Why should you learn PHP in 2018?
There are a well amount of languages available in the web development field. Overall, all of them can be very overwhelming at first. But it’s true that every language has its pros and cons. If you’re looking to learn your first programming language or making the jump from front-end to back-end, PHP is the language for you. The language also comes with many built-in features that make it much easier for the developer. Some of those features are common as that is provided by many other programming languages, but, PHP contains unique features of its own. So, let’s find out why you should learn and use PHP.
Reasons to learn PHP
Easy to start with
PHP was designed to make web development easier, and many beginners find it effortless to pick up and get started with it. PHP code was so easy to pick up, many non-programmers end up being able to use PHP code together without truly understanding the code. While good programmers will never copy and paste code, they learn it and understand. This shows how easy it is to pick up PHP.
Easy to install and set-up
The biggest reason why PHP is the best language to learn is how easy it is to install/set-up. There are many superior languages to PHP, however, none are as easy to setup a server on your local computer for a beginner. Applications like WAMP and XAMPP can get you a local PHP server set up in 10 minutes, and it is extremely simple to set up on any web server. Most hosting providers even have PHP enabled by default leaving the developer with nothing to worry about but writing good code.
If you plan to work as a freelancer, PHP is likely a good skill to learn, since WordPress and other content management systems are popular with non-technical people. Overall, PHP is still widely used by the majority of the web, so there should still be a consistent demand for PHP developers. Many shopping cart tools have also been built with PHP, so it is a popular choice for online businesses as well. Because of PHP is one of the most popular languages in terms of available jobs, there are a countless amount of companies out there looking for PHP developers, and it does not look like that is going to change anytime soon.
5th largest meetup community
At meetups, you can generally network and learn from fellow developers. Meetups often offer mentorship to those who want it as well. There are 1500+ PHP groups at Meetup.com, totaling over 541k members - in terms of programming languages, PHP has the 5th largest Meetup community.
Third-Part Application Support
One of PHP’s strengths has historically been its support for a wide range of different database, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. PHP supports more than fifteen different database engines, and it includes a common API for database access. XML support makes it easy to read and write XML documents as though they were native PHP data structures, access XML node collections using XPath, and transform XML into other formats with XSLT style sheets.
5th most popular language at GitHub
There are more useful projects and more likely someone has already built a function you need and built it well, which will greatly speed up your development process. There are over 500 PHP projects that have over 500 stars on GitHub.
PHP has fallen in popularity due to several issues with the language's design as well as the rise of Node.js and Python. Though PHP 7 was recently released to fix most of the problems it has been accused of (inconsistency, slowness, etc). Facebook has made a huge investment in PHP which will likely keep it relevant, so it would be interesting to see how all this works out for PHP's adoption rate in the future. Laravel is another way to maintain PHP’s healthy adoption rate.
Reasons to use PHP
TIOBE popularity rank
A programming language's ability to stay relevant also depends on whether the language is getting new blood. Interest in learning PHP is still steady, and PHP is still the 6th most popular language according to the TIOBE index. Thus, PHP will still survive.
PHP is an open-source project - the language is developed by a worldwide team of volunteers who make its source code freely available on the web, and it may be used without payment of licensing fees or investments in expensive hardware or software. This reduces software development costs without affecting either flexibility or reliability. The open source nature of the code further means that any developer, anywhere, can inspect the code tree, spot error and suggest possible fixes; this produces a stable, robust product wherein bugs, once discovered, are rapidly resolved-sometimes within a few hours of discovery.
Scripts are written in PHP execute faster than those written in another scripting language, with numerous independent benchmark putting the language ahead of competing alternatives like JSP, ASP.NET, and PERL. The latest version of PHP engine was completely redesigned with an optimized memory manager to improve performance and is noticeably faster than previous versions. In addition, third-party accelerators are available to further improve performance and response time.
PHP is a dynamically typed language. This means there are no hard rules on how to build features, and you'll have more flexibility solving problems using different methods. Furthermore, PHP is also more forgiving of errors, so you'll still be able to compile and run your program until you hit the problematic part.
The language has now become a reliable language, efficient and viable. It is capable of supporting sites that sollicent millions of daily requests. Many nationally and internationally renowned companies trust it for the development of their website. We can mention among them IBM, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Club-Internet, Orange, Yellow Pages. A recent report shows that 85% of companies use PHP.
The refactoring of the Zend engine and the PHP codebase resulted in a reduction of memory consumption and increased the performance, making PHP faster.
PHP is available for UNIX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, and OS/2 and PHP program are portable between platforms. This ability to easily undertake cross-platform development is a valuable one, especially when operating in a multiplatform corporate environment or when trying to address multiple market segments.
Originally a fatal error would halt the script, but in PHP it will now throw an exception so that the coder knows exactly what the error is and how they can fix it.
json_encode & json_decode
Easy user-land CSPRNG
User-land refers to an application space that is external to the kernel and is protected by privilege separation, API for an easy to use and reliable Cryptographically Secure Pseudo Random Number Generator in PHP.
This function provides an easy one-line solution for creating an array of pathnames using a pattern you provide. Searching for a particular file type such as an image, then using glob could be a good solution to your problem.
It allows the developer to sort an array based on a compare function that's configurable by the developer. It creates more complex sorting algorithms that are not possible with standard core array sort functions. One great example for usort is to sort a simple multi-dimensional array.
With the use of namespace keyword followed by the namespace name at the top of a PHP file, it puts all the code below the reflective namespace that cannot be accessed by any other namespaces unless explicitly instructed to. With the use of namespaces, the well-structured and readable code can be created that's easier to read and manage.
Make dynamic web applications with PHP
PHP has the main function to be specially designed for producing dynamic web applications. By definition, an "application (or page) Dynamic" is a program capable of generating a single page based on parameters passed to it.
Users can now set type declarations so that PHP knows exactly what to do with the code, resulting in fewer errors and a more readable code. Scalar Type Hints & Return Type Declarations are two types of declarations that are supported by PHP.
Hope you like this article and there have enough reasons to start learning and use PHP. You can also learn more from our another article about PHP. Please share our article in your circle and comment your opinion. Thank you!