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August 7, 2018

Why is PHP still being used to create websites?

This was pretty epic.

A real drop-the-mic-er.

It was this answer on Quora I saw the other day from Vakrokh. The question was:

“Why is PHP still being used to create new websites? Why aren’t all new sites using more modern frameworks such as Django or Rails.”

I love how these guys just throw “modern” in there.

As if “modern” automatically equals “better”.

Anyway, here was Vahrokh’s answer:

“PHP is not still being used. ‘Still’ is a word suitable to 2012 PHP, when it has been under an heavy rework and to end users / programmers it looked like it was being neglected and forgotten.

Since 2014 we have PHP 7 (currently, PHP 7.2). PHP 7+ has a massive number of modern features that easily put it on par with Python / Ruby if not above. Interfaces, closures, traits, iterators, containers, exceptions, async programming, websockets (and much more) put PHP back in the competition.

Modern PHP frameworks (Laravel being the most famous, but there are dozens) easily compete with other languages.

Furthermore, PHP 7 brought in something that missed in PHP 5.x: speed and low memory consumption. PHP 7 speed is 100% faster than PHP 5.x and PHP 7.2 is 105% faster than PHP 5.x. The same web request that takes 80 MB RAM on PHP 5.x, takes about 7 MB RAM on PHP 7.2.

A massive saving!

PHP 7 even beats Facebook’s ‘native compiler’ in several tasks. This translates into reduced hosting and upgrade costs. We are talking about the language that could be hosted the cheapest of all, now getting cheaper.

I won’t cover PHP MVC frameworks because there’s copious literature about them. Let’s say there is a flavour for everyone: from the fully featured Laravel and Symfony (that easily compete with Django and Ruby On Rails) to API / backend optimized frameworks, to ‘beginners frameworks’ and mini / micro frameworks.

Last but not least, you can find and hire PHP developer everywhere and their wages are competitive.

All of the above, show how and why PHP is still a widely common choice for new projects.”

Boom!

And, here’s the other thing. In this tornado of new stuff coming out all the time, PHP has been a kind of calm at the center of that storm.

Steadily moving along.

Making the necessary adaptations.

And, still powering 80%+ of the web.

Plenty of work to be had.

(Unless you’re a blue-haired, latte-sipper who “like, OMG, has to work in NYC or L.A. for like a rad start-up. And, PHP is like… ugh… dirty. Gah!”)

If all that chaos has you overwhelmed and terrified of the future, you can simply and calmly just step out of it. PHP is one great way to do that.

That and learning programming principles…

Beyond the languages.

Like object-oriented programming.

Design patterns like MVC.

Security.

Hell, even something simple like proper form-building.

That’s the stuff to learn. The “eye” at the center of a constantly-changing industry that can give you some peace of mind, security and some confidence.

Anyway, let me not blabbeth longer.

Fist bump for Vahrokh.

And, if you want to learn those core languages and programming principles, then check out my PHP curriculum on SkillShare. Everything I mentioned above is in there for the taking.

Link is here: https://www.skillshare.com/r/user/johnmorris

Later,

John

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