PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language that is running on more or less 250 million websites at the moment. The founder Rasmus Lerdorf, initially wrote it as a set of CGI in ‘C’ for managing a personal web page; at the time PHP was the abbreviation of Personal Home Page. Over the years, it somehow grew into a language and continues to swell to this day. It is open source, therefore basically free to use and manipulate the code to your advantage.

The PHP logo manifests a blue elephant as its mascot, which is also referred to as elePhPant. It was Vincent Pontier who came up with the idea, under rather random circumstances. A friend of his was demonstrating the language at his home while he drew ‘PHP’ in capital letters on a piece of paper. Suddenly, he visualised an elephant in those letters; you can see it too if you look closely with a creative mind-set. One thing lead to another and it ended up as the official mascot!

PHP is a general purpose computer language that is easy and forgiving in nature. You’ll have no problems in grasping the concepts, especially if you’re already familiar with ‘C’. It is a platform independent language that is fairly extensible, which makes it ideal for web development. Whether you’re operating on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, or Unix, it will embed painlessly, and integrate with any database, including but not limited to MySQL, Oracle, and DB2.


PHP is the powerhouse of dynamic websites, similar to mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of the human cell. It has built-in functions to collaborate with URLs and HTML. HTML represents the backbone of web development, and stands among 3 major front-end components; the other two being CSS and JavaScript. HTML is responsible for the general layout and overall organization of content displayed on a website running in a browser. On the contrary, PHP is a back-end technology that manipulates data on the server. It analyzes user input and provides relative content on the web page as output.

Despite being entirely separate entities, PHP and HTML are technically a couple. Both are the most basic building blocks on the web that are high in demand for working in unison. Although PHP is acclaimed as a programming language, HTML is merely considered as a markup language, because it cannot perform computations or calculations.

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PHP supports all the major web servers, be it Microsoft IIS, Apache, Netscape or whatever. As part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack, we can find it on about every server available for rent. Being a weakly-typed language it does not demand definitive statements for execution, making it down to earth, efficient and pliable. Compared to other languages, the amount of code to be written is significantly minimized. Without direct control over a website, code can conveniently be edited or altered. Low development and the slightest maintenance are more than enough for efficient and effective performance.

There are an estimated 5 million PHP developers around the globe, which explains it’s massive community and excellent support base. PHP uses its own memory which cancels out the workload on server + processor, automatically reducing loading times. It comes with an inclusive security layer that saves websites from many viruses/threats. It offers an ample lot of resourceful libraries and extended reinforcement for object oriented programming.

PHP has a syntax that looks a lot like C’s; major protocols like POP3, IMAP and LDAP are adaptable. It can create, read, write, open and close files, as well as dealt with all online form obligations. Other functionalities worth mentioning include data encryption, managing cookies, building CMS, creating E commerce and GUI applications, graphic design, image processing and compatibility with a variety of web based tools.


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