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Is It Still Relevant To Build Websites With PHP In 2020?

June 06, 2020



Salim Elliye

Blog Editor with a profound interest in software development and advancements of technology.

PHP is known as one of the most powerful open source programming languages to develop interactive and dynamic web pages. It was one of the most popular and widely used scripting languages that transformed the web. Over a period of time, there were a number of competitors like Python, Ruby, Go and others that emerged. 


If you search on the web for keywords ‘death of PHP’ or ‘is PHP dead?’ there will be tons of posts you will stumble upon singing the same old tale about how PHP is declining or how the usage has plummeted over the years. But let’s not feed to the rumours and establish something at the very beginning of this post: PHP is not dead and is not dying anytime soon.


In this post, we’ll dig into the data and show how PHP isn’t close to being dead (even if you really wish it were).

Is PHP Dead? Only if You Ignore the PHP Usage Statistics


PHP might not be the best or the most modern programming language. But that doesn’t mean it’s dead, and it’s pretty tough to argue with the PHP statistics here…

First off, let’s look at what W3Techs has to say.


According to W3Techs’ data, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. So almost 8 out of every 10 websites that you visit on the Internet are using PHP in some way. 


To be fair, that number is declining. In November 2017, W3Techs had PHP as the server-side language for 80.1% of websites. That number dropped to 79.6% in June 2018, and now it’s down to 78.4% when we’re publishing this post in June 6.

But when the number is still over 75%, it’s tough to use that decline to pronounce PHP as dead.


These numbers really shouldn’t be surprising if you think about it. First off, WordPress, the most popular content management system in existence, uses PHP. Given that WordPress powers over 34% of all the websites on the Internet, that’s a lot of sites using PHP right there. 

But it’s not just WordPress, either. There are tons of other big and small sites built with PHP. For example, MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia, is written in PHP. And oh yeah, both Drupal and Joomla use PHP, too.


PHP Is Faster and Better Than Ever, Too


With the latest versions of PHP, PHP is faster than ever. Recent PHP benchmarks show a huge performance increase for PHP 7.X over PHP 5.6.


The old PHP can be slow. PHP 7 is fast. In fact, it is 3 times faster than the Python language. Moreover, PHP is a good choice for content driven websites. E-commerce is not far behind as most business owners put great focus on selling instead of coding.


How PHP is the best fit for your web development startup?


-PHP, especially after version 7.0, is fast, simple, very syntax rich. It comes with embedded security libraries while being the cheapest language available on every hosting provider.


-PHP runs on multiple CPU cores (Node.js needs additional work) and can be used both as sync and async (like Node.js) with an additional script.


-PHP implements type hinting, interfaces, facades, traits, singletons, closures, structured exceptions, generic containers, iterators, namespaces, packages (Composer, akin to npm), unit tests, continuous integration.


-It comes with thousands of packaged (and stand-alone) libraries, MVC / REST frameworks.


Reasons why PHP has a long future


Now there, before we try to explain the future of PHP, one thing to understand here is that there is a difference between a long future and a stable long standing future. The popularity of programming languages is defined by the demand that gets created in the market.

Now there, before we try to explain the future of PHP, one thing to understand here is that there is a difference between a long future and a stable long standing future. The popularity of programming languages is defined by the demand that gets created in the market.

Take for example the current scenario, where Machine Learning and AI are the two most talked about and in-demand fields. These two emerging technologies catapulted Python as the current most in-demand programming language in the ether.

This fluctuate the rankings of PHP and Java. They dropped a few ranks down.

In the same way, during the initial stages, Objective-C was considered the Bible of iOS app development. However, with the rise of Swift, the former programming language almost went to the edge of extinction. Today, a very few, limited number of iOS apps are developed in Objective-C.


Reason 1. PHP is synonymous to websites

As long as there will be websites, so will be PHP. When it comes to ML and AI, developers trust blindly on Python. Similarly if you want to build a website that is both scalable and fast, PHP should be your go-to choice.


Reason 2. Low development costs

First thing to keep in mind: PHP has been around since a long time. From as long as programming languages has been around, PHP has created its own identity. Now, since it is an open-source server-side programming language, you can reduce the development costs marginally during PHP development services.


Reason 3. Scalability

This reason cannot be stressed enough. In fact, scalability is the first thing that jumps to mind when you talk about application development in PHP. For eg:- Enterprise Software like ERP. Applications built in PHP are made scalable by adding more servers to a group of servers. Load balancers distribute the workload among the servers.


