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What is PHP and what is PHP used for

PHP explained in a nutshell

PHP is the abbreviation for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor", a widely used and very easy to learn open source server-side scripting language that was specially designed for web development. In the early days of the Internet, it was very difficult to create dynamic web pages that could respond to user interactions. Static HTML websites, which were very common in the beginning, became more and more exotic. However, thanks to the scripting language PHP, that quickly changed.

Initially, PHP was smiled at by the international developer community and not really taken seriously. One reason for this may have been the common name for PHP at the time, "Personal Home Page Tools". It was more likely due to the limited range of functions at the time and the fact that many programming languages already mastered object-oriented programming (OOP).

PHP has now grown up and has nothing to do with "Personal Home Page Tools", as PHP was originally called. OOP has found its way and many good and powerful PHP frameworks have not only significantly improved web development with PHP over the years, but also made it more professional.

Modern websites are no longer developed with one programming language, sometimes a handful of programming languages are used. For the server-side execution e.g. PHP and as a front-end language JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Anyone who deals with PHP development cannot avoid database systems. An early companion is the mySQL database, which we believe may also have contributed to the success of PHP.

PHP market share 2022

PHP is now indispensable, which may be due to the fact that PHP is very easy to learn and you can get very good results in a very short time. Although PHP is losing ground if you look at the statistics for the 10 most popular programming languages, PHP ranks 6th, next to Java, Python and JavaScript of the most popular programming languages worldwide.

PHP's market share in 2008 was almost 21% worldwide. In 2022 the proportion was around 6%. The front runner among the most popular programming languages is currently Python, which has a market share of around 28%.

What are the areas of application of PHP?

Many of the best-known CMS systems use PHP as the programming language. Probably the best-known of the PHP CMS systems is WordPress. But Drupal, Neos and typo3 are also among the best-known PHP scripts worldwide. In addition to the PHP-CMS systems, there are a variety of other PHP applications such as CRM systems such as SugarCRM, web shops such as Shopware, booking systems and sales platforms. But not only online tools such as a CMS system rely on PHP, also a large number of the well-known online portals such as Flickr, Facebook and were and are developed with PHP. Ultimately, you can program almost anything with PHP.