PHP is one of the major programming languages for Web development, probably best known as the language of WordPress. Rasmus Lerdorf created the first version of the language in 1994, and it’s gone through seven major versions since then.
It’s designed specifically for creating Web pages. Originally the name stood for “Personal Home Page,” though now it really just stands for “PHP.” It lets the programmer mix HTML and PHP code in the same file, and there’s no need to compile the code before running it, so it’s very easy to create a simple page with some dynamic content.
Developers often use PHP as part of the so-called “LAMP stack,” which is the combination of the Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP programming language. All of these are free, open-source downloads, so developers can start working without spending any money on software. This means there are lots of developers with experience in the stack.
PHP isn’t limited to MySQL, and its support for a range of databases is one of its strongest features. It supports all major Internet protocols, so code to handle email or file transfer is easy to write. Many third-party packages are available to save writing code for standard tasks.
Developers often write PHP code using a framework such as Laravel or CodeIgniter. These make it easier to write Web applications by providing a basic structure as well as code libraries that follow consistent design patterns. They help to make applications secure by providing well-tested means of authenticating users, processing forms, and doing other standard tasks.
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