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Is PHP Still Relevant to Build Websites in 2021: Benefits and Real Examples

  • 8-9 min read
  • July 28, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 4.5 (438 votes)

The world of the Internet is similar to the universe – there might be an end somewhere, but we can’t see it. Thousands of new websites are launched each and every day and this tendency doesn’t seem to stop. But have you ever wondered how are these websites made?

When it comes to picking the programming language, the choice might be hard to make. There are so many options available on the market that you might feel like a child in a candy store.

Nevertheless, programmers are used to choosing one or two languages to stay focused. Admit it, being an expert in one technology is better than knowing several ones but on the beginner level. For example, we in GBKSOFT have picked PHP as our main technology. You may ask “Why PHP?”. We answer:

What Are the Main Advantages of PHP?

PHP is known to be the most frequently used programming language. Just imagine, more than 88% of websites are built with PHP!

Interesting fact: PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page. Now the meaning has transformed into Hypertext Preprocessor.

Open Source

The first thing you need to know about PHP is that this technology is free in all senses. The crucial point of open source tech is the large community of developers working with it. Not only they are using PHP each day, but also bring new positive changes and enhancements. Programmers can learn faster and implement cutting-edge solutions as soon as possible. Moreover, PHP has its own support, unlike many other programming languages. All these factors lead to the arrival of the new frameworks, components and other tools that make PHP even better. No wonder PHP is so widespread.

php programming language

Scalability

Building a website or a web application, creators are probably looking forward the projects’ growth. Therefore, scalability is very important as the website should grow and be able to handle the increasing traffic. Websites built with PHP can be easily extended by adding more servers when needed. More users = more servers. Voila!

P.S. Since PHP supports all the main web browsers, scalability is not a problem.

High Speed

Since PHP uses its own memory, both workload and loading time are reduced. As a result, the processing speed is rather high, which is a benefit not only for developers but also to their clients who get the product delivered sooner.

Security

Some claim PHP is not secure enough as it is open source. But the truth is that any programming language is vulnerable, it’s just a matter how they are used. The security level depends on the expertise of a developer and his practices. For example, one of the ways to avoid security breaches is to provide software testing. By the way, it’s an essential milestone of each project completed by our team.

Cost-Efficient

Since PHP is an open source, it doesn’t require any additional expensive software to work with. You don’t have to pay for any extra licenses or royalty fees, there are no restrictions. Due to the multiple integration options, using PHP is free of charge and that reduces the development cost.

Custom development

The server-side PHP is the best tool for creating custom websites, as it’s not limited by any custom options. Hence, developers can create web platform based on PHP that exactly matches the clients’ needs. For instance, combined with JavaScript, the dev team can build a functional and at the same time good-looking website.

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Popular websites that use PHP

As we said before, more than 80% of websites all over the Internet are built with PHP. But you might be interested which really large platforms have used this programming language. The shortlist below should be enough to convince you:

  • Facebook 25.7B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Wikipedia 15B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Yahoo 4.8B Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Flickr 65.44M Monthly Estimated Visits
  • Tumblr 328.9M Monthly Estimated Visits

PHP is Still Good

PHP was considered a very easy and “light” solution in the past. That is due to its easy deployment and prompt development-to-release cycle. Your project can be done fast even by inexperienced programmers. Today this still remains one of the PHP’s strongest benefits. Nevertheless, the humber and variety of possibilities scaled dramatically as PHP version 7.4 is much more powerful than its predecessor (PHP 8 will be released later this year). Why and how does that happen?

Some updates are unimportant and usually introduce incremental changes. Others, though, can totally reshape the whole product. That happened with PHP when the majority of new frameworks empowered PHP to do bigger and greater things. Among them are Symfony, Laravel, Lamina, Yii, Cake, Code Igniter and others. We use and like Yii. It is our personal choice and since we admire it much, we can advise you to go with this framework (Contact Us).

