PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a highly popular server-side scripting language. It is very flexible and has a lot of innovative features. It is the fastest resource available for creating database–enabled dynamic websites. All the features and updates of PHP are available free of cost.
PHP code is well organized and can be easily embedded into HTML code. It works on all major operating systems like Linux, Windows, Unix and Mac OS, and it supports main web and enterprise servers like Apache, Netscape, Microsoft IIS, etc. Moreover, it is easier to troubleshoot problems in PHP when compared to other languages.
For a web developer, designing a complex, yet attractive website in a short span of time is a big challenge. This is where PHP frameworks prove to be useful. Frameworks can be used to develop websites of all sizes and complexity. The most popular ones include WordPress, Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter and Phalcon, to name a few.
PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994 and was publicly released in June 1995. Back then, it was the abbreviated form of Personal Home Page tools. After two years, in 1997, it entered public domain as PHP/F1 2.0. A year later, two programmers, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans, rewrote the base of the original version and launched PHP 3.
PHP 4, which came out in 2000, incorporated a scripting engine named Zend Engine that was designed by Suraski and Gutmans. Three more major versions with some sub-versions were launched in the later years with the latest version 7.0 released in 2015.
Two decades after its inception, PHP has registered a phenomenal growth and is still going strong. Today, it controls over 80% of all the websites on the globe. This includes majors like Facebook, Wikipedia and WordPress among others.
The following infographic gives you an idea about the timeline and major features of all the PHP versions.
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