With new languages and frameworks emerging every year, a question developers often encounter is whether investing time in learning PHP is relevant today. Given PHP’s over 25 years of history, is it still a future-proof skillset for developers to acquire? Let us examine why PHP remains a viable and practical technology for building web applications even in 2023.
Widespread Usage Across Websites
The biggest indicator of PHP’s relevance is its widespread usage – it powers over 75% of all websites on the internet today. Leading web platforms like Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress and Mailchimp are built with PHP. Of the top million websites, over 80% use PHP. Such dominance makes PHP skills valuable for developers looking to work on impactful web projects across industries. Knowing PHP opens doors to contribute to open source CMS platforms like Drupal, Magento and Joomla.
Scalability and Performance
Enterprise Grade Capabilities
While some label PHP as a hobbyist language, it includes enterprise-level capabilities. Object-oriented programming, namespaces, unit testing, PSR standards and type declarations bring structure and consistency. Frameworks like Symfony and Laravel provide rigor and security necessary for business applications. Composer enables professional dependency and package management. PHP 8 brings JIT compilation, typed properties, match expression and constructor property promotion for cleaner code. Such capabilities position PHP as a serious enterprise-ready language.
The biggest advantage of PHP for businesses is its low total cost of ownership compared to .NET or Java. As an open source platform, PHP has no licensing costs. Hosting PHP applications has low memory, storage and bandwidth overheads allowing higher scalability per server compared to say Ruby or Python. There is no need for complex tooling to build PHP apps and sites. Easy availability of programmers also keeps average PHP development costs lower than other languages. This cost-effectiveness keeps interest towards PHP development companies.
Symfony Framework for Complex Apps
For large enterprise PHP applications, the Symfony development is the leading choice. Released in 2005, Symfony provides an organized structure based on real-world best practices for creating maintainable PHP code. It has modular code libraries for commonly needed functions like routing, authentication, caching and configuration management. Symfony 5.4 is the current stable version.
Built-in security, web performance optimization, API management and automation testing support allows tackling complex projects. Symfony integrates easily with databases, external APIs and microservices. Companies like Orange, Cornell University and European Central Bank use Symfony to develop and scale their PHP applications.
PHP benefits from an engaged community of developers and contributors. Core developers actively maintain PHP with regular minor updates and major version releases. The PHP community on StackOverflow, Reddit and Quora provide peer support for troubleshooting. Conferences like SunshinePHP and meetups keep developer interaction going. Such community activity indicates PHP’s vibrancy.
There is no shortage of learning resources for PHP – online courses on platforms like Udemy, Pluralsight and Coursera teach PHP fundamentals. Platform-specific docs explain concepts in-depth. Thousands of blogs and tutorials share practical advice and code snippets. Active forums solve queries in real-time. Such abundant resources make mastering PHP accessible.
In summary, PHP continues to hold relevance in 2023 based on its widespread usage, scalability, low cost of operations and active community. For enterprises, PHP provides a capable and secure platform through frameworks like Symfony. The abundance of learning materials also creates a continuous talent pipeline. While newer languages emerge, PHP’s stability, familiarity and real-world viability ensure it remains a pragmatic choice for projects even today.