Frameworks come with packages and products such as admin panels CRMs, web sockets servers, profilers, payment integrations, queuing managers to name a few. They create a certain ecosystem that allows PHP to do much more faster and easier. This is required by the rapid progress of Web with more interactive features, sophisticated design, and richer functionality. You can go beyond Content Management Systems like WordPress and do pretty much anything, combining a library of your choice with a framework that best suit the task at hand.

Comparing PHP 5 with PHP 7, it is worth mentioning that performance (speed) has increased 2 or 3 times. Therefore, most of the arguments against PHP have become obsolete over time. That means that the community of PHP developers behind take criticism seriously and use to improve.

PHP Improves

Some programming languages decline in quality over time. With PHP it’s the opposite, since the demand is constantly on the rise. New challenges demand improvements and yearly updates deliver these improvements. Backend done with PHP today is not just a database addition to your front end development. Much more diverse tasks like data gathering, redirection, integration with mobile, etc. can be done with PHP.

Considering everything that has been said, it would be true to state that PHP have become more efficient and able to handle more diverse tasks while at the same time staying user-friendly and cheap. For commercial projects PHP is the best choice thanks to its light syntax and quick onboarding.

What else can be said about PHP? It’s simpleness are both its advantage and disadvantage. It doesn’t suit the development of complex systems for some academic research systems, for example. But all commercial projects are alike and they can be sophisticated from the marketing point of view, yet quite easy to handle from programming side.

Due to that many claim that PHP is the best commercially used programming language all around the world. Teamed up with Javascript PHP can be used to deliver any kinds of project to a successful release with no problems. It is like English among programming languages. Everybody knows it, it can be adapted quickly and used for an infinite number of purposes.

Faster and Easier

What else is there to say about the beauty of PHP? On average, it takes less time to deliver a project, using PHP than when some other programming language is chosen for the task at hand. Less time means your project is going to be released faster. Market situation is constantly changing.

Therefore, to develop MVP of your product with PHP will make it more likely that your product is still going to reach your target audience in time to be relevant and topical and leaving your competitors to eat the dust. Time to market is reduced dramatically when PHP is used as your programming language of choice.

Furthermore, it is much easier to find programmers who have knowledge of PHP than any other programming language. Therefore, having a bigger pool of choices, you won’t be left without qualified specialists. That is because PHP is, as we have investigated earlier, is very simple and easy as compared to other software programming languages.

Cheaper

Hourly rates of PHP developers are also 15% less expensive than that of, for example, Python developers or Ruby developers. Therefore, the developer are easier to find and cheaper to hire. Isn’t that wonderful?

We specialize in custom development but in case you are going to need to integrate some third-party CMS solutions like WordPress or Wix, it is done very easy with PHP. You can do parts of your project with PHP or you can do it all with PHP, depending on what kind of functionality your business model is going to require.

PHP supports many database options, from MSSQL and IBM to DB2 and Oracle OC18. With more database options it is easier will be to handle your data and redirect it. Faster speed allows fluent and fast work of all embedded systems.

  • MySQL (open-source)
  • PostGreSQL
  • SYBASE
  • IBM-DB2
  • Oracle DB
  • Cubrid
  • DB++
  • dBase
  • filePro
  • FireBird/InterBase
  • FrontBase
  • Informix
  • Ingres
  • MaxDB
  • Mongo
  • mSQL
  • Ovrimos SQL
  • Paradox
  • SQLite / SQLite3
  • SQLSRV
  • Tokyo Tyrant

Is PHP Still Relevant in 2021?

Some say that if these platforms were built today, they would not choose PHP. But we don’t agree with such statements. PHP is convenient, easy to learn, has many useful libraries, detailed documentation, and what is very important — has a huge community. Some might call this language an old one, while we consider it to be the classics.

GBKSOFT
Need more information on PHP development costs?
We have a separate article covering this topic.

Conclusion

Generally, the choice of the development language is a compromise between pros and cons of the options available. PHP is the language that can be used to build any kind of websites in 2021, starting with landing pages and simple WordPress websites, ending with complex web platforms like Facebook.

Flexibility, nativity, multiple integration opportunities, and high speed are among the main reasons why we use PHP in our web projects.

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Are you ready to build your custom web project?

