Today we’ll be going over reasons for using php in 2020 and why use php. It’s the ugly duckling of the web languages, the one developers and businesses alike feel the need to discount without giving it a fair shake. The PHP of 2020 is nothing like the PHP of 2010. In my opinion it is one of the best languages to use on any new project.
I personally love PHP and have used it and a handful of other languages over the last 8 years. After using all the others I still keep coming back to it every time and these are the reasons I think it is still 100% relevant and not dying anytime soon.
1: Almost any hosting provider will be using php in 2020
Almost any hosting company you come across in 2020, 98% of the time will run sum version of PHP on their platform. The same cannot be said for Node, Python, Java, C# or any of the other popular languages in 2020.
The fact that you can open an account and create a single index.php file and build something is special. The quicker you can start the quicker you can get to market and test your idea. Thats whats so great in my opinion about using php in 2020.
2: PHP is fast, no seriously it’s fast enough
For the longest time I have heard developers say they don’t use PHP because it’s slow. Heres a little secret … It’s probably faster than you will ever need it to be. Back in PHP version 5 it was slow compared to most server side languages but since version 7 it’s had a major performance boost and version 8 shoots it’s performance to a level where honestly if your website is slow on PHP it’s because of your design, hosting, network or anything else besides PHP itself.
Research has shown for a website to be considered “fast” it needs to respond from click to completely loaded in about 400ms, anything quicker than that feels to fast for the human brain and slower makes it well … feel slow. I have delivered this level of performance on websites running on shared hosting platforms with tons of media and all kinds of other things going on with very little effort using PHP.
Truth be told performance does not come from a language or framework regardless of that the internet and the graphs will tell you. Performance comes from design, system architecture and just not making the page so damn heavy in the first place.
I will have an upcoming article on website performance basics you should be implementing so watch out for that.
3: It has an active and flourishing community
This one wouldn’t have been on my list back in 2010 but in 2020 there has certainly been a revival people using php in 2020. This has been thanks in big part to the Laravel Framework from Taylor Otwell.
Before Laravel PHP was missing a very large component that was a well established and constructed framework that was simple and easy for beginners and pro’s alike to download install and get going.
Laravel, inspired from other large frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django gives you all the basic security, functionality and extendability you would need in a back-end framework and in recent years has even offered a very nice tool stack for dealing with front-end as well.
Besides Laravel the introduction of Composer for package management has also made it extremely easy to quickly import an use any community built packages and extensions in your project needs.
4: It powers over 40% of the internet today
Despite what the graphs and reports will tell you, you are probably visiting more websites using php in 2020 than you have ever realized. WordPress (the worlds most popular CMS system) powers over 40% of all websites online (including this one).
But despite WordPress, PHP is used in many corporate and agency operations as well. It is used in government applications and technology companies for everything from large ecommerce websites (Etsy) to microservices. It is everywhere and most companies are not going to throw away perfectly working applications just because the language isn’t “cool” anymore.
5: The language developers love to hate
I have met so many developer who just love to hate PHP for the sake of hating it. They haven’t even built a complete project in it. They like to say things like, “It’s not strictly typed”, “It’s doesn’t have multi threading by default” and so it goes on. My response, “Who actually cares?” your customers certainly don’t care what language your using as long as the application works, most managers and tech leads don’t care as long as the work gets done.
If you haven’t built at least 2 complete applications in PHP I would strongly urge you to pull the docker image and give it a fair chance cause you may be surprised just how much you enjoy it.
PHP is and always has been my favorite language to work in. No matter how many other languages I try I keep coming back to it on a daily basis.
Just the other day I needed to move a whole load of files of different types into different folders so I opened up VS Code wrote up a quick 10 line script ran it in the terminal and job done.
I love the simplicity of the PHP ecosystem. It leaves my mind free to design and build my project and forget about what packages I need?, why it isn’t running like it was 5 minutes ago and just get the work done.
Do you enjoy PHP? Let’s that in the comments or on social I would love to hear your thoughts.