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PHP: 5 Powerful Spheres of Use

Posted October 3, 2018

Initially built for server-side scripting, PHP has become one of the most widely used programming languages. According to WWW Technology Surveys, the share of its use worldwide exceeds 80%. Among PHP advocates are such giants as Slack, Wikipedia, WordPress, Pinterest, Nvidia, Tumblr and, to some extent, Facebook.

Image credit: Camilo Sanchez via Wikimedia, CC BY 3.0

Image credit: Camilo Sanchez via Wikimedia, CC BY 3.0

The wide range of functions it possesses allow applying this language in almost any area of IT development. That’s why companies, from startups to large enterprises, so often choose this programming language when it comes to developing products and services, or selecting suitable web developer services. Let’s have a look at some inspiring examples of what can be done with PHP.

1. PHP Websites

Having been specifically designed as a language for developing web pages, PHP allows building highly intuitive and responsive websites quickly and easily. No wonder many popular websites are powered by PHP. Among them are Yahoo, Flickr, Digg, and others.

So, what makes PHP so good for website development? Its features which were specifically designed for websites. They include good interaction with HTML, communication with various databases, security, and user-friendliness.

Dynamic Website Templates

In the modern ecosystem, any web page needs a high level of customization and should provide a highly interactive user interface. Since PHP scripts execute on the server, the page generating HTML code can be created dynamically. Visitors deal with customized web-pages without any notion of scripts.

Online Communities

You can easily build your own online community with the help of such PHP forum building tools as PHP BB, vBulletin, Pun BB, and others. It can make your website more interactive and attractive for the users.

Image Output

With PHP, you can output images of different types, for example, with the help of ImageMagic software suite. Thus, PHP-based websites can be as bright and picturesque as you like.

2. E-commerce Applications in PHP

E-commerce is another big sphere where PHP offers a lot of easy ways to build an awesome experience. Many of the popular e-commerce platforms, like OpenCart, Zen Cart, Magento, PrestaShop, and Ubercart, are PHP-based.

Such PHP functions as PHP CCVS, CyberMUT, Cybercash, Payflow Pro, and VeriSign help to embody e-commerce features into your web services.

Through the use of frameworks like Symfony, CodeIgniter, CakePHP or Zend, PHP allows the development of e-commerce applications in a swift and simple manner. Since these PHP frameworks are opensource, it results in lower development and maintenance costs, increased functionality, high scalability and responsiveness, and reliable and consistent user experience.

3. PHP Enterprise Software

Enterprise software includes content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management systems (CRM), enterprise resources planning systems (ERP), and other tools that manage the organization’s assets. Using PHP for developing enterprise software is on the rise due to its flexibility, easy integration, and multiple payment options.

Web Content Management Systems

Building CMS is one of the most popular uses of PHP. It powers the top three CMS engines: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. With PHP, you may either customize these CMSs to your business or build your own CMS from scratch. One of the main features of a good CMS is that the users can download content without dealing with the operational part and HTML. PHP CMS development reduces layout and content interdependence.

Customer Relationship Management Systems

As well as with CMS, you may choose between multiple opensource PHP-based CRM solutions and customize them according to your needs or develop an in-house CRM. PHP and its frameworks are frequently used for CRM development since they are compatible with almost all the software. Its readymade plug-ins, templates, and components can be easily integrated and add more functionality, such as product inventory, multiple currency acceptance, online payment, easy checkout, and more.

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems

Modern ERP systems are rather complex and should meet high integration standards. When it comes to the development of a lasting ERP system, choosing the most relevant framework is of great importance. PHP gives the biggest choice of frameworks to find the one that fits your needs best. It also allows to speed up the development, which, in the case of ERP, can take years. Most of PHP frameworks support the model-view-controller (MVC) approach, allowing programmers to optimize the app’s performance by structuring their code. It makes possible to organize better cooperation between several teams working on different modules of the same system.

4. PHP for web database applications

A database is the core of the web ecosystem. It provides the means for dynamic content creation and for all kinds of user interactivity. Writing a database-enabled web page is simple when using one of the database specific extensions or connecting to one of the databases which support the Open Database Connection standard. One of the reasons why PHP is so popular is because it offers support to numerous databases including MySQL, Oracle, and MS Access (more than 20 in total) and can be used for creating new databases. That said, the web page which works with database is generated seamlessly.

5. Using PHP in Mobile Apps Development

The main aim of a mobile app is engaging users or partners in your business. Here, experience personalization and creating the right context is crucial. That’s why few business mobile apps today are self-contained and most of them communicate with back-end services. The server side of the app is responsible for aggregation of various data from the mobile device, user behavior patterns, for user settings saving, etc. Several frameworks of PHP, like Symfony or Laravel, are quite good for building the back-end functionality of the mobile app.

For example, when creating an app for students who want to get ready for SAT and ACT, we chose Symfony as the basis for the development. Such decision was made because this framework is most suitable for the development of the REST API, which, in our case, was developed on HATEAOS architecture. In combination with several other techniques based on different languages, it resulted in creating a well-working product.

So, what can PHP do?

With a well-established community, wide range of functions, and quite a big set of frameworks, PHP can do almost anything. Collecting data, server-side scripting, dynamic page content generations are just a few areas of its use. PHP can be used on all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux, many Unix variants, and macOS. It also has support for most of the web servers and databases.

These are the reasons why PHP is a good choice for building, changing and operating successful projects. For a long time, PHP was not considered as a sufficiently serious language for large Web application development. It was mostly known as a good option for small projects. Recently, the situation has significantly changed. PHP frameworks (Symfony, Laravel, CakePHP, Zend, etc.) expand the capabilities of the language.


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