What is the Value of PHP and How To Make It Work for Your Project
Hive team posted on Apr 20, 2023
PHP is the programming language that has been widely adopted by software developers over the past two decades. PHP application development is popular among modern developers and businesses who want to create web applications, components, and websites. 79% of websites – including popular e-commerce sites, banking platforms, and social networks – are all built with PHP. So, you can tell PHP app development is a rather popular service among web and mobile software development providers around the globe.
In today’s article, we will provide a PHP application development tutorial from the standpoint of business owners who want to create a successful product using this programming language. We will discuss the basics of PHP, the tools it offers, its common use cases, the types of apps that use it, and the ways you can develop your own product with a reliable partner. Let us get into it, starting with the very basics of PHP app development.
Table of Contents
- What is PHP and its Main Purpose?
- What are the most popular PHP frameworks?
- PHP Versions, Updates, and Upgrades
- Custom PHP Development: Pros and Cons
- What Tools Does PHP Use?
- Why Should You Use PHP for App Development?
- Types of Apps and Websites Developed with PHP
- PHP App Development Tips
- How to Choose the Right PHP Developer
- Developing PHP Applications with Hive
What is PHP and its Main Purpose?
PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that was first launched in 1995, and its latest version, PHP 8, was released in November 2022. Despite its considerable age, the language evolves and develops along with the software development market and offers an extensive set of valuable features and tools. Scripting languages like PHP are used widely for web development, particularly for server-side applications on sites (backend development). PHP application development tools allow for the cost-efficient development of web applications. The good news is that most hosting providers support the language, making it one of the most popular solutions for creating dynamic websites using its wide array of built-in tools and extra modules for web app development.
What are the most popular PHP frameworks?
There exists several development frameworks which are used for web-based application development using PHP. They provide a basic structure for streamlining the development process and help developers ensure the code is organized and easily maintainable. Such frameworks for web application development using PHP provide many helpful features such as authentication and security systems, templating systems, and object-oriented programming structures. Let us take a closer look:
- Laravel: Laravel is an open-source, model-view-controller (MVC) web application framework. It is based on Symfony and is used for creating large, complex web applications. Laravel provides an expressive, elegant syntax for common web development tasks such as authentication, routing, sessions, and caching. The framework also supports a range of database systems, including MySQL and PostgreSQL, which provide aid for PHP's rapid application development.
- CodeIgniter: CodeIgniter is an open-source web application framework written in PHP. It is designed to provide a simple and comprehensive toolkit for PHP application development. The framework is free to use and has a large community of experts who provide support and help with development. CodeIgniter has plenty of libraries and components to help developers create powerful applications quickly and easily.
- Symfony: Symfony is an open-source full-stack framework for PHP application development. It is a set of reusable components and libraries that are designed to help developers build complex web applications quickly and efficiently. Symfony is well-suited for large-scale enterprise applications and is used by many popular websites, including Yahoo!, Wikipedia, and Hulu.
- CakePHP: CakePHP is an open-source web application framework. It is based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and is designed to make developing, deploying, and maintaining web applications easier. The framework is well-suited for creating complex websites quickly and easily. It also has an extensive library of components and plugins that can be used to extend the functionality of the framework.
What is the best PHP framework for web application development? Well, that is the same as asking which is the best tool for building your house. Each has its uses, and each can be quite beneficial in different situations. An experienced IT consulting and development team will select and suggest the best frameworks for your business case.
PHP versions, updates, and upgrades
PHP is a scripting language that creates dynamic web pages, applications, and software. It is one of the most popular languages used to build websites and applications. Various PHP versions can be used to create a website or an application. The latest version used in PHP app development is 8.2, released in 2022. Compared to the previous versions, it offers a significant performance boost, which speeds up the PHP apps development. However, the previous version, PHP 7.4, is still supported.
Updates and upgrades are changes to the language's source code that add new features, fix bugs, and improve overall performance. Updates are released periodically and are generally applied to the latest version of the language. They add some quick fixes of features that improve the language's current version. Upgrades are larger changes that are applied to older versions of the language. When a new version of the language is released, it often includes new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements. Developers may need to make changes to their code to take advantage of the new features or fix any known bugs. When a new version is released, developers and users must upgrade their applications as soon as possible.
Custom PHP development: pros and cons
The discussion about which programming language is the better choice will always be relevant. It is clear that every language has its advantages and disadvantages, and it all comes down to how well the language's features align with your unique project requirements. Here are some of the pros and cons of using PHP web application development software.
- PHP is a free, open-source development language;
- It offers a flexible architecture for creating websites and applications;
- It is compatible with most modern servers;
- PHP has a simple, readable syntax;
- The language has many libraries and frameworks.
- Strong knowledge of HTML and CSS is essential for PHP;
- The language’s core behavior is hard to modify.
To make the most of PHP, developers must use the right tools. These include an integrated development environment (IDE), debugging tools, a version control system, and more. By using the right tools, developers can create powerful and efficient web applications using PHP. PHP tools include:
- Integrated Development Environment (IDE): Provide a graphical user interface to help developers create, edit, and debug code. There are such tools as PHPStorm, NetBeans, and Visual Studio Code that help with PHP app development.
- Debugging Tools: Help developers identify and troubleshoot errors in code. Examples include Xdebug and Pest.
- Frameworks: Give a structure for building applications. Some of the frameworks we have discussed above include Laravel, Symfony and CakePHP.
- Database Connectors: Provide connections to databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.
