PHP in Website Development Era

Last modified on March 22nd, 2017 by Vincy.

PHP language has a unique place in website development. It was introduced at a right time when web-based business was in new trend. Over a period it became one of the popular languages for creating web applications. The reasons are,

  • simple language structure
  • unique features 
  • free license.

PHP’s unique features lead to more popularity. Since 1994 when PHP development was started, we have seen the following version releases.

PHP Logo

PHP Versions

Versions Key Features Description
PHP/FI (1995)
  • Form handling
Perl/CGI script (PHP 1.0) introduced by Rasmus Lerdorf. The Expansion is Personal Home Page / Form Interpreter.
PHP/FI2 (1997)
  • Data conversion
  • Form data export
With slight modifications in Form Interpreter(PHP 2.0) to handle form entries.
PHP  3 – (1998)
  • PHP core is rewritten
  • PHP parser is rewritten.
  • Zend Engine is incorporated.
Language core was changed by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans and PHP refers to PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
PHP 4 – (2000)
  • Object-Oriented support
  • External resource handling
  • Security
  • RegEx handling
With features for supporting enterprise-oriented applications.
PHP 5 – (2004)
  • Improved object model
  • PDO Support
  • Exception handling
  • XML support
PHP core was almost stabilized with this release. Later 5.X releases have slight enhancement.
PHP 7 – (2016)
  • Improved performance (twice as that of 5.6)
  • Reduced memory usage
  • The null coalescing operator (??)
  • Return and Scalar Type Declarations
  • Anonymous Classes
  • Zero cost asserts
PHP 6.0 was skipped and PHP 7 was released. There was no clear official mention on why version 6 was skipped and there are many theories floating around. You can get more information on this by going through the linked HN discussion.


PHP Web Constellations

PHP is one of the best choices for creating web applications. It supports advanced web constellations. It supports most of the popular databases, libraries. PHP script can be embedded with hypertext and client-side script.


With this collective integration, PHP as an open-source attracts people in web development businesses. Currently, most renowned websites are using PHP. For example, Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and more.  As per 2013 metrics made by online research agencies like Netcraft, more than 200 million websites were using PHP.

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