Hypertext Preprocessor (or simply PHP) is a server-side scripting language designed for Web development, and also used as a general-purpose programming language. It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994, the PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group. PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, but it now stands for the recursive initialism PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
PHP code may be embedded into HTML code, or it can be used in combination with various web template systems, web content management systems, and web frameworks. PHP code is usually processed by a PHP interpreter implemented as a module in the web server or as a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) executable. The web server combines the results of the interpreted and executed PHP code, which may be any type of data, including images, with the generated web page. PHP code may also be executed with a command-line interface (CLI) and can be used to implement standalone graphical applications.
The standard PHP interpreter, powered by the Zend Engine, is free software released under the PHP License. PHP has been widely ported and can be deployed on most web servers on almost every operating system and platform, free of charge.
The PHP language evolved without a written formal specification or standard until 2014, with the original implementation acting as the de facto standard which other implementations aimed to follow. Since 2014 work has gone on to create a formal PHP specification.
Why Use PHP
PHP is a great option for many reasons, so if you’re interviewing a company throwing around the PHP slag, here are some reasons why the language may be right for you or your project:
Fast Load Time – PHP results in faster site loading speeds. PHP codes runs much faster than ASP because it runs in its own memory space while ASP uses an overhead server and a COM based architecture.
Less Expensive Software – In working with PHP, most tools associated with the program are open source software, such as WordPress, so you need not pay for them. As for ASP, you might need to buy additional tools to work with its programs.
Less Expensive Hosting – ASP programs need to run on Windows servers with IIS installed. Hosting companies need to purchase both of these components in order for ASP to work, this often results in a more expensive cost for monthly hosting services. On the other hand, a PHP would only require running on a Linux server, which is available through a hosting provider at no additional cost.
Database Flexibility – PHP is flexible for database connectivity. It can connect to several databases the most commonly used is the MySQL. MySQL can be used for free. If ASP is used, MS-SQL, a Microsoft product must be purchased.
Increased Available Programming Talent – PHP is used more often creating a larger pool of talent to choose from for modifications and building and lowering the cost per hour for those services. And making it easier to find someone to update your site in the future if you choose to hire a staff member for the task or work with an alternate provider than the one who built your site.