PHP Versions

PHP Versions
Written by Sagar RabidasDecember 27, 2021
11 min read
Sagar Rabidas

Software Developer

In this blog, we will discuss PHP Versions.


PHP is a script at the server-side used for the creation of static or dynamic internet websites or web programs. A personal home page is a pre-processor for hypertext, which is used to face domestic pages. The software used to build net applications is an open-supply, server-aspect scripting language. We are saying an application designed for automated work by using writing a script-primarily based language (code traces). It is appropriate for the output and construction of dynamic internet pages for internet packages, e-commerce programs, and database packages. The personal home page can be inserted into HTML.


PHP Versions:-

Php is the widely used open-supply web improvement scripting/programming language, which could have HTML codes in its scripting. Because the first version was released in 1994, there have been 5 greater versions launched for PHP up-gradation functions. The six variations of the personal home page are named as ‘PHP version 1.0’, ‘personal home page version 2.0’, ‘Hypertext Preprocessor version 3.0’, ‘Hypertext Preprocessor model 4.0’, ‘personal home page model 5.0 and 6.0’, and the present-day version ‘PHP model 7. 0’.


PHP Version 1.0

  • As mentioned before, PHP development started way back in 1994 and was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. He used C as a scripting language and wrote several Common Gateway Interface programs.
  • He originally used them to maintain his homepage. He later extended these code specs to work with web forms and databases. This upgraded implementation was called Personal Home Page or Forms interpreted.
  • This initial version of PHP already had several basic functionalities. It has form handling capabilities, Perl-like variables, and the ability to work with HTML. The syntax was also similar; however, it was simpler but inconsistent.

PHP Version 2.0

  • The initial version of PHP, though not very refined gained a lot of popularity by the developer community when it was released for public usage in 1995.
  • As its popularity continued to grow, a formal developer team was formed to work on the inconsistencies of version 1.
  • Once the inconsistencies were overcome, the updated language was released as version 2 in 1997.

PHP Version 3.0

  • As PHP’s popularity grew, it attracted the attention of Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans.
  • In 1997, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans rewrote the internal PHP parser and formed the basic structure for PHP 3. The official launch of PHP 3 was done in June 1998 once the public testing was completed.
  • Later, Suraski and Gutmans started with re-write the core PHP and producing the Zend engine in 1999. This led to the foundation of Zend Technologies in Israel.

PHP Version 4.0

  • Finally, in the year 2000, PHP version 4 powered by Zend Engine 1 was released for public usage.
  • By 2008, PHP version 4 had evolved and reached 4.4.9. However, it is no more supported for security updates.

PHP Version 5.0 and 6.0

  • In 2004, this was released and was powered by Zend Engine 2.
  • It included several new features and better support for Object-Oriented Programming (OOP), PDO (PHP Data Objects) extension which provides a lightweight interface to programmers for accessing the database, and many other performance improvements.
  • It scaled up to version 5.6. In December 2018, official support for PHP security ended but Debian continued to provide security support until 2020.
  • When the developers started to use PHP 5 for the development of applications, it was realized that PHP 5.0 had insufficient support for Unicode encoding due to which the developer community had mixed opinions about it.
  • In 2005, Andrei Zmievski took charge to overcome this hindrance and launch a project to embed Unicode support throughout the PHP system.
  • To achieve this, he included the ICU i.e International Components for Unicode library across the basic PHP system. With this change, the text strings in PHP were internally represented as 16 bit Unicode Transformation Format or commonly known as UTF – 16.
  • The migration was partially completed, when it was realized that conversion to and from UTF – 16 could also cause several performance issues, and eventually the project was midway abandoned. This exercise further stressed the importance of an efficient method to embed Unicode support in PHP’s core.
  • In March 2010, PHP’s version 6.0 was released with non-Unicode features like traits and closure binding. This update left the developer community hoping for efficient Unicode integration.

Current Version 7.0

  • During 2016 and 2017, PHP underwent major changes and the update was released as PHP 7. The version number selected for rolling out this release has to face several debates.
  • Despite the PHP Unicode project not being officially released, several books had referencing included in them addressing it as PHP version 6. If an actual release would have been also rolled out as version 6, it would have confused the developer community. Hence, it was decided to release this update as version 7.0.
  • PHP 7 is based on phpng which stands for PHP next Generation. PHP Next Generation was an initiative by developers to overcome the high-performance constraints of previous PHP versions. The phpng branch served as the base branch for PHP version 7.0.
  • PHP 7 did provide several optimizations and performance improvements. It also included an in-build caching mechanism for better performance. But these could never match the performance a JIT compiler could provide.
  • Though PHP can continue to evolve it also has certain drawbacks due to which it may not appeal to all developers. PHP is an open-source code language, which means anybody can access its core ode base and identify shortcomings to take advantage of.
  • As a result of this weakness, the probability of PHP websites being hacked is higher than those built-in in other languages. Since PHP is not very modular, it is not a favorable language for developing large applications. Also, PHP data types may surprise new programmers. For instance, the string “1000” is the same as “1e3” as they both cast to float type.


As seen above, from its first launch itself, Hypertext Preprocessor has been very popular inside the developer community despite its inconsistencies and overall performance troubles. It's miles an easy-to-use language and its creators are devoted to continuing PHP's evolution to triumph over those issues. The continuous improvement cycle of PHP has still saved many developers hooked to PHP as a web development language despite cutting side opposition from PHP friends like python and java.

php Versions
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made with by Abhishek & Priyanka Jalan