:

Myth 1. PHP isn’t scalable

Data shows us that the majority of PHP powered websites are low-traffic, so perhaps this is how the misconception about its inflexibility was born. As we said before, a very large share of websites all over the Internet are built with PHP. But you might be interested in the really large platforms that have used this programming language. The shortlist below should be enough to convince you:

  • Facebook – The worlds most used social network.
  • WordPress – A free content management system, is used for 40% of websites on the Internet.
  • Wikipedia – The world-famous online encyclopaedia, is powered by software MediaWiki, which is built on PHP.
  • MailChimp- An e-mail marketing service, with 12 million users.
  • Etsy – An e-commerce platform for craft and hand-made goods with 4 million sellers and 81 million buyers.
  • Spotify – The world’s biggest music streaming platform by number of subscribers with a 165 million premium subscribers worldwide.
  • Slack – A communication platform with 10 million daily users, uses PHP to power its backend.
  • PHP Programming Myths

    Myth 2. PHP is ‘ugly’ and difficult to use

    No coding language is futile; everything depends upon the developer. The bad coder will code bad even if the coding language is easy. The crucial attribute of PHP is the large community of developers working with it. Not only are they using PHP each and every day, but they are also continuously discussing it, thinking about improvements, and bringing new positive changes and enhancements. Programmers can learn faster and implement cutting-edge solutions as soon as possible. In addition,  unlike many other programming languages, PHP has its own support. All these factors lead to the arrival of new frameworks, components, and other tools that make PHP even better. 

    Working with PHP as a Language

    Myth 3. PHP isn’t secure

    Some say that PHP is not secure due to it being open source. The truth is that any language can have its vulnerabilities. The level of security depends on the expertise of the developers and their practices. Using frameworks like Symfony or Laravel facilitate security, considering they already have development geared towards PHP. 

    Myth 4. PHP is only suitable for small applications

    This one is easy to debunk and we can do it in just a few words. Facebook, Wikipedia, Yahoo and Flickr, they are all built on top of the PHP programming language and they certainly don’t fall under the category of ‘Small Applications’ 

    Myth 5. PHP development is slow

    If it’s true that like with all programming languages, the more time it takes to build, the slower it takes. Nonetheless, PHP7 and PHP8 have doubled or even tripled their performance compared to previous versions.   

    Since PHP uses its own memory, both workload and loading time are reduced. As a result, the processing speed is rather high, which is a benefit not only for developers but also for their clients who get the product delivered sooner. The speed of uploading is also crucial for SEO, so you shouldn’t dismiss this factor if you want to use your site for marketing and sales objectives.  Furthermore, PHP 8.0 is proving to be 18.47% faster than 7.4. In addition, if you compare it to PHP 7.0, it can handle 50% more requests (or transactions) per second. It also has the benefit of being easy to cache, so if you use the right caching strategies, it can be speedy.

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    Why use PHP?

    Some programming languages decreases in quality over time. In regards to PHP, it is the opposite, since the demand is constantly on the rise. New challenges demand improvements and yearly updates deliver these. Back end development done with PHP today is not just a database addition to your front-end development. Much more diverse tasks like data gathering, redirection, integration with mobile etc can be achieved easily using PHP. Considering everything that has been said, it would be true to state that PHP has become more efficient and able to handle different tasks while staying user-friendly and cheap. 

    After all is said and done

    PHP, like with any other coding language, has its pros and cons, but it is a programming language that can compete with any other. On the whole it is a solid programming language that carries much weight with developers in all fields. Despite its persisting rumours about its irrelevance and approaching demise, PHP hasn’t surrendered grounds and its community hasn’t dwindled.

    PHP is a language that can be used to build any kind of website in 2021, starting with landing pages and simple WordPress websites, and ending with complex web platforms like that of Facebook.

    Flexibility, nativity, multiple integration opportunities and high speed are among the chief reasons PHP is used for web development.

    The important thing is to base the choice of programming language on the projects specific needs. PHP will undoubtedly be able to complete most of them. PHP is convenient, has many useful libraries, detailed documentation, and what is very important — has a huge community. Some might call this language old, while we consider it to be one of the classics.

    Be it a simple portal or a complex enterprise solution with mission critical tasks, we are here to exploit the power and maturity of PHP to address the full spectrum of your business needs.

    Get in touch today.

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