Why PHP?

Why choose PHP over other languages like Perl, ASP, Java and Python for web application development? It depends on the requirements of the site you are developing for, but a few good reasons include:

  • PHP is designed from scratch for the web. Other languages, like Perl, Visual Basic and Python are more flexible, but can introduce security issues.
  • PHP is free and Open Source. It runs very well on other Open Source products like the Apache webserver and Linux. Web application systems like Macromedia ColdFusion and Vignette are very expensive.
  • Simpler than Java, easier to maintain than Perl. PHP is much easier to learn than Java and you can often create applications with fewer lines of code in PHP. Perl allows programmers to write code in many different ways to achieve the same objective. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to maintain. PHP usually has only one way of doing the same task, but is similar enough to Perl that a Perl programmer should have no difficulty in learning the language.
  • There are many third-party web applications and scripts written in PHP that are freely available to download.
I'm not going to pretend that PHP is the be all and end all of web application development, but it is a very useful tool. So useful that the world's biggest website, Yahoo chose PHP. See the link below for their reasons.