PHP is a widely used scripting language and interpreter to create dynamic web pages. PHP is free with an open source license. This means that the open source license only covers the commercial use of the code. For example, if you want a blog for your website, Simple Blog PHP script can easily be installed into the website without worrying about the license. PHP is mainly focused on server-side scripting to collect form data, generate dynamic web page content or send and receive cookies. The script is also good for database access, disk access, networking and manipulation of text.

Why do more and more web developers use PHP?

  1. The traditional approach was to use CGI mechanism in adding interactivity but each new request requires the server to start a new process in the kernel that consumes CPU time and memory making the CGI mechanism a lot slower particularly when using multiple concurrent CGI scripts. PHP interpreter which is also called parser generates the HTML code in the server so it does not consume CPU time or memory.
  2. PHP is widely used in the web because it is free and it has a fully featured platform where the use can download the source code and executables and install them on the computer. If you are on a limited budget, PHP would be a good option in building dynamic data-driven websites.
  3. PHP is quite popular for being easy. The language is a combination of the best features of C and Perl.
  4. PHP has a native database support from MySQL, mSQL, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Direct MS-SQL, PostgreSQL, Unix, dbm, IBM DB2, dBase, InterBase, FrontBase, Ingres, Hyperwave, Adabas D, Solid, FilePro, Empress, Ovrimos and Velocis that allow access to databases directly through SQL statements. In addition PHP supports Open Database Connection (ODBC) standards that will allow you to connect to other databases supporting the standard.
  5. PHP is compatible with majority of operating systems like Linux and its variations, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, RISC OS and many others. Majority of web servers support PHP and they have the PHP interpreter module. With PHP you have a wide range of choice for server-side scripting ad command line scripting.