What Makes PHP One of the Preferred Backend Languages for Web Development?

There are programming language sharks out there like Python, Java, Go, and a couple of more. And PHP is one of those top seven or eight backend languages. Yet, 80% of the time PHP has been the ‘chosen one’ for server-side programming. What gives PHP the edge over the others? Why is PHP in demand where there are numerous other options? This blog here will give you a perspective on why to choose PHP over others.

Food for thought right?


The Problem

Let’s say there are seven most preferred backend languages for web development. Why should you choose PHP for backend development over the rest? We will see each of them not in any particular order, and understand why PHP stands out.

Top seven programming languages for web development

JavaScript

PHP

Python

Java

Ruby

Go

C#

JavaScript

JavaScript is a versatile scripting language that is a programmers’ first choice anytime. It can be used for both frontend and backend web development. It is a lightweight scripting language, an OOP language, dynamically typed, interpreted, with huge community support, and client-side validation capability. It is a wholesome package. Then why not use JavaScript for all kinds of web applications development.

PHP

PHP, an acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor is one of the oldest, time-tested, and commonly used general-purpose scripting languages. It can be embedded into HTML just like Java, Python, JavaScript, etc. It is platform-independent and can almost run on all the popular operating systems. However, PHP is for one, easier to learn, offers great stability at every stage of the project, is easy to code, is way more secure than JavaScript, and most importantly cheaper from the companies’ standpoint. PHP has almost everything that JavaScript has to offer, with better security and cheaper installation. Laravel and Codeingitor are a few of PHP's popular frameworks.

Python

Once again we are comparing PHP with a blockbuster programming language. Python is a general-purpose programming language used in a wide range of fields like AI, ML, Data Science, IoT, but still very suitable for backend development. Again, Python and PHP are very much similar. While PHP scores a few points over Python, the latter takes the lead in another few. PHP and Python have the same learning curve and debugging capabilities. Python gets stronger with better library management, environment management, and documentation. On the other hand, PHP gains points in all the categories that matter the most. Says who? PHP is definitely easy to install, comes cheaper, and is faster in performance.

Java

Java is like all around the place. It’s one of the most versatile languages the programmers might have ever encountered. From android development to scientific applications, Java is simply ubiquitous. It is rich with libraries, a dedicated OOP language, platform-independent, can easily integrate with third-party technologies, and whatnot. Most of the latest programming languages are developed based on Java. However, age is one factor that might work against this popular language. How long can a 20+ years programming language survive when newer technologies are cropping up with aspiring programmers hoping to get updated with the latest. There is always a breaking point.

Ruby

Ruby is another general-purpose programming language that might be one of the easiest to learn. It supports functional, procedural, and object-oriented programming. If it is getting too technical, let’s look at the common aspects from a layman’s point of view. It is platform-independent, flexible, scalable, has a large library of functions, and improves overall productivity as well. Putting together even the complex projects seems simpler with Ruby. The points that work in favor of PHP are the easy and cheaper deployment.

Go

Go is again one of the top five preferred programming languages, introduced by Google for backend development. Golang has many feathers in its cap such as being fast in execution, robust library, open-source, OOP support, clear, improves productivity, scalable, secure making it ideal for cloud-based projects, an interpreted language like PHP, along with many more features. Go is one of the programming languages PHP is soon losing to where backend web development is concerned. However, right off the top, we can still make at least 2-3 points in favor of PHP. For one, coding is easier with PHP being a dynamically typed language, a cheaper alternative to Go, and faster to code.

C#

C# is again one of the programming languages that can be mapped to multiple functionalities such as, game development, building desktop applications besides backend development for web applications. However, the lack of availability of multiple frameworks except for .NET is one point against it as we compare with all the above programming languages. PHP is probably everything that C# is, but more. PHP offers better security, simplicity in coding, more familiarity concept-wise.
We haven’t spoken about Node.JS in this blog, however, we will keep it for later as Node JS is the most trending and the closest competitor of PHP.

Solution

To sum it up, there are quite a few areas where PHP scores well against the other programming languages. While there are some that might seem better than PHP in one context or the other, nevertheless, PHP is consistent with the following:

1. Cheaper development, maintenance, and deployment costs
2. Lesser turnaround time
3. Easy to code as it is a scripting language
4. Popular frameworks

Ideal Projects with PHP as a backend language

PHP might seem the go-to server-level language for many web development projects, but not always. PHP is ideal if you are looking to build any of the following:

● e-commerce websites
● Content-based websites
● Social networking websites
● Online communities

The top websites developed using PHP are Facebook, Wikipedia, WordPress, Flickr, Yahoo!, and many more.














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