Should you learn PHP in 2021?

You may have heard that PHP is a useless and dying out programming language, but what are the facts?

The PHP language is the successor to the PHP / FI project, established in 1994 Rasmus Lerdorf to track his online resume views. It was a simple set of CGI (Common Gateway Interface) binaries written in C. In 1995, Rasmus published the source code for his project and encouraged users to join in improving it.

This led to the introduction of PHP 3 in 1997, after which the language began to gain popularity rapidly. By 1998, 10% of web servers were running PHP. As the years passed, PHP’s functionality grew, and it became more and more popular. By 2004, it worked more than 1 million websites.

I fell in love with PHP when I was at university: it was easy to learn, and PHP programmers were in demand. However, my fellow students thought that learning PHP was a waste of time because it is an endangered language. This was news to me, so I went to Google looking for facts. Then I found dozens, if not hundreds, of articles about the death of PHP.

I found a lot of negative statements about PHP and prophecies about its imminent collapse, but at the same time I saw even more statements from people who like this language.

So where did the idea of ​​PHP dying come from? PHP owes its popularity on the web, among other things, to the WordPress engine, but when a block page editor appeared in the latter, opinions began to spread on the web about the imminent death of PHP. Moreover, with the advent of Node.js and the development of Python, PHP began to decline in popularity, and many began (and continue) to think that PHP is over.

However, PHP is still one of the most popular programming languages ​​for the web. Sites like facebook.com, microsoft.com, wikipedia.org, realtor.com, salesforce.com, slack.com, tesla.com, etsy.com and of course wordpress.com all run in PHP. More than 70% websites use PHP as their programming language for the back end.

We often hear that PHP is slow and that its syntax is terrible. While slow performance may have been true in the past, PHP has improved significantly since then, and with the release of PHP 7.0, it has reached an unprecedented speed. Besides performance, PHP has many other advantages.

PHP is a completely free and open source programming language, and because it supports all major browsers, it is highly scalable. In addition, PHP is economical and works very well with JavaScript. This combination makes it easy to create functional and visually appealing websites.

When combined with frameworks like Laravel, Symfony or Code Igniter, PHP is easy to use. PHP also supports a wide variety of databases including MySQL, PostGreSQL, Mongo, Oracle, DB ++, Paradox, Ingres and many more.

The truth is PHP isn’t going anywhere – at least not for the time being. It is a language that many programmers really love, and despite a slight loss in popularity, it is still remains the leader on the web and boasts a solid follower base.

To summarize: PHP is alive and well, and in my opinion, it is one of the easiest programming languages ​​to learn. Even if PHP’s popularity continues to decline at its current rate, it will last for decades. PHP is not dying and is definitely worth learning in 2021 and in the future. There are still thousands of vacancies open for new PHP programmers.


Material prepared as part of the PHP Developer specialization.

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