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Learn about PHP

About PHP

PHP is a scripting language that offers significant advantages for web developers looking to create interactive, engaging websites. Some of the biggest websites in the world use PHP, and that should be enough to convince you that it’s worth looking into. There are many reasons why PHP is so popular.

First, because it’s a server-side programming language. This means that any code written in PHP is executed on the server hosting the website, and not in the client’s browser. Why’s that a good thing? It means you have the full power of your server to execute code, which often results in a faster loading time. It also means that the client doesn’t see the code itself—which is good if you’re running a script that includes sensitive information.

Second, PHP can be embedded directly in HTML pages. Some apps need to be written separately, and referenced from an HTML page, but PHP can be put directly into the HTML. This is great for keeping things on your server as clean and simple as possible. It also means fewer resources spent on your server to retrieve the script, which speeds things up again.

Third, PHP integrates well with MySQL, a popular database system. If a given site uses a database (which could be anything from username/password pairs to a massive set of products), there’s a good chance that it will be created with MySQL. And PHP works very well with that and other database systems. Even if your site doesn’t currently use a database, employing PHP in the creation of the site is a good idea if it could host a database in the future.

Fourth, PHP is dynamic. In short, this means your site can display things that change. An HTML page is static, and always looks the same. Many sites need to be able to display dynamic content, though—the weather, updates on product stock levels, or any number of other things. That’s why sites like Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and WordPress use PHP.

Finally, PHP is free to download and use. You don’t have to pay a cent to use the PHP programming language. And when you’re building a new site, that’s hugely valuable.

If you’re building a website (or you want to hire someone to build a website for you), PHP is a great choice for generating dynamic content. Whether you’re building a simple company page or a more complicated ecommerce platform, the PHP language is a great choice for your developers.

PHP is free, it runs efficiently on your server, and it integrates easily with other powerful systems. No matter the type of site you’re building, you’re going to want a PHP developer on your team.

PHP FAQ

What’s the difference between PHP and Python?

If you’ve been looking into hiring a web developer, you’ve probably come across both PHP and Python developers. And while the differences between them are largely technical, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration if you’re looking to hire one or the other.

First, the PHP programming language is specifically for server-side scripting. Python, on the other hand, is a general-use language that can be used to build apps, programs, and web functions. While Python can be used for web development, PHP was built for it, and that makes it easier to build websites and PHP apps that will be delivered online.

Both languages are high-level languages that allow programmers to create scripts and apps quickly, but Python is known for having slightly more concise code.

In the end, the PHP vs. Python debate usually comes down to what you’re trying to build. If you’re looking for website functionality or web apps, PHP will likely be the winner. If you’re looking for standalone software, Python is a great option. One thing that might influence your choice, however, is that Python is known for being very secure, while PHP has some vulnerabilities that may need to be addressed.

Which is better, Ruby on Rails or PHP?

This comparison isn’t very straightforward; Ruby is a language, and Rails is a framework. PHP is a language, and there are many different PHP frameworks that can be used. In general, however, there are a few things that we can say about the Ruby on Rails vs. PHP comparison from the perspective of a business owner.

First, PHP has a bigger market share than Ruby on Rails. That doesn’t make it's inherently better, but it’s something you might want to consider when you’re building a new site. There are a lot more PHP programmers out there, and that means it’s going to cost you less to hire one. Again, that doesn’t mean you should always opt for PHP. But it’s something to consider.

Second, Ruby on Rails’ code is more compact than PHP, which means it needs less maintenance. While you might pay more up front for Rails development, you might see savings over time if you opt for it instead of PHP.

In the end, the debate will likely be settled by the requirements of your specific project. PHP might be more fitting for certain projects, while Ruby on Rails might be better suited for others. Your best bet is to consult a developer who’s familiar with both.

What should you pay your PHP programmer?

According to Glassdoor, the average PHP developer salary in 2017 is just over $73,000. That breaks down to about $35 per hour over the course of a year. That’s quite a bit less than both Python and Ruby on Rails developers.

In fact, when it comes to development, PHP programmers are very affordable. Programmers of some other popular languages have average salaries above $90,000, which puts them closer to $43 per hour. That adds up.

Of course, $35 per hour isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. That’s just an average, and it’s for salaried employees. Exactly what you pay a freelance PHP developer depends on many factors. Experienced professionals will likely demand higher pay than the average, and complex or sensitive projects could command higher fees as well.

Overall, though, starting from a base of $35 per hour is reasonable. If you have that number in mind when you start looking for PHP web development services, you’ll be prepared for the range you’re bound to find.