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The Future of PHP: Is It a Dead Programming Language?

There’s an opinion that PHP is dead today, but is this true?

Should we believe in this or only people who don’t like PHP are sharing this news? Why do people hate PHP? Let’s take a closer look at PHP and try to predict its future.

Table of Contents

As of early 2020, 26% of programmers are using PHP. Today, it’s one of the most popular server-side programming tools. One of the main reasons why PHP is used by millions of websites is because of WordPress (this tool uses PHP). The average market share of WordPress is 34% of all websites. Overall, 77 million websites are using WordPress today. So we can see that a variety of shop management systems are still using PHP, and all this makes this programming language even more important and relevant.

One of the main reasons that may explain its popularity is the simplicity of this tool. PHP is a relatively easy coding language. That makes it a number-one tool for people who are new at creating websites. You don’t need to have many years of experience in this area to learn how to code in PHP.

Moreover, we have more and more people who are using WordPress to create their websites. Let’s face up the truth - building a website in WordPress doesn’t require you to be a professional and experienced coder. Besides, some users don’t even know that WordPress is built on PHP.

A Little Bit about Programming

First, PHP was introduced in 1994 as a powerful programming language. Because this tool was around for so long, it became a little cluttered and still has some old stuff. Simply put, the tool offers a few ways to build the same functionality. As a result, it is easy to make a mistake and write bad code. Moreover, you should know what practices to use to write excellent code. This is one of the main reasons why developers don’t like it.

However, there’s another side of the problem - today, the majority of programmers don’t write raw PHP. They are using frameworks that help them complete the process faster. The main benefit of working with frameworks is that you don’t do dirty and time-consuming work. You only use a framework and customize it according to the needs of your project.

PHP 7: Necessary Update

It is safe to say that after the release of the new version, some crucially important updates and enhancements were added. Programmers mostly stopped complaining about the performance of this tool. Besides, this version is called the revival of this programming language!

The greatest benefits of the seventh version are enhanced site speed and much better memory usage. Besides, the new version also included the following improvements:

  • New type hinting;
  • The capability to use keys in lists;
  • Type declarations;
  • Faster error handling;
  • Nullable types, and much more!

Are PHP Developers Needed?

Though some are circulating rumours that PHP developers will soon lose their job, in fact, the situation is different. Even if you are new at PHP programming, you won’t face any problems while searching for a job.

Moreover, 77 million websites are powered by PHP. This means that they need to be maintained by anyone! So job offers, where companies are searching for experienced PHP coders are always around. If right now, you want to begin your career in this niche, you will never run out of available options, especially when it comes to searching for the job of your dream!

Some Predictions for the Future

We can definitely say that PHP is not dead! This language is certainly here to stay. Yes, some programmers don’t like this tool, but this doesn’t mean it is dying. Some day, it will definitely die, but not now. Maybe in 10 or 20 years, another coding language will be occupying the leading positions, but in the meantime, if you want to be an on-fire programmer, you need to learn the ropes of PHP development.

Today, PHP is considered one of the greatest solutions to a variety of app development issues. Although there’s a lot of talks about this tool, it is clear to assume that PHP does have a good future. Yes, there’s some old stuff in this tool, but if you are a professional in this niche, you won’t face any difficulties. Use frameworks for programming, and you’ll be more effective and write better, cleaner code!

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash


Hugo Di Francesco

Co-author of "Professional JavaScript", "Front-End Development Projects with Vue.js" with Packt, "The Jest Handbook" (self-published). Hugo runs the Code with Hugo website helping over 100,000 developers every month and holds an MEng in Mathematical Computation from University College London (UCL). He has used JavaScript extensively to create scalable and performant platforms at companies such as Canon, Elsevier and (currently) Eurostar.

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