Over the past two decades, PHP has established itself as a powerful server-side scripting language and it has become the favorite choice for developers to create websites of all types. Do we have no other options? Besides PHP, Java and Python are other popular general-purpose scripting languages. W3TECH reports that 77% of all websites use PHP, followed by java with 4.5%, and Python with 1.4%.

Additionally, PHP is platform independent, which means that it can be used on Mac OS, Windows, or Linux.

Web Technology Survey 2022

Choosing a programming language for web development can be confusing, especially when you have many options. One such general-purpose scripting language is what we know as PHP. Abbreviated for hypertext preprocessor, PHP is used to develop dynamic and interactive websites. Interestingly, it was among the first server-side languages that can be embedded into HTML. This property makes it convenient to add functionality to web pages without calling external files for data.  But does this mean it is the prerequisite for web development?

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Is PHP Necessary for Web Development? 

The short and honest answer to this is a No. 

Primarily, using any particular programming language is an individual choice. As almost all languages are somehow equally robust. However, it is essential to know what determines the selection. To make it easy, consider the three important points that help you choose a programming language for web development.

  • Skills: The thorough knowledge of the language will serve you better. (PHP is fairly easy to learn and execute)
  • Requirements: The attributes you intend to have for your web development can guide you well. (PHP with upgraded version provides ample features to utilize)
  • Availability: The programming language might require other revenues involved with it to work. (PHP is free of cost)

Who uses PHP?

PHP is designed to be simple and its priority on usability makes it a great choice for small businesses and large enterprises just the same. Let us take some well-known examples that use PHP for web development.

These are lists of the world’s most popular websites that are built using PHP:

most popular websites that are built using PHP

1. WordPress 

35,47,741 WordPress websites also use PHP.

It is a profound content management system (CMS) that uses PHP for database interaction and fetching data. Here PHP receives the main components from the database to reflect output as the static HTML. Its users even with little or no coding experience, can drag and drop the UI components to create and use new templates. 

2. Wikipedia

The core & powerful platform of Wikipedia- MediaWiki, is written in PHP.

MediaWiki works out for collecting and organizing knowledge to make it available to its larger mass of users. Combined with PHP it uses MySQL for the database backend. They implemented HHVM that enables the extraction of high performance from PHP code. 

3. Facebook

Facebook, the most popular social network with millions of users, was developed primarily using PHP.

Since its founding in 2004, Facebook has leveraged PHP’s capability to generate dynamic content in seconds. Zuckerberg and Moskowitz wrote all the Facebook application code in PHP at its inception. Today, a large number of tech companies use PHP because of this domino effect.

4. Slack

The chief architect at Slack refers to PHP-the-language might have flaws, but PHP-as-environment has virtues to compensate for the flaws.

Slack was established as a go-to communication platform for teams back in 2009 that has over 3 M daily users now. The server-side application logic of Slack is well-taken care of by PHP.

5. MailChimp

As an email marketing service company, they affirm that PHP is the most sophisticated framework for their environment.

MailChimp is regarded as the largest marketing automation platform with over 13 M total users. PHP is the primary language they use for development. Also to claim it is the only language they use for everything touching the production of MailChimp application.  

6. Spotify

By the use of Symfony2, Spotify made it easier for the users to get the music faster by reducing the search time.

Spotify is a cloud music streaming platform with 288 M premium subscribers to date. The improved usage of PHP allows its users to access millions of songs with a simple search. 

7. Canva

Canva was built on PHP-only, later integrated with Node.js to stretch its feature set. Although a majority of Canva back-end tasks are still taken care of by PHP.

Canva is a designing tool that is originally built on PHP. It engages more than 10 M global users by allowing them to create great design projects without any hindrances.

8. Etsy

With over 96.3 million active buyers, Etsy has become one of the top ten most popular retail PHP websites in the US.

As a result, Etsy becomes one of the largest e-commerce sites built on PHP. Etsy is the most competitive organization in the retail sector that uses PHP. For webpage performance optimizations, they documented their experiments with HHVM. Moreover, they released Phan, which detects PHP 5/7 incompatibilities automatically.

Why do so many developers hate PHP?

To understand this, it is pretty much important to know that PHP was initially not a language, rather it was a set of tools for exclusive usage. Some of the functional aspects that do not favor PHP, surely make people resent its usage. Let us know those attributes.

Why do so many developers hate PHP?

  • Incongruent functions – PHP is not intuitive. There are often unsystematic syntaxes, inconsistency, and unpredictability in function naming as there are no strict rules regarding parameter order. Due to this, even though it is one of the easiest languages to learn, only experienced developers can assure whether your code will be clean enough to function.
  • Lack of progressive libraries – Of course if you Google ‘PHP libraries’ you will find plenty of options to create a prominent web application. The only complication is PHP not having libraries that can support the modern trends of technology to develop an enduring web application. It surely requires enhancements.
  • Security concerns – PHP is patronized for its being ‘easy peasy’ with public accessibility. However, the same features make it vulnerable to malicious attacks. This is really a matter of discussion around by many developers. If this is analyzed rightly, such incidents come up when the coding is done by non-professionals. Indeed the ease of coding in PHP for web development allows even the newbies to code a great web application, but as a consequence face security issues.

