The adage that “PHP is dead” has been lurking around the internet for decades. Often touted by those that haven’t used PHP since the early (and dark) version 5 days. But how can a language like PHP be considered "dead" when it's used by 78% of all websites with a known server-side programming language?
Almost "8 out of 10 websites on the internet" doesn’t feel very "dead" to us…
This month we also found ourselves at the PHP UK Conference in London’s fantastic Brewery events centre. For many, this was the first in-person conference that they had attended for a couple of years (for obvious reasons!), so the two days were packed full of excitement, dark hoodies, geek-speak and swag.
It was a great mix of the stalwarts of the PHP community, and fresh new faces – everyone was eager to learn what’s new and what has changed.
Here’s a quick recap of some of our highlights from the conference:
- Derick Rethans (yes, of Xdebug and PHP 7.4 fame) gave an in-depth talk about the new features in PHP 8.1.
- Rob Allen introduced us to OpenAPI and how the document-first approach supports testing, automated builds, and those that are consuming APIs.
- Alexandra White made us sit up and listen to how important documentation is, from her perspective as a technical writer at Google.
- Pauline Vos reminded us all that we should never stop learning, and how cross-pollination from other software languages has made PHP the fantastic language we all enjoy today.
If that’s not enough, remember that the world’s most popular and widely used content management system, WordPress, now powers 43% of all websites on the internet. And what powers WordPress? Yup, you guessed it – PHP!
One metric that developers don’t often look at is how sustainable a programming language is. Green-washing aside, PHP has been shown to be more than twice as efficient as Python, Ruby or Perl under certain workloads. Combined with our data centres that run on 100% renewable energy from offshore wind and biofuel, by choosing PHP you’re helping to reduce impact on the environment.
If this has inspired you to look again at PHP, or perhaps learn it from scratch, there are some fantastic online resources available. If you’re more interested in frameworks, check out Laravel and Symfony for building great web apps.
So PHP is alive and kicking, and has a bright future ahead – it’s still a great language for server-side programming. Our Web Hosting comes with the latest versions of PHP (yes, including 8.1!), or if you want a no-code website there are great options available from our WordPress Hosting too.