PHP has been a prominently used language since the day it was launched. In 1994, Rasmus Lerdorf pioneered PHP to monitor the visits on his personal resume. Therefore, it stood as a short form of “Personal Home Page.”
As the technology evolved, many new updates were integrated into the scripting language to match its rapidly growing technology pace. Therefore, PHP evolved as technology developed and soon became one of the most powerful scripting languages.
It currently stands for “Hypertext Processor” and is globally used by developers to build powerful web applications.
In fact, it currently backs up around 78% of the total active websites on the internet, including some of the most famous ones like Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, WordPress, Tumblr, and Flickr.
You would be surprised to know that most of the famous Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. are also coded in PHP. Therefore, entrepreneurs owning a website on any of these platforms prefer to hire PHP developers to install a version update or simply maintain the site.
Before we move further, let’s understand the core of this write-up.
What is PHP?
PHP is an open-sources scripting and programming language used at the server side while developing a dynamic website. A significant portion of the core WordPress software is coded in PHP. Thus it is regarded as a crucial language for the entire WordPress community.
There is a lot of confusion about PHP becoming a fading language. However, this is absolutely untrue.
Many PHP versions are available for installation on your server, and you can bring significant advancements in performance and security to your website by installing the newer versions of PHP.
How does PHP work?
In the definition presented above, we understood that PHP is a server-side language. But what do we actually mean by the server-side? What roles does PHP play in website development? Why do companies prefer to look for PHP programmers for hire?
It is essential to answer all these questions before we move ahead.
Server-side refers to the entire processing carried out in the web server before anything is delivered to your user’s browser.
For example, when a user visits your WordPress website. The PHP code containing the core WordPress would be run before sending in any files to the user.
Following this, your server will process the code, and once it is done, the entire PHP’s output will be delivered (in HTML code received in the user’s browser).
In the end, your visitor will just see the information you are aiming to show, not the PHP code that backs your WordPress website. They will only see the already-processed code delivered by the server to their browsers.
PHP 5 vs. PHP 7:
According to a report published by W3Tech, about 78% of the websites are powered by PHP. All these websites actively use PHP at their server-side.
Just like any other programming language, there are many versions PHP has to offer. The older versions of PHP – 5, 7.0, 7.1 have reached their end of life and are no longer relevant to developers. Thus, these versions no longer receive community support or security support.
However, you can use the most recent version of PHP, version 7.4. It comes with performance and security boosts and can drastically increase your website’s market standing.
PHP in WordPress:
When you download the recent copy of WordPress from their official website, you can check out the zip file to analyze that central WordPress files, including its core, are in PHP.
Similarly, when you choose to install any of the themes for your WordPress website, you will still see many PHP files included in it.
And any plugins would also obviously be primarily in PHP.
Besides using PHP in the core files, WordPress also integrates a massive number of hooks, functions, methods, and classes that can be easily used. All you have to do is look for WordPress developers for hire and take their help in extending your website’s functionality using all the exceptional provisions of the platform.
How PHP works in WordPress themes:
Let’s move ahead with an excellent example of how PHP extends your website’s performance by connecting the server-side to your WordPress site.
If you download any theme, you will be able to locate many files like “header.php,” “sidebar.php,” “comments.php,” etc.
If you are already aware of WordPress’s functioning, you would be aware of the terms as well. If not, we’ll clear it out for you.
Their names can understand these terms; each file is connected to the similar-name area located in the front-end of a website.
- Comments.php will dictate the functioning and looks of your website’s comment section.
- Sidebar.php will dictate the functioning and looks of your sidebar area.
- Header.php will dictate the functioning and looks of your header.
Upon a user’s visit to your website, your web server will draw out all the PHP files from various areas of your theme, put them together as per your theme’s requirements, and deliver the HTML output to your user’s browser.
The entire write-up talked about how necessary it is to understand PHP when you have a website (regular or in a CMS). Every entrepreneur aiming to maintain their WordPress website would have to look for PHP programmers for hire since it is essential to outshine in the development game’s
However, a user will not have to understand PHP to access a WordPress website or even create one! The most fantastic thing about WordPress is that all PHP codes are already written and integrated into the core WordPress software, plugins, and themes. Therefore, to use or build a simple website, you will not have to go through a lot of pain.
However, to integrate advanced functionalities and update your website’s WordPress version, you will have to turn towards a professional for help.