Use, Advantages and Working of PHP 

When Rasmus Lerdorf created it in 1994, it originally meant Personal Home Page. However, as time flew, the language evolved, and so did the name. These days it is understood as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

PHP is known to be one of the trending languages. It is defined as the open sourced general purpose programming language which has its roots connected in the server and especially useful for the web development services. If we say more clearly then PHP is a language being used on back end and that is why is linked with the server. However, we see clean HTML on the front end. 

PHP web development services has a functionality to load data to the HTML DOM, but it has still less controls with respect to JavaScript. It can, however, connect to various databases, start sessions, apply scripts to HTML content, and perform many other task. PHP has a biggest name in two fields named as biggest networks and network systems. This is all due to the flexibility and efficiency of the PHP language. 

It is a server side language that enables you to create dynamic webpages. PHP services can easily compete its competitors as it is free, powerful and efficient. One must have the knowledge of the CSS and HTML to start the PHP. 

PHP File Description 

To write PHP code, you need to save it in a file with suffix the PHP. While it has a different suffix, it works as a basic HTML file as well. The PHP file is a combination of HTML, PHP, JavaScript scripts, and plain text. If you were to inspect a loaded document, you would not find any trace of PHP language. This result occurs because PHP web development services are executed on the server, and only the resulting HTML content is shown on the browser.

What are the Functions of PHP 

However, there are many languages used for web development but PHP web development services are superior in its own way. There are also many ways for creating web applications by using PHP services. 

  •  Data encryption is performed
  •  Data collection from forms
  •  Send and receive cookies
  •  Create open, write, read, delete and close files on the server
  •  Add and update/modify the database information
  • Create dynamic webpages 
  • It not only output HTML but also the XML, flash or other texts. 

 Why We Need PHP?

However, the measurement that why we need PHP cannot be made but we can simply mention those here. 

  • PHP has the ability to run on various platforms like Windows, Linus, Unix, Mac OS X etc. 
  •  We can use PHP on almost all the servers being used now a day
  •  A wide range of databases are supported by PHP services
  • We can easily avail PHP as it is free and also easy to taken into use 
  •  It has a very great performance on the server side and is also easy to learn

 What is New PHP 7?

If we talk about the PHP 7, then it has also brought many updated benefits. 

  •  PHP 7 is faster than the previous PHP 5.6 and was a popular stable release
  •  It can handle the errors
  •  PHP 7 supports stricter Type Declarations for function arguments
  •  PHP 7 supports new operators (like the spaceship operator: <=>)


Here you have three main fields where these scripts are used:

  • 1. Server Side Scripting This is the traditional purpose of why it is built & used, for generating dynamic content. You need a PHP Parser, a web server, and a web browser for this. 
  • 2. Command line Scripting This is where PHP acts as just any other scripting language where you can run your PHP scripts using a PHP Parser.
  • 3. Client-side GUI This is where you can build application software (with GUIs) using PHP-GTK. However, it is not the best-fit language for the purpose.

Working with PHP

Understand PHP by learning a few syntaxes.

1. How to embed a PHP code in HTML file?

Embed the code enclosed within <?PHP…? > and whatever is inside, the interpreter will treat it to a PHP code.

2. Working with Data types and variables

It supports eight primitive data types.

Four scalar types, namely,

  •  Boolean
  •  Integer
  •  Float
  •  String

Two compounds or derived datatypes,

  •  Array
  •  Object

Two special types, namely,

  •  Resource
  •  NULL

3. Working with Arrays

An array in PHP is a mannered map that maps keys to corresponding values. It is changed in so many ways that anyone can use it as a real array, list hash tables or dictionaries, collection, etc. Of course, in PHP also like any other programming languages, the arrays are zero indexed.

4. Predefined Variables

PHP has many predefined variables which are as follows –

  • $_GLOBALS – This has reference to all the variables that are and will be available in the global scope of the script.
  • $_SERVER – This contains the variables that are related to the execution environment and variables that are set by a web browser.
  • $_GET – This contains all the variables sent by the GET HTTP request.
  • $_POST – This contains all the variables sent by the POST HTTP request. 
  • $_COOKIE – This has variables given by the HTTP COOKIES. 
  • $_FILES – This has variables given to the script by HTTP file uploads.
  • $_ENV – This has variables given by the environment to the script.
  • $_REQUEST – This has variables given to the script employing any user input request method.
  • $_SESSION – This stores the variables that are registered in the current session of the script.

6. Loops

It has both for a loop and do-while loop whose syntax goes like this.

7. Switch Statements

We also have switch statements which help us to make decision making which rely fixed choices of values.

8. Functions

We can write functions in PHP. Every function will have a definition with a set of parameters defined along with a return value.

9. Cookies

It supports dealing with Cookies. Cookies are the mechanism to store data inside the web browsers to get quicker response and tracking of returning user. 

10. Working with GET Method

A GET method is the one in which the request variables are put in the request URL and then forwarded to a server. $_GET global variable is used to receive and access the GET request variables. The data from the web page is entered in the server script through a form on the web page. So, the form action must have the link to the server script that will be handling the form data.

11. Working with a POST Request

In a POST HTTP request, the data is present in the body of the request and then sent to the server. To access the variables sent over a POST request, global variable $_POST are used. 

Some Extra Skills You Need to Work

  • 1. Understanding HTML, CSS and JavaScript along with PHP will add to the elegance of the websites you are creating.
  • 2. It is an extra benefit if you understand the HTTP Protocols, Database Management for better interaction.
  • 3. Knowledge about servers like Apache and tools like LAMP or XAMP.Which are the Top Companies that Use PHP

Though there are many a language for server-side scripting but PHP has remained one of the widely used languages for the purpose. Top companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia, WordPress, etc. employ PHP for their server-side programming.

The Need for Starting PHP 

If you want to start using PHP, then you can;

  • 1. Find a web host with PHP and MySQL support
  • 2. Install a web server on your own PC, and then install PHP and MySQL

 Built in Function 

PHP is very rich in terms of Built-in functions. Here is the list of various important function categories. There are various other function categories which are not covered here.

Select a category to see a list of all the functions related to that category.

  • Array Functions
  • Calendar Functions
  • Class/Object Functions
  • Character Functions
  • Date & Time Functions
  • Directory Functions
  • Error Handling Functions
  • File System Functions
  • Hash Functions
  • MySQL Functions
  • Network Functions
  • ODBC Functions
  • Statistics Module
  • String Functions
  • Simple XML Functions
  • XML Parsing Functions
  • OpenSSL Functions<

What are Advantages of PHP 

This language has a lot to offer but here we have mentioned some of the advantages of the PHP programming languages. A web development company/agency must ensure these advantages. 

  •  It is a server side language which is easy to learn and efficient to use
  •  It is portable and convenient because it can run on every platform
  • Every server support PHP 
  • It is free and open sourced so anyone can avail it easily. 
  • A huge user base which comprises of almost all the answers to questions which arise regarding PHP.