What is PHP?

PHP, which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a type of scripting language that is used for computer coding. It is an open source language that is most commonly used for web coding because of how well it works with HTML. It was developed in 1994 by a man named Rasmus Lerdorf which was right when the internet became accessible to the public. At that time, there was a demand for a web-friendly programming language and it took off from there, being used on more than an estimated 250 million websites (based on sample data). It is used on 39% of all websites making it by far the most popular programming language on the web today.

The reason PHP is suited so well for web programming is because of how well it works along with HTML code. PHP can be combined along with HTML to make the various websites and applications that you see today.

PHP coding is a server-side scripting language. This means that in order for this language to work, it requires a web server which responds to the client’s requests individually. It is usually interpreted and executed by a PHP interpreter which then sends the information to the client. This process results in the generated web pages that we visit on the internet. To give you some examples, PHP code is used to generate the HTML code of a web page, an image, video or data in a variety of other forms. The PHP language can be used on virtually any type of platform or operating system.

Up until 2014, there was no standard that existed for the PHP language. There is now a formal attempt going on to create official specifications that will be applied to PHP coding going forward.

Since it is a web-based language, it makes it a prime target for hacking. With that in mind, the security throughout the PHP language is fairly strong. Most security issues are due to mistakes that the programmers have made in the coding process.

PHP is available for free and is already used across a variety of platforms that you will likely come across or are already using. It is one of the most commonly used languages on the web and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

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