So let’s not blame it all on PHP, get it done by professional web developers as the experience factor plays a critical role in web development by PHP. 

Despite the antagonist thinking for PHP in web development, it is knotty to see PHP failing to be seen in the developer’s tech stack. 

Let’s see why!

Reasons Why PHP is a Great Choice for Millions of Businesses?

PHP is indeed an old programming language, but it is equally remarkable that PHP has spread its wings. This has brought a lot of enhancements to the of use PHP in web development.

Reasons-Why-PHP-is-a-Great-Choice for-Millions-of-Businesses


  1. Flexibility –  PHP allows you to work with nearly any database whether it be MySQL, MS-SQL, PostgreSQL, or Oracle.
  2. Compatibility – PHP is a cross-platform language, that makes it compatible with any operating system including Linux, Windows, and macOS.
  3. Scalability – PHP is always a clever solution if you are limited in budget. It is one most affordable in terms of the overall cost to run and maintain a web application.
  4. Well-documentation – PHP with its modulation gained sophistication to have clear documentation of APIs, especially during web development planning.
  5. Well-supported – PHP is now even supported by various cloud services naming one AWS. Thus it can also fit well in cloud-based web application development.
  6. High-performance – PHP in web applications can integrate CMS solutions along with the add-ons, eventually creating a vibrant, responsive, and resource-rich experience.
  7. Quick – PHP with its latest version 8.0 includes a JIT compiler, making it faster than before. 

All these modulations have been added to upgrade the functionality of PHP in web development. So if you use the older versions then it is obvious you would resonate with using PHP for web development.

Are you aware of the latest version of PHP? 

PHP development began in 1994, with no intention to develop it as a programming language. Hence the early versions were just the addition of the next logical step on the way. Now, the table has turned!

latest version of PHP

The latest version of PHP is PHP 8.1 released on November 25, 2021. This release of PHP version 8.1 included several improvements.

  • Support for Enums
  • Support for ReadOnly properties
  • Support for array unpacking with string keys
  • Support for using ‘new’ in initializers
  • Support for pure intersection types 
  • Addition of new syntax for creating callables

These and even other features have enhanced the performance of PHP in web development. 

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Which PHP Frameworks are Most Popular?

The development of a PHP web application requires a platform of code libraries for commonly used functions. This is well provided by the PHP frameworks with the benefits including; writing less code, libraries for common tasks, data sanitization, faster development, and easy maintenance.

The preference of selecting a PHP framework includes the right balance of the utility features required for the development project.

Here are some of the most favored PHP frameworks that make it convenient for the easy development of PHP web applications:

1. Laravel

Laravel is one of the most extensively used web development with the users’ list involving Vogue and Ascot. The advanced features that make it the best PHP framework include:

  • MVC Architecture – which makes it more appealing for the developers to improve the performance of web applications
  • Modular Library – multiple functions and features are exclusive to laravel 
  • Robust Templates – the lightweight templates allow developers to create a flawless web application with integrated CSS and pleasing layouts 
  • Data Migration – automatic, hassle-free migration of data without any loss 
  • Strong Security – ability to create SQL statements to prevent SQL injection attacks
  • Testing – effortless multiple unit tests ensure proper execution of modified codes

In addition to providing developer-friendly packages, Laravel development services help ensure that the web’s functionality is not sacrificed during the development process.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade from Laravel 8 to 9


2. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is one highly selected framework by eCommerce businesses like G Shock and WooBox. The significant features that stimulate the selection of this framework include,

  • Significantly smaller footprint – 2MB download including user manual, yet fully self-contained
  • Simple UI – enhances UX by finding bugs that might hinder website functionality
  • Strong forum support – more than 60,000 members in the support community add ease to the usage
  • Good speed with Minimum coding – the lesser you type the fewer mistake you make, and the lesser debugging time
  • SEO friendly – inherent SEO-friendly feature support website structure consistency with enhanced functionality without disarranging website layout

3. Symfony

Symfony possesses mainly all the characteristics of a modern framework used by well-known users like  SonyVaio and The Noble Peace Prize. It is a feature-rich PHP framework that streamlines the process of web application development with some interesting features:

  • Customization – offers two types of customization full stack and brick-by-brick
  • Sustainability – commercially supported by Sensiolabs for lifetime security issues
  • Developers Community – participation of over 600,000 developers from more than 120 countries
  • Refined MVC – freedom to easily separate business logic from user presentation for better reusability

Wrapping up

PHP is the most popular server-side script which is in use by over 200 million websites in the world. When utilized with a suitable framework, PHP can do wonders. So if you are planning web development in PHP, our professional team of web development experts with rich and extensive experience in different web projects will take care of your requirements from ideation to final delivery. Moreover, the professional team of web developers will assist your business platform or website.

Get in touch with us now and build your team to create a meaningful impact on your business.

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