Started in the year 1995, PHP is one of the popular server-side scripting languages designed for web development. Today, a big segment of the “server-side website development industry” is dominated by PHP. Besides, many popular sites like Wikipedia and Facebook as well as CMSs like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla are built on PHP.

Now, these days, a question “is PHP dying or not” has become a moot point among web developers. Many people think that due to the arrival of newer programming languages like Ruby, Mean stack, Python, Lua, etc. PHP’s popularity is diminishing slowly. In this article, we will discuss whether or not PHP language is dying with the help of statistics because stats don’t tell lie!!!

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PHP Usage Statistics as of September 2018

A significant percentage of sites are already built and still building on PHP. Let’s have a look at server-side language surveys given by w3techs:

  • Most popular server-side programming languages

 

Most popular server-side programming languages- PHP

Here it is seen that PHP is used by 83.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language is known.

  • Fastest growing server-side programming languages since August 1, 2018:

 

PHP has not been able to maintain its pace of growth since 2016. Thus, it does not find its place in the top fastest growing server-side programming languages.

  • Here are statistics on the percentage of websites using different CMS:

 

percentage of websites using different CMS

 

  • The following report shows the historical trends in the usage of server-side languages since September 2017:

 

Historical trends in the usage of server-side languages- PHP


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According to the above-mentioned stats, it is clear that:

— PHP is the most used and popular server-side scripting language and its usage is increasing every day.

— PHP is used by many websites but with lower traffic than other server-side languages.

— Perl, Python, Ruby, Javascript, and ColdFusion are used by a few sites but with high traffic.

— PHP based Content Management Systems usage is increasing.

— The growth-rate of PHP has slowed considerably since 2016, and JavaScript and Python are gradually eclipsing it in terms of popularity.


What is the reason behind the continuous popularity of PHP?

There are many reasons behind it, some of them are:

1. Simple to update

It is quite simple to update a PHP website and updates are prompt too. As PHP is a server-side scripting language, its updates will be done from the server side, and not from the client side; therefore, it is safer. Besides, its updates will not be influenced by any browser setting.

2. PHP libraries

You will find PHP libraries in abundance to cope with the functionality of blogging pages, shopping carts, and CMSs. These libraries are keeping PHP alive and kicking. They help to make object-oriented programming effortless by offering a standard library of interfaces to the web developers. The most popular libraries of PHP are Zend, CodeIgniter, Symfony, etc. With the help of these libraries, you can easily perform the following tasks: Handling error and debug PHP codes.

— Handling error and debug PHP codes.

— Offering simple and user-friendly API.

— Quick and hassle-free integration.

— Support for multiple caching methods.

— Ready-to-use functions for working with web services.

— Error display with syntax highlighting.

 

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3. Ample Documentation

A programming language, containing comprehensive documentation support, will certainly be every developer’s choice. There are numerous PHP documentations accessible online together with document generators. Popular content management platforms, for instance, WordPress take advantage of customized documentation scheme. Normally the documented elements are:

— Classes and their properties.

— Requires and includes.

— File Headers.

— Hooks (actions and filters).

— Functions and class methods.

— Inline comments.

PHP Experts Availability- PHP professionals are too many in number and they provide maintenance or support related help. This specific facet of PHP enables users and site admins to get assistance swiftly every time they encounter any technical snag.

Conclusion:

It’s just a rumor that PHP is dying. Although it has lost its former glory, to say that it’ll die soon would be ridiculous. Top platforms such as Facebook and WordPress still use it, and so do millions of other sites. Yes, it might be gradually replaced, but it’ll still take a good 5-10 years before we might have this discussion again.

PHP is quite popular and widely used programming language and it’ll not fade easily. Although there are many competitors of PHP, this language is highly demanded and popular in developing web applications.

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About the Author

Varun Bhagat is a technology geek and works with PixelCrayons as a Sr. Technology Consultant. Varun has written 500+ technology-related blogs and helps our clients to choose the best technology as per their needs.

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