Reason 4. Security & Protection

It is next to impossible to find the one who started the rumour that PHP is bad when it comes to security. But let’s rest that rumour then and there, because it rarely has any in-built security flaws. A language is only as safe as the developers who build it.When PHP 7 came out, there were optimum security upgradations which revamped the security protocol of the language. Never be a PHP sceptic again!It is still and will be a top choice to develop an eCommerce website or a custom CMS. Additionally, if you are looking for API development, it becomes the preferred choice.


Reason 5. Ginormous community

As we discussed, at least 8 out of 10 websites run on PHP, meaning tons of developers know how to code in PHP, both experienced and beginners. Being in the industry for more than a decade, even today more than 50 percent of inquiries we receive are inclined towards the ubiquitous PHP.


Is it Easy to Find PHP Developers?


Because of PHP’s popularity, it’s easy to find PHP developers. And not just PHP developers – but PHP developers with experience.


For newer frameworks, it’s harder to find developers, especially ones with experience.


About PHP Frameworks


PHP frameworks streamline the the development of web applications written in PHP by providing a basic structure for which to build the web applications. In other words, PHP frameworks help to promote rapid application development (RAD), which saves you time, helps build more stable applications, and reduces the amount of repetitive coding for developers. Frameworks can also help beginners to build more stable apps by ensuring proper database interaction and coding on the presentation layer.


Top PHP Frameworks in 2020 For Web Developers

1. Laravel One of the Most Popular PHP Frameworks

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework that follows the MVC model that helps programmers to handle their coding tasks in an easy, simple, and
well-documented manner. First released in 2011, the PHP framework has gone through heavy criticism from the developers’ community who
complained about its inconsistencies in syntax design, which has improved with the time.
The popularity of the framework can be attributed to its ability to code and handle complex web applications with complete security and speed.

2. Yii PHP Framework

Yii is an object-oriented framework and is based on the Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) concept. It is also one of the oldest PHP frameworks that is right for the development of large-scale websites, as it can be easily integrated with the features of jQuery and AJAX. Yii lazy loading technique makes it faster and suitable for all kinds of web apps.
Furthermore, it comes with an extremely easy installation process and is highly extensible. Yii powerful class code generator Gii. Help ease out the process of object-oriented programming, helping the developers to generate the desired code easily.

3. Zend PHP Framework

Zend is next on the list of PHP frameworks. It is completely based on the object-oriented framework and is extendable in nature due to features such as interfaces and inheritance. It is built on the agile methodology that aims to deliver you high-quality development of web applications.
The framework offers high customisability and is an excellent choice to incorporate in your project-specific functions. Zend Framework comes with a surplus of components for creating tasks such as authentication, services, and forms.

4. Symfony PHP Framework for Large-Scale Enterprise Web Projects

The Symfony is an open-source framework that was launched in 2005. It also has an MVC architecture and is a reliable platform to use for web development. The basis of Symfony is to offer hectic free coding and saving your time of development. It allows developers to add additional modules according to the project needs. It has a set of readily available framework components to define the style and architecture of your application.
Symfony is great for developing large-scale enterprise projects. It’s also easy to install and can also be configured easily on most platforms. It allows you to write codes in fewer lines and runs 7% faster to make your application work smoothly. 

5. CakePHP Framework


CakePHP is one of the most used PHP frameworks around the globe. It simplifies the development of complex and big size applications still simple and elegant to use. It will help you build impressive websites with loads of visually-impressive features. In addition, CakePHP is the easiest framework to learn for developers, as it is based on the concept of CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) framework. With the passage of time, CakePHP has gained better performance and many new components with features that simplify the coding tasks such as code caching, validation, translation, database access, and authentication.




You Don’t Have to Like PHP, But It’s Not Dead


No programming language is perfect—not even the ones that are all the rage. The reality is, every language can rise and fall in popularity over time.


So far, we can conclude that PHP is not dead yet. Now, we can hope that 2020 is going to bring an end various blog posts regarding “is PHP dying”.


With PHP, version 7.X coming in hot, it looks like a completely new language with new and improved features. It will further evolve and come out stronger and better than ever before. One of the most significant qualities of PHP is that it is open source. This allows for a full code visibility and a large community of developers resulting in new ideas, quicker development, and troubleshooting.


All PHP frameworks are different and unique from each other and offer amazing features . If you are looking to build wonderful web applications for your firm, then it's time to choose the right framework for rapid web development service.

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