PHP: An overview

PHP: An overview
Written by Nilima PaulDecember 22, 2021
9 min read
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Nilima Paul

Data Team

In this article, we will know about PHP an overview

What is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-Processor. PHP is a scripting language used to develop static and dynamic webpages and web applications. Here are a few important things you must know about PHP:

  1. PHP is an Interpreted language, hence it doesn't need a compiler.
  2. To run and execute PHP code, we need a Web server on which PHP must be installed.
  3. PHP is a server-side scripting language, which means that PHP is executed on the server and the result is sent to the browser in plain HTML.
  4. PHP is open-source
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and free.

PHP Features

PHP is a very popular language because of its simplicity and open source. There are some important features of PHP given below:

Performance:

PHP script is executed much faster than those scripts which are written in other languages such as JSP and ASP. PHP uses its own memory, so the server workload and loading time is automatically reduced, which results in faster processing speed and better performance.

Open Source:

PHP source code and software are freely available on the web. You can develop all the versions of PHP according to your requirement without paying any cost. All its components are free to download and use.

Familiarity with syntax:

PHP has easily understandable syntax. Programmers are comfortable coding with it.

Embedded:

PHP code can be easily embedded within HTML tags and script.

Platform Independent:

PHP is available for WINDOWS, MAC, LINUX & UNIX operating system. A PHP application developed in one OS can be easily executed in other OS also.

Database Support:

PHP supports all the leading databases such as MySQL, SQLite, ODBC, etc.

Error Reporting -

PHP has predefined error reporting constants to generate an error notice or warning at runtime. E.g., E_ERROR, E_WARNING, E_STRICT, E_PARSE

Loosely Typed Language:

PHP allows us to use a variable without declaring its datatype. It will be taken automatically at the time of execution based on the type of data it contains on its value.

Web servers Support:

PHP is compatible with almost all local servers used today like Apache, Netscape, Microsoft IIS, etc.

Security:

PHP is a secure language to develop the website. It consists of multiple layers of security to prevent threads and malicious attacks.

Control:

Different programming languages require long script or code, whereas PHP can do the same work in a few lines of code. It has maximum control over the websites like you can make changes easily whenever you want.

A Helpful PHP Community:

It has a large community of developers who regularly updates documentation, tutorials, online help, and FAQs. Learning PHP from the communities is one of the significant benefits.

Advantages of PHP :

  1. Most important advantage of PHP is that it’s open source and free from cost. It can be downloaded at anywhere and readily available to use for event of web applications.
  2. It is platform independent. PHP based applications can run on any OS like UNIX, Linux and Windows, etc.
  3. Application can easily be loaded which are based on PHP and connected to database. It’s mainly used due to its faster rate of loading over slow internet speed than another programming language.
  4. It has less learning curve, because it is simple and straightforward to use. Someone familiar with C programming can easily work on PHP.
  5. It is more stable from a few years with assistance of providing continuous support to various versions.
  6. It helps in reusing an equivalent code and no got to write lengthy code and sophisticated structure for event of web applications.
  7. It helps in managing code easily.
  8. It has powerful library support to use various function modules for data representation.
  9. PHP’s built-in database connection modules help in connecting database easily reduce trouble and time for development of web applications and content based sites.
  10. Popularity of PHP gave rise to various community of developers, a fraction of which may be potential candidates for hire.
  11. Flexibility makes PHP ready to effectively combine with many other programming languages in order that the software package could use foremost effective technology for every particular feature.

Disadvantages of PHP :

  1. It is not that secure due to its open-source, because the ASCII text file are often easily available.
  2. It is not suitable for giant content-based web applications.
  3. It has a weak type, which can cause incorrect data and knowledge to user.
  4. PHP frameworks got to learn to use PHP built-in functionalities to avoid writing additional code.
  5. Using more features of PHP framework and tools cause poor performance of online applications.
  6. PHP don’t allow change or modification in core behavior of online applications.
  7. The PHP frameworks aren’t equivalent in behavior so does their performance and features.
  8. While PHP may be a powerful tool supported by an outsized community and plentiful reference documentation, there are easier programming languages for web apps.
  9. It is widely believed by the developers that PHP features a poor quality of handling errors. PHP lacks debugging tools, which are needed to look for errors and warnings. PHP has less number of debugging tools in comparison to other programming languages.
  10. It’s highly tough to manage because, it’s not competent modular. It already imitates the features of Java language.

Conclusion

PHP is not restricted to use by professional Web developers. Nor do you have to be an IT administration professional. Just like any scripting language, PHP can seem complicated at first glance. But if you persevere, you'll see that this is an interesting and accessible technology. It's also a good way of gaining an understanding of the server-side world.

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made with by Abhishek & Priyanka Jalan