If you are into programming, you probably have heard of PHP. It was first created back in 1994 and was used for building interactive websites. PHP is a scrip language that is used to make scripts that are executed on the server. The execution generates HTML, which is then read by your browser. When it first came out, it was considered one of the best tools to build dynamic websites since it predates java. Because of its old age, there are many misconceptions about PHP among developers and this caused PHP to have a bad reputation. In spite of that, it is still used for backend development, like WordPress, Wikipedia and other Content management systems. This is why many programmers are still learning it for web development today. We are going to debunk certain myths that developers think are true.
Myth 1: PHP is difficult to learn
The myth that PHP is difficult to learn stems from the fact that it is an old language that uses old syntaxes that are considered outdated. However, this is not true. Since it is one of the earliest languages ever made, there are actually more resources available online, which makes it easy to learn the language. Having a background or experience in programming will help with learning, but this doesn’t mean you can’t learn it if you don’t come from a programming background. There are plenty of courses available online that will show you how to use PHP to build websites that are used in real life.
Myth 2: It is not object-oriented
Many programmers believe that the programming syntax of PHP does not follow the principles of object-oriented programming. Again, this is not true. PHP is object-oriented because you can use encapsulation and inheritance, which allows you to maintain projects. It supports many components, such as classes and objects, which are typically used in object-oriented programming. In addition to that, things like interfaces, abstraction, overloading, constructor and destructor are also supported by PHP.
Myth 3: It is an outdated language and there are better alternatives
Many believe PHP to no longer be relevant and lagging in popularity amongst alternatives such as Python and Ruby. However, despite it being around for more than 26 years, it remains one of the most widely-used coding languages globally. In fact, according to W3Techs, 78.8% of all websites to date are using PHP on their server side, including tech giants like Facebook, Mailchimp, Etsy, Slack, and 10 million other top domains. Due to its open-source and cost-efficient nature, it is safe to say that PHP is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Myth 4: It is slow and hard to scale
While older versions of PHP are quite slow, its newest versions (PHP 7 and above) are almost 3 times faster than the average Python program. Using a benchmark test on OpenLiteSpeed, PHP 7 runs at 86.66 requests/second – more than twice faster as its predecessor, PHP 56. On top of that, PHP can also be scaled to enterprise-level projects and is compatible with many web frameworks such as Symfony, Codeigniter, Zend, and CakePHP, amongst others. Furthermore, websites built on top of PHP can easily handle more traffic by improving performance when data is being cache.
Myth 5: There are security issues with using PHP
Like all coding languages, security will depend on the expertise of the programmer. PHP itself has built-in security features, enabling developers to avoid vulnerability, such as cross-site request forgery, SQL injections, and data tampering. To minimize the likelihood of security breaches, developers should conduct software testing after each project, and adopt best practices such as updating PHP to the latest versions.
Now that you have seen some of the benefits of learning it, you might want to consider picking up this skill. Like most programming languages, PHP has its upside and downside. While it is not as popular as other tools used for website development, it is still widely used to build websites. Some common reasons why a developer would choose PHP over other languages is because of its flexibility and speed. If the work you are currently doing requires some knowledge of PHP, then it might be worth spending time studying it.