Elena

Creator

Elena is the business analyst passionate about everything connected with startups, business ideas, and analytics. She’s aiming to find the solution for every challenge, young companies meet on their way.
Max

Expert

Back-end team lead. Has more than 10 years of experience in web development. Designed and implemented a lot of solutions in e-commerce, social services and many others. Never afraid to use a new technology which are most relevant to reach a project's objective. Responsible.
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Comments (14)

Mar 09, 2021 at 10:12 AM

Hi, Elena. PHP is really a very good platform that one can use to make a website. You have stated some of the most well-known websites which have been developed using PHP. Thank you for sharing this article. It was truly a very good article. I will definitely share this article as much as I can.

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Jan 22, 2021 at 5:32 PM

I was impressed with your article
I have been in technology for 45+ years, and have taught computer and database for many years. I have seen the platforms come and go. I have had many discussions with young programmers that seem to latch on to tools and almost get a cult like devotion to them.
I wrote many programs in cobol and basic Rbase, etc.. What astounds me is that many programmers got enamored with gui to the perel of efficiency and reliability. Php is streamlined and powerful and I just convinced my son-in-law to ditch his floundering website on WordPress and go back to a pure php development.
Your article was usefully in convinci g him that it wasn’t just old antiquated dad-in-Law that was suggesting this move.
How I described his website was a bicycle that had modules duck taped to the frame that were somewhat connected, but the wiring diagrams didn’t match up exactly so a patch and more duck tape to fix the solution, all the while promising that we would have a well oiled machine, .a porche.. just trust them.!! But each module had a different developer that was not available for help except by email and everytime an update happened you could be assured that you were broken until each plugin was updated. And God forbid you had a comparability issue, because you could spend weeks playing the blame game between all the players.
Anyway back to your well written article… Thanks for providing a great evaluation of php and the reasons for strong consideration of using it as a core platform.
Phil

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Ricardo Miller
Nov 26, 2020 at 3:28 PM

Well said couldn’t agree more. Beautifully scripted article and I’m not one for reading but I read it all.

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Serena Martin
Nov 02, 2020 at 11:08 AM

Nice article, Elena!!
According to my personal opinion, PHP is the better one than others.
The view of PHP as a stodgy, old, useless relic of days long gone may be a reflection of the pace at which tech moves, broadly speaking.
Thanks for sharing this.

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Tony
Oct 18, 2020 at 3:56 AM

I haven’t tested yet but Phalcon Framework seems to be fast, it’s php framework but implemented as web server extension, I like the idea of taking advantage of php extension ans using directly in the php, according to some banch in the web is fast and low memory consumption

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Simon Jones
Sep 09, 2020 at 3:39 PM

This is genuinely an awesome read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am anticipating perusing new articles. Keep doing awesome!

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Brett Favre
Jul 09, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Elena, Thank you for your useful article. I am doing a two side auction (double auction) website for agricultural commodities. Does PHP suit this kind of web application?

I plan to use PostgreSQL database on Ubuntu server.

Thanks in advance.

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James Gibbs
May 15, 2020 at 10:06 PM

Hi there Elena,

PHP is the base of every good website its very difficult to avoid it while you are starting, the basic language that provides building web sphere will always remain in game

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Emmett
Jun 25, 2019 at 11:24 AM

Hello, you do very well, this article is really useful for me. What does it mean PHP everywhere and in this today’s world php essential parts of our lives? Why we are using PHP instead of javascript? What are the basic feature that php facilitate us?

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Emmet Jack
May 27, 2019 at 1:30 PM

HEY, Thanks for posting this blog. This is a very knowledgeable blog and I want to know some questions. Which is better, PHP or Python? Why? Should I learn PHP in 2019? Is it still worth it? Why is PHP hated by so many developers? How can current development work?

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Igor
Feb 26, 2020 at 4:17 PM
Emmet Jack,

Thanks for kind words!

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abhineet
Jun 10, 2020 at 10:32 AM
Emmet Jack,

PHP is better than nodejs in 1 thing. That is handling intensive cpu tasks on server side.

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