- Testing and Automation Tools: Automate tasks and test code. PHPUnit and Pest are great PHP rapid application development tools available in open source.
As you can see, each tool has its purpose. As we said above, you do not pick just one tool and build a house – you will need a lot more. Same with choosing the best PHP framework for web application development or with the available set of tools.
Why Should You Use PHP for App Development?
PHP is a great option if you are looking for an easy, cost-effective, and efficient way to develop your project. Its straightforward setup, dependable assistance from the PHP development team, and regular updates make it a reliable choice. What is more, while many ‘experts’ tend to claim that PHP is ‘dead’, 79% of websites still run on it or have PHP-based elements. Here are some of the advantages of using PHP app and web development:
- Open source: Using open-source software is free for developers to access and utilize. Not to mention, PHP frameworks can simplify the development of PHP code.
- Independent: This language does not require any specialized software to be able to show web applications in a web browser, and it is compatible with all types of operating systems.
- Simple and readable: Due to its relative simplicity, PHP is a desirable language for both novice and experienced coders alike.
- Safe and secure: PHP includes integrated components and utilities for protecting web applications.
Types of Apps and Websites Developed with PHP
As mentioned earlier, almost 8 out of 10 websites you will ever visit online use PHP as either its base code or for some parts of the website’s functionality. This, of course, includes mobile app development using PHP. You can use the PHP framework for mobile app development as well as website development, which is why many businesses use the language for building both. Here are some of the notable examples of big companies using PHP:
- Facebook: A large portion of the popular social media website is written in PHP. To make the website more efficient, Facebook's engineers implemented the XHP extension and the HipHop framework. Some portions of the Facebook app are also written in PHP. So, is PHP used in app development? The short answer is yes. If Facebook does it, so should you.
- Yahoo!: Yahoo has been utilizing PHP on its website since 2002 for content management and completing internal tasks.
- Tumblr: The Tumblr microblogging service also utilizes PHP.
- TED: The TED conference website was programmed using the PHP language.
- Wikipedia: Wikipedia's free online encyclopedia is powered by PHP on the backend.
PHP App Development Tips
PHP app development is a great way to create reliable, high-performance web applications. It is important to keep in mind a few tips to help ensure success:
- Leverage Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture: Utilizing a framework based on MVC architecture can help developers keep the codebase organized, maintainable, and clean. This will make it easier to extend or modify the application in the future.
- Write clean code: Writing clean code is essential for any app development project. It's important to use good coding practices and design patterns to ensure that the code is readable and maintainable.
- Leverage PHP frameworks: Using PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, or CodeIgniter can speed up the development process and make it easier to maintain the codebase.
- Utilize Composer: Composer is a dependency manager for PHP and a great tool for managing dependencies in a project. It can help streamline the development process and make it easier to maintain the project.
- Use version control: Version control is an important part of any development process. Using a version control system such as Git can help keep track of changes and ensure that the codebase is always up-to-date.
- Monitor performance: It's important to monitor the performance of the application to ensure that it is running smoothly. This can help identify potential issues early on and ensure that the application is running optimally.
How to Choose the Right PHP Developer
Choosing the right PHP developer is important for any business looking to take advantage of PHP mobile app development tools. When selecting a developer, it is critical to consider a few key factors, such as experience, technical knowledge, communication style, and cost. You can find the best fit for your project by researching and interviewing potential vendors.
- Establish your requirements: Before you start looking for a PHP development company, you need to understand what you need. Make a clear list of your project requirements and the skills you need in a development team.
- Research the market: Research the market and find out what PHP application development companies are available. Look for companies with the skills and expertise you need and the right portfolio of projects.
- See their reviews: Look for reviews and ratings of the companies you are considering. Read the reviews carefully and make sure they are from real clients.
- Ask for a quote: Once you have narrowed down your list of potential companies, contact them and ask for quotes. You must understand what is included in the price and what is not.
- Compare prices: Compare the prices of the companies you are considering and make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
- Check their experience: Make sure the company has experience in the type of project you need. Ask for references and check their portfolio to ensure they have the necessary skills.
- Evaluate their level of communication: Communication is key for any successful project. Make sure the company you choose has good communication skills and is responsive to your requests.
Is PHP the best for web development?
No, there is no single best programming language for web
development. Different languages are better suited for different
types of web development tasks.
Which PHP version is Apache using?
Apache works with all the relevant versions of PHP. The exact
version of PHP that Apache is using depends on the configuration
of your web hosting server.
Is PHP still relevant in 2023?
Yes, PHP is still relevant in 2023. PHP is a widely used
server-side scripting language and is used in many popular
websites, including Facebook, WordPress, and Wikipedia.
How does PHP work with HTML?
PHP works with HTML by allowing developers to embed code within
HTML documents. The code is processed by the server, which then
generates the HTML that is sent to the user's web browser. This
allows developers to create dynamic content for web pages and
Which PHP framework is best for web development?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the
best PHP framework for web development depends on the project
requirements, developer preferences, and other factors.
Developing PHP Applications with Hive
Working with an experienced software development partner like Hive can help save costs on development and ensure a faster market launch. A reliable software development partner will have the knowledge and experience to develop a robust and reliable application. They can also provide QA and testing services to ensure that your application meets the highest standards of quality. A partner like Dev-Hive can help ensure that your application is secure and compliant with the latest security standards. This can help protect your data and applications from malicious actors and malicious code. Notably, such a partner can provide ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure that your application remains up-to-date and running smoothly. This will save you time and money in the long run.