Do you know which are the popular social networking platforms?

Of course, your answer would have names like Facebook, Twitter and so on.

The (server-side) programming language which makes these two sites so user-friendly and easy to navigate is PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). It has been around for quite a while now as far as web development is concerned. With the upgraded versions as well as improved structure, it is here to stay for a long time.

In terms of popularity, PHP has enjoyed its day in the sun as a pretty sound web development framework. The major advantage of this language has always been its ease of use.

With PHP not choosing to rest on its past structure and instead trying to evolve constantly, the future does look bright for it, especially with its much improved current structure.

Backing of Industry Leaders 

The fact that Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook fame) made use of PHP for his game-changing social networking site and Twitter following suit, speaks volumes about the confidence, people have in PHP, even when they are starting out.

The popularity of PHP has grown to such immense proportions that it became the primary choice when Pinterest and HuffingtonPost were developed.

Statistics to Back PHP’s Growth Story

As per the statistics shared by w3techs, almost 81.8% of the websites (whose server-side language is known to them) are using PHP.

According to a market survey, PHP is the most popular language for web development in comparison to languages like Java, Ruby, ColdFusion and ASP.Net.

In fact, if you randomly pick 10 websites or blogs, there is a strong likelihood that at least 7-8 of those will be using PHP.

   PHP

Reasons Why PHP Will Continue to Exist for Long

PHP serves as a flexible, fast and easy-to-use general purpose programming language that can generate dynamic web content. Also, the tightly knit PHP community is able to innovate, find quick solutions to issues and help each other in real-time.

As the language is very simple to learn and gain expertise in, you will always find it easy to recruit plenty of expert PHP developers as per the requirements.

Also, you will never have to shell out a hefty amount for training your employees on PHP, as they can grasp it quite quickly.

In the world of technology, you need to stay updated, to be ahead of the competition. This is where PHP does well by continuously improving itself and coming up with better features.

Withstanding and Co-existing with Competition

Some people believe Ruby or Python may take the dominant position that PHP holds for now. However, the fact is, if you opt for Ruby or Python, you risk limiting yourself to a single framework. If you will prefer to have more options, you get them with PHP.

Facebook has brought in competition for PHP in the form of its alternative implementation, such as ‘Hack’, with a syntax which is similar to PHP. Despite Facebook having much of its internal code written in PHP, it has launched ‘Hack’ to overcome some issues which could not be easily sorted with PHP. Facebook’s PHP code base will, however, not be completely removed. Hack serves as an add-on that runs only on HHVM (Hip-Hop Virtual Machine); a competitor to the Zend Engine (used for PHP). Most of the existing Facebook PHP code will run on HHVM.

Now, you must be wondering if Hack could spell the end for PHP.

Of course, not!

Hack is just being used by Facebook and you won’t find developers who know Hack so easily. Lots of the features that Hack provides are already being proposed in the open feedback for PHP development and the Zend Engine.

In fact, if you observe carefully, plenty of these new features are already being made available in the latest versions – PHP 7 and the Zend Framework 3.

Also, it is possible for the Zend engine, as well as HHVM, to co-exist and make web development a much easier task.

Hack and HHVM (in any alternative form) are definitely a part of the future of PHP. It may take time to gain confidence from people all around the world because this combination is, so far, being used only by Facebook.

Even though technology is meant for innovation, it is there, in the first place to make things simpler. PHP keeps doing that with every upgraded version.

We specialize in PHP web development and from our extensive experience, we can vouch for that you will pretty much continue to see the extension ‘.php’ at the end of various website links for a long time!

So what is your view about the future of PHP? Do you think it will keep dominating web development in the coming days? Please feel free to share your comments below and thanks for reading!