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.
How do we know this? Let’s find out.
What does the data say
According to the data from Builtwith, currently there are at least 37,805,937 live websites using PHP. The website considers PHP a mega technology, which means those technologies with more than 2.5 million active websites.
Another research from W3techs says that ‘PHP is used by 79.0% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.’
And there is more, much more that you will find that establishes just how important and relevant PHP is still is today.
Let us throw in more graph to solidify the argument. Here a graphical representation depicting the popularity of programming languages made by RedMonk.
They collect the data from GitHub and Stackoverflow where the data source used for the GitHub portion of the analysis is the GitHub Archive and For Stack Overflow, they collect the required metrics using their data explorer tool.
The top 10 languages are as follows:
Why did PHP have to face this shame
Let’s just accept this first, PHP did not deserve this. No,nyet! Please for internet’s sake do not use statements like ‘PHP doesn’t scale’ or ‘PHP is slow.’ This hurts the sentiments of backend coding done on Wikipedia, Facebook, WordPress, etc.
Now don’t tell us you did not understand. Oh cmon!
As of 2019 23 September 2019, there are 5,934,995 articles in the English Wikipedia and total 48,608,564 articles and is one of the top 5 visited websites across the globe.
1.59 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily and are considered daily active users (Facebook DAU) for June 2019.
And these websites run perfectly on PHP. Now who said anything about PHP not being scalable and slow, please stand up?!
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.
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.
This is the major difference between a language having a long standing future and a stable long standing future. Java and PHP have long standing future. They are prone to fluctuations but it take them eons to go out of relevance. Python, on the other hand, has a stable long standing future. And Objective-C, had an entirely unstable future.
- 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.
With PHP, version 7.1 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.