What Is PHP Used For?

What Is PHP Used For

PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language that is used for developing web applications. A scripting language is a bit different from a programming language as the programs are written in script and follow the line of code to automate the tasks. You might think that web pages are created using HTML, and the execution of the code is done on the user’s browser. But that’s not where all the things are done, behind the scenes is where the real work happens. The request is sent to the server using PHP scripting language. Once the request is executing on the server, the request is sent back to your browser. That’s how a web browser displays the webpage you requested. The use of PHP does not end there, and today we’re going to outline several different technology and computer science fields where it is regularly used.

PHP Real World Applications

For some people imagining PHP handling all the heavy-duty back-end tasks is completely impossible in today’s world. But it will come to you as a surprise to know that most of the startups that are now part of the Fortune 500 have one thing in common. That is the use of PHP in their back-end computing tasks. Facebook, Mailchimp, Slack, and other companies heavily rely on PHP to handle their back-end infrastructure.

Given below, we have compiled some of the best and massive real-world implementations of PHP which you might not be aware of. These are all real-world applications, and if you use one of these services or websites, you are actually receiving the data from the application using PHP server end scripting language.

1. Facebook

Yes, Facebook, one of the most used social media platforms to this date, used PHP for developing its website’s back-end infrastructure primarily. The main use of PHP in Facebook’s development was the ability to generate dynamic content. At the core, the main code is written in all PHP by Mark Zuckerberg and Moskowitz themselves. Once Facebook got popular and people started noticing its success, PHP got popular. As a result, the domino effect started, and then a large number of companies started using PHP in their upcoming and ongoing projects.

Facebook also gave something back to the PHP community. The company created HipHop for PHP, which is a transpiler or a compiler that can easily convert the source code written in PHP into the source code of another language.

2. Wikipedia

We all have been to Wikipedia numerous times, and without a doubt, it is one of the most visited public information websites on the internet. But one thing you don’t know about Wikipedia is that the website uses PHP as its main programming language along with MySQL, which handles the back-end database. The website was shifted to Hip-hop Virtual Machine created by Facebook in 2014, and since then, the page loading speed has doubled.

3. MailChimp

Mailchimp has completely changed the email marketing world. All credit for the success of the email marketing campaign belongs to the scalable PHP databases that operate on the website’s back-end and provide users with all the different information they require.

4. WordPress

WordPress is considered to be the largest content management system on the internet. If you are looking to create a website in no time for their blog, WordPress needs to be your first consideration. In WordPress, PHP is used to fetch out the main components from the database and output them in the form of static HTML.

As a result, WordPress can serve millions of users looking to create their first-ever website. Also, with PHP implementation at the back end, the website is able to provide drag and drop features for making templates and other UI components without requiring any coding knowledge from the user’s end.

5. Tumblr

If you are an artist, you sure have used Tumblr or might be using it consistently to share your ideas and get inspiration as well. You might not know this, but Tumblr was the birthplace of memes. Since its inception, users on Tumblr have created 325 million blogs. All these blogs and 555 million monthly active users need to access the data at a lightning-fast speed. As a result, in 2016, Tumbler shifted to PHP7, which led to an increase in the performance and the addition of new language features such as scalar type hints along with declarations of the return type.

Benefits Of Using PHP

PHP, also known as Hypertext Preprocessor, has several benefits, which helps in making it the best choice for a server-side scripting language. Given below, we have explained some of those benefits, so our readers can see how PHP can provide a boost to their websites.

1. Open Source

Being an open-source scripting language means that you don’t need to worry about the license when using PHP in your project. In addition to this, the source code of the scripting language is present online, and you can make changes to it according to your need without facing any legal charges. On the other hand, you will find tons of codes, frameworks and libraries already present on the internet which can solve your purpose, resulting in you not being required to write the whole code.

2. Easy Development

With PHP, a developer can make dynamic web content for their website and add in a number of tools along with other scripting languages like Magento, Joomla, WordPress, etc. Likewise, PHP is compatible with many operating systems, including Mac Os as well, so a developer doesn’t have to worry about PHP projects not working on Apple systems.

3. Manageable

There are a number of popular frameworks present that can upscale the level of development, allowing effortless customization. You can use CakePHP, Laravel, Phalcon, and others to manage your website’s customization.

4. Cost Friendly

There’s a reason why Mark Zukerberg used PHP when developing Facebook, and it’s the cost that you need to pay in order to maintain the website, hosting, and expansion. If we compare the cost of a website built using PHP vs. the other, we can clearly see that PHP is much more cheaper and affordable. Being open-source, a developer can do anything with the source and mend it according to the project requirement. Also, when using PHP, you are not required to implement it on your server-side.

