Why is PHP dying? or is it here to stay?

PHP was originally created in 1994, which came into existence in 1995 as one of the prominent server side scripting language. PHP is widely used general-purpose scripting language especially for web development. On an average, PHP is used by 75% of all the websites being developed. In the other words, we can say 7 out of 10 websites have succeeded in PHP. 75% of usage clearly figures that more than half of the software industry is dominated by PHP indicating it a strong market leader. Besides, popular websites like Wikipedia and Facebook the CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento are also built in PHP.

Server Side Programming Language

PHP is the oldest server-side programming language being used necessitating ample number of veteran PHP professionals who provide support and maintenance related ease. One can’t fix a portion of the moles without breaking a ton of the web. And that’s the reason why PHP still continues to shine.

Other Reasons Reflecting Its Aliveness-

  1. Easy to update

    PHP based websites are easily updated and update prompt too. Since it is a server-side programming language, all its updates will be done from server side and not from the client side, thus secure. Besides, updates will not impact browser settings.

  2. PHP libraries

    PHP based websites are easily updated and update prompt too. Since it is a server-side programming language, all its updates will be done from server side and not from the client side, thus secure. Besides, updates will not impact browser settings.

    • Error handling and debugging becomes easy in PHP while developing web application at the time developers land up with problems and the script doesn’t works properly and returns error.
    • Provides simple and user-friendly API. An Application Programming Intreface (API) defines the classes, methods or functions and variables needed to be called by the application in order to carry out its functional task.
    • PHP provides quick and hassle-free third party integration like stripe payment, paypal payment, etc.
    • Supports multiple caching methods which fetch data from database reducing load on the server.
    • PHP provides pre-defined or built-in functions while working with web services which can be reused number of times the developer wish to use.
    • Displays error with syntax-highlighted is an easy way to share source code details.
    • One more feature that PHP gives it that it can be easily packaged with almost all Linux distributions and so it makes it very easy to run with 2 commands on the command-line.
    • PHP has some interesting modules such as for image processing it has integration with GD library and many other modules which take the workforce of the programmers.

But when the number is still over 75%, it’s difficult or imprecise to pronounce PHP as dead. These numbers truly shouldn’t be startling if you think about it. First off, WordPress, the most popular content management system in existence, uses PHP. Given that WordPress controls over 32% of all the considerable number of sites on the Internet (Source: Kinsta), that is a great deal of locales using PHP. But it’s not just WordPress, either. There are tons of other big and small sites built with PHP for example Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Google uses some PHP also, so if these 5 website did not die PHP won’t die.

Yet it creates a moot point among developers as well as software companies to discuss the controversial question whether PHP is dying? Or is it here to stay? 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 78.8% when we are distributing this post in January 2019. The below graph has been taken from Google Trends showing the usage statistics of PHP over 10 years. PHP has not been able to sustain its pace of growth since 2016.

PHP is the programming language both loved and hated. The most popular server side programming language has low reputation among many developers. Analyzing statistical data available on Internet, it is clear that PHP has lost its strategy, its strength reflecting market position in last 5 years. One cannot deplore that PHP is dead. Actually other server-side programming languages are proliferating which might be more productive and promising than PHP. Switching, adapting and learning new language is not an easy thing to do. But yes, it is good to overcome the cons of PHP.

PHP Competition With Latest Scripting Languages:

Python, node.js, ruby, C# are some of the fastest growing server-side languages which are shrinking PHP’s usage. These languages might threaten to dethrone PHP and factors that might bring it down or can say that bringing it down.

Pythons booming support in machine learning, data science, artificial intelligence has fueled a sharp rise in the number of software developer’s learning Python. Ease of learning, better design, and simpler syntax, easily available debugging tools and versatility reflects positives of learning Python programming language.

Conclusion

As stated early, languages never die, they proliferate. PHP is quite popular and widely used programming language, it won’t fade easily. PHP usage will drop down in slow and steady manner. PHP is its own victim in some cases.  PHP death will leave a great impact on eCommerce. Popular CMSs like WordPress and Magento are demanded and respected for developing eCommerce websites. Ofcourse, there are other resources which might help out but not as popular as WordPress and Magento.

Nivedita Mitra

Nivedita Mitra

Sr. Php Developer

Team leader for Web & Cloud technologies at Creole Studios, and one who takes any challenge headstrong, while never losing the calm.