PHP is a scripting language primarily developed for web development. Scripting language differs from compiled language in this respect that compiled language like C, VB etc. is first compiled and then converted into hardware dependent machine code of a particular machine. This machine code is usually stored as an .exe file. On demand, an .exe file is run to perform the program’s functionality. On the other hand, a script is a program that runs under another program. Scripts are written in ASCII text format. The original program, usually known as the script engine, reads the script code line by line and executes it. Hence the script is much slower and limited in features than the compiler. But one of the advantages of scripts is that they are portable and can be edited at any time because they are written in plain text format. But once the exe file is created, it is not possible to edit a compiler program because it is written in binary code.
Advantages of PHP
PHP has many advantages over other languages which makes it the most popular and widely used software language for web development. These advantages are listed below.
- It is an open source language for general purposes; So it is available to everyone for free. There are many third party developers who develop PHP extensions to improve its functionality. Examples of some of these developments are the PEAR package, the GD library, the ZLib extension, etc.
- PHP can be installed under all popular operating systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac.
- From version 4 onwards, PHP supports object-oriented programming.
- PHP can be mixed with HTML code. On an HTML page, you can start writing the script code inside the start and end tags. But the resulting page must be saved in PHP format (ie with a .php extension) in order for the script code to run.
- As a scripting language, the program is written in PHP in plain text and is therefore portable.
- Only writing or editing software requires a plain text editor. You can use Windows Notepad to write or edit a program.
- PHP is a server-side scripting language, that is, the HTML code required to create a web page is generated at the server end and accessed on the client computer. So the security of the source code is better than ASP or other client side language.
- PHP is a very easy to use language. In general, the programmer requires less time to learn than other scripting language.
- PHP is a very rich language. For all the functions a programmer needs to build a dynamic website like receiving form data, sending and receiving cookies, file upload handling, file and directory handling, array handling, etc., PHP comes with many built-in functions to implement it.
- Today, all modern websites are supported by a remote database. Among the external databases, the most popular is the MySql database. PHP has a rich set of built-in functions for connecting to, accessing and processing data from a MySql database server. In fact, PHP powered by MySql is the most popular and popular way to build a website today.
- Another advantage of PHP is its large community. There are several thousand high-quality websites that provide free code, tutorials, code, tools, and free scripts on PHP. From a simple calculation to designing a complex database query, for almost every topic you can get a turnkey solution from the Internet. There is not such a wide range of support available in any other language.
Although PHP was developed primarily for the purpose of web development, you can develop a small portable utility, such as processing local computer files with PHP.