If you spend any time at all on the web, you have experienced the use of PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). But, if you have never had to dig in behind the scenes of websites that use it, you may be asking the question, "What is PHP and why it is used?" PHP is an open-source server-side programming language that is used for millions web application. It was initially developed in 1994 by programmer Rasmus Lerdorf.
What Is PHP Used For?
The purpose of PHP is to provide a level of functionalities that HTML alone cannot achieve. These functions happen on the server side which means they are executed on the web server and then passed to the user’s browser,
By using PHP with HTML, web developers can add a variety of features to a website. If you ask, “What is the main use of PHP?” it would be hard to pin down. The uses are as varied as the imaginations of the developers. However, we can find many PHP uses simply by looking at sites that use PHP.
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From adding a simple calculator to a website to using more advanced calculations to improve visitor experiences, PHP has built-in calculating functions. You may have experienced a website using PHP to calculate a discount or estimating a shipping date.
Collects User Information
Among one of the most popular uses of PHP is the ability to collect user information. Whether seeking input for a calculation or collecting data for a mailing list, you will see many sites that use PHP with HTML. PHP can even be used to create surveys or enable user forums.
Creates Simple Graphics on the Fly
You have likely visited a website using PHP to create or edit simple graphics. Built-in functions can turn user data is charts and graphs. There are also tools to resize, rotate, or make other adjustments to images. PHP is even used to generate CAPTCHA verifications to improve site security.
Interacts With MySQL Databases
One of the most powerful uses of PHP is using it to interact with a MySQL database. This creates endless possibilities for creating interactive features and dynamic websites. With PHP, users can input information that is then written to the database. PHP also allows the creation of pages dynamically using the contents of the database. It can even handle more complex MySQL based tasks like searching an e-commerce store’s inventory or creating a login system.
Works With Cookies
Cookies are a powerful tool that help create a better visitor experience. They can hold user preferences and other information in the user’s browser, so the data doesn’t need to be collected each time. Web developers can use PHP to create, modify, and delete cookies.
What Websites Use PHP?
PHP is used on about 80% of the websites that we know about. Chances are, you encounter it every day you use the web. Popular sites using PHP include Yahoo, still a popular site despite losing most of its search market share to Google. PHP is used by Wikipedia as well. The interactive user-updated site is a perfect example of the features of PHP. Micro-blogging site Tumblr is another one of the websites using PHP along with MailChimp, Flickr, and stock photo site, iStockPhoto.
What Language Does WordPress Use?
Most users who visit a WordPress site or even have their own websites, never ask, “What coding language is used in WordPress?” The answer to that question is PHP. WordPress is developed using PHP as the scripting language. Why use PHP for WordPress? It is a perfect match, especially since WordPress is an open-source website building platform, and PHP is an open-source scripting language.
What Version of PHP Does WordPress Use?
In order to run WordPress, the host server needs to run at least PHP 5.24. However, it is now officially recommended that the server run PHP 7 or higher, with 7.1 being the current version. The great news is that with each new version of PHP comes improvements in functionality and stability.
What Server Side Language Does Facebook Use?
Facebook is one of the most popular web destinations in history. However, you may be asking, “What programming language does Facebook use?” The question of which programming language used on Facebook is pretty complicated. While Facebook was initially created using PHP, the platform now uses a full stack of languages due to scaling considerations. While Facebook uses PHP, they are currently running their own custom version. They have created a compiler so that it can run natively on their servers to improve performance. With all of the options available, the reasons why Facebook uses PHP are the same as why web developers across the internet use it every day.
Can PHP Be Used to Develop Mobile Applications?
While the purpose of PHP was originally about websites and web applications, as smartphones became popular, PHP developers started asking about the uses of PHP for developing mobile apps. On the one hand PHP cannot be used to create mobile application. On the other hand, if we develop hybrid mobile app we can use API with PHP. It can allow us to supply with data our application.
Does Google Use PHP?
Due to the simplicity of Google’s search pages, the company has never had much need for PHP. That, however, doesn’t mean that PHP is entirely absent from the Google Universe. YouTube was initially developed in PHP before being converted to Python. Google engineers also continue to use PHP as a prototyping tool.
PHP Continues as A Strong Programming Tool
Although other programming languages continue to be introduced, and some grow in popularity, PHP continues to be the perfect language for server-side work on websites. It is powerful and flexible and has the right feature set for most websites. With continuous updates, it keeps on improving to meet the demands of the ever-changing web.