Let’s start by accepting that PHP has never been a perfect language, and it still isn’t, but the gap has been reducing constantly and the pace of this shift is quite evident from the fact that even with all its flaws, PHP does perfectly fine for a majority of the projects. In fact, I believe that no language out there can fit all the cases and therefore the focus should be more on choosing a competent team instead.
A competent team working on a decent language is any day better than an average team working with the perfect tools and languages.
Still not convinced? Have read a lot of bad things about PHP on the web? I’ll try to sort these things out for you today. And hopefully, by the end of this read, you’ll be in a better position to decide that if PHP is a good choice for you and your next million dollar project :).
1. It’s getting faster with every release.
“It’s slow” is possibly the first argument anyone would make against PHP; however, it has always been fast enough for building websites and web applications. Unless we were to build a scientific algorithm and programs in which every extra millisecond saved matters, PHP has served well.
On top of that, it’s getting faster with every new release. PHP7 was almost 50% faster than PHP5, a significant improvement by any given standards. PHP7.3 further improved the performance by about 15%. The performance has more than doubled in the last five to six years. PHP7 allows the system to execute twice as many requests per second compared to PHP5.6, at almost half of the latency.
2. Composer leveled the playing field.
Every successful language has had a stable and globally accepted package & dependency manager for decades. Although a bit late to the clan, but with the development of Composer, PHP has joined the list and has been a game-changer since then. Composer has become the cornerstone of modern PHP development.
If you talk to someone from the pre-composer era, you can feel the pain in their voice while they talk about how difficult it was to manage project dependencies and make use of the open-source packages & libraries, however, post-composer era has given a much-needed boom to the open-source community by making it much easier for them to share their work.
In fact, right now, the global repository for composer packages hosts 289,720+ packages (source: packagist.org). And, there’s a very high chance of finding a ready to use package here for the functionalities you need in your projects, directly translating to lower cost and faster development for the Project owners.
3. PSR Standards brought the community together.
PHP’s strength lies in the community and their open-source contributions, and that was made easier by PSR standards and composer. For the project owner, this meant
- Better quality projects.
- Uniformity – Multiple development partners could work together on a single project and still have a consistent codebase.
4. Laravel for the win
Not only among PHP, but Laravel has become one of the most popular frameworks out there across all languages for web development. Once you start using it, there is no going back. It’s secure, fast, modular, clean and everything else anyone could ask for.
5. PHP is no more that immature kid it used to be.
However, it’s not the same language anymore. With the release of PHP7, it stands head to head with any other language out there. Exceptions, Classes, Interfaces, Closures, Namespaces, Traits – you name any modern feature that a first-class language should have; PHP has it. However, people still carry the same image in their head that PHP had with version PHP5.2 and bad mouth it. They need to move on because PHP definitely has.
6. Great Community Support
That’s what made PHP what it is today. Every developer starting with PHP feels right at home just because of this awesome community PHP has.
7. It’s as secure as any other language
The programmer is responsible for the security as much as the language itself. A bad programmer will write bad and insecure code no matter the language. And that’s why sidelining PHP by stating that it’s not secure is plain naive.
There is no reason why PHP shouldn’t work as well as any other language for your next project. You should confidently choose it. Facebook did and so did Wikipedia & Mailchimp.