Is PHP Programming Obsolete?

PHP is a server-side scripting language originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. It was designed for web development but is also used as a general-purpose programming language. Is it worthwhile learning PHP programming anymore? Is PHP programming obsolete?

With the on sprout of various programming languages, the battle of supremacy among programming languages has been a cold war that has lasted decades. Would you recommend a beginner to learn PHP programming or something else?

There are some facts about PHP that can clearly set the way clear to enable you gauge the power of PHP as a programming language for web developers.

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PHP is  a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive web pages. It is a widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft’s ASP and Ruby on Rails.

Without much ado, let’s check out some facts/stats:

  • PHP is powerful enough to be at the core of the biggest blogging system on the web, WordPress!
  • PHP is deep enough to run the largest social network, Facebook!
  • PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side!
  • PHP runs on various platforms like Windows, Linux, Unix and Mac OS X.
  • PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today like Apache, IIS among others.
  • PHP supports a wide range of databases
  • PHP is free. Download it from the official PHP resource now

With the recent developments in the www businesses have moved to the web, not only for publicity, but for the purpose of actually selling online. This has led to the development of web technologies and platforms that are more custom and specific to online eCommerce stores.

WooCommerce is an online eCommerce platform entirely built on PHP.  With 16,421,945 downloads, WooCommerce powers over 37% of all online stores.  WooCommerce is now the most popular eCommerce platform on the web.

Stats from Builtwith put both WooCommerce and Magento, a PHP based eCommerce solution as well, as the most popular frameworks for online stores. So you can rest assured you’re in good company.

As a PHP developer you have access to support from one of the largest open source communities from channels like stackoverflow and Github. Getting help when you need it can really shorten your leaning curve and take the pain out of learning web development.

Apart from eCommerce there are a lot of applications, API endpoints, websites, web services and much more that can be built using the language. PHP prides itself as being one the languages with the largest numbers of open source web development frameworks.

Ranging from the big boys like Laravel, CodeIgniter, CakePHP to the youngest like the Gliver framework, you have a lake of options to choose from. You can let your ego run riot and still find a framework that is a best fit.

Don’t beat me if I didn’t mention the framework you are in love with! This is not a comprehensive list of all PHP frameworks.

There are busloads of more goodies on the way. So what’s the problem?

PHP is cool, right?

So why can’t everybody get it for developing websites?

Well, because it’s not a one size fits for all.

Depending on the kind of application you are building, there are situations where PHP cannot just be an option. Say you want to build a real time application with desktop and mobile front ends.

You might want to look at what options you have with Node.js, Java, Ruby or even Python becausePHP is not great for socket programming.

Besides getting great support while learning the language, as an entrepreneur, you also benefit from a huge fan base of experienced PHP developers who can help you get set up and running with your project in no time. There is also an array of realiable agencies like Trellis and Toptal that can really connect you with great developers who will, together with you, built amazing products.

So should you start by learning PHP as a beginner?

My answer is, YES! PHP is definitely the language you want to learn when you are starting out in web development. Very easy and quick server set up and you are able to see the results of your learning really quick.

As a web developer though, you are going to need an arsenal of tools in your box in order to be effective. After you have understood PHP inside out, built big applications in the language. Then move on to learning another language like Ruby, Python, Java or C++. The limit is only in your imagination.

What do you think about PHP as a programming language? Please share your thoughts below.

7 thoughts on “Is PHP Programming Obsolete?”

  1. PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. While other languages, like Javascript, function on the client-side, your PHP code will execute on the server level.
    Thank you so much for sharing this nice post.

  2. Hi Geyoffrey,
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