10 Must Know PHP Libraries For PHP Developers

As we said, PHP is quite an efficient programming language, and instead of writing a full code, you can use the libraries to reduce the time you spend on website development. Thus, making it easier for developers to focus on the other aspects of the project. Given below, we have provided you with a list of some of the best PHP libraries that one needs to know when using PHP as a development language in their project.

1. PChart

If you are looking for a way to get your data generated in the form of a visual chart, then you must try PChart and see the results yourself. It can display your data in the form of pie charts, bar charts, and many more. There is a complete customization of the charts, and you can even add in your custom SQL queries that will provide the back-end information you need to generate the graphs.

2. PHP Captcha

This is something you have seen a lot of times when you are trying to open a web page using public Wifi. With the help of PHP captcha, you don’t need to worry about creating an audio or visual captcha manually. They will all be handled by PHP, and they are fully automated challenges used to determine if the viewer is a bot or a human. In order to use this library, you need to have PHP 4, which can be compiled with FreeType text and can support GD 1 or 2 images generation.

3. Monolog

With this library, you can save up all your logs in one location; in that way, it will be easier for you to go through them and find the necessary information. It is not an easy task to save all the logs in one location, but with Monolog, you can do it in an instant and save them up in sockets, inboxes, databases, and in other forms of web services. The library works with a PSR-3 interface which makes it possible for you to type-hint logs with your libraries so as to get maximum interoperability.

4. Guzzle

To send out the HTTP requests to the server, Guzzle is specifically used when working with PHP. When working with this library, a developer gets to send the HTML request with ease that will integrate with other web services. It has a user-friendly interface, which will help you build query strings, POST requests, and provide other attributes. In addition, this library can be used to send both synchronous and asynchronous requests by using a single interface. Guzzle can be installed using the composer command: composer require guzzlehttp/Guzzle.l

5. Swiftmailer

To create a mailing operation in your web application, you need to use Swiftmailer. With this library, one gets to implement the advanced object-oriented programming approach that will be combined with a multitude of mailing features that are required to send emails over the web. One of the prominent features of using this library is that it will help the website to be secure from header injection attacks without even removing the requested data content. As a result, Swiftmailer becomes one of the most efficient mailing systems that can be used with PHP. In order to use the Swiftmailer, you need to input the following command:- composer require swiftmailer/ swiftmailer.

6. AWS SDK for PHP

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services; with this library, one gets to use the AWS services with the PHP application via SDK implementation. With the help of AWS SDK, one can create applications that use Amazon S3, Glacier, DynamoDB, along with other services. All you have to do is install the SDK of the required library via composer, and you will get all the Amazon services pre-configured in it, which are ready to be used in your PHP-based project. In order to implement this library, you first need to initialize the SDK by adding in the vendor files. Once the vendor files are added in, you can start creating multiple user cases according to your need, and the AWS functionalities will perform as usual.

7. Shellwrap

ShellWrap is the one library that does it all; it has quite a powerful syntax and runs with Linux/ UNIX tools by simple command collaboration. Also, this library is a great help for developers who don’t want to spend too much time searching for errors and bugs in their code. ShellWrap can quickly identify and mark these mistakes, making it easier for developers to fix them.

8. PhpDocumentor

With this library, you get to create amazing professional-looking documents by using PHP code. There are many features which this library supports so as to enhance the functionality of a website. With this document creator, a developer can easily create tutorial documents, link different documents, and highlight the source, which comes with cross-referencing for general PHP documentation. Furthermore, if you are looking to automate the documentation of the project, you can use this library and make things easier for yourself.

9. PHP Thumbnailer

This is a simple image manipulation library that can help a developer in creating thumbnails. With Thumbnailer, you don’t need any more libraries as it provides you with all the controls that you need over your thumbnail. Moreover, with this library at work, you can even create custom crops for your thumbnail, rotate the image in each direction, and change the width and height via percentage.

10. ImageWorkshop

Last on our list of best PHP libraries is the Image workshop; with this library, or shall we say tool, you get control of different layers of the image. With this, you can perform all the functions of the thumbnailer like adding a watermark and manipulating the image in other ways. This library is used to enhance the image quality that you will be using on the website.

Wrapping Up

Due to its Dynamic nature in a scripting language, PHP is able to save thousands of hours for companies. This allows them to focus their resources on increasing the ROI of their business. Now with the latest release of PHP7, we see a consistent rise in the popularity of PHP as the best server-side scripting language.

If you are running a business and want to shift it online, you seriously need to consider PHP for developing the back end of your website. We have shown you how some of the top websites on the internet have implemented PHP on their server-side. In the same way, you can implement PHP too in your business and get the results that you want.


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