PHP just celebrated its 25th anniversary. In our days of flashy frameworks coming up every other month, it’s not surprising to see tech evangelists calling for the death of PHP — since last few years, but it’s still strong with around 78% of the known web using it.

Photo by Florian Olivo on Unsplash

PHP still does it job as cheap as possible

Back to the point, I still use PHP because it does its job and does quite well. It’s simple to set up and get it running, with not much maintenance or hosting costs. Running PHP code is the cheapest way of getting a web-app online.

PHP has a mature ecosystem of tools

PHP has frameworks and library bindings for many things, it’s easy to play around PDFs or images in PHP than in anything else I have used in other languages. Tools have been existing for years in PHP, other languages are nowhere yet near.

PHP has mature frameworks like Symfony

To be honest, most of my PHP work is over Symfony and Laravel which make a lot of tasks easier. And it is also the strongest reason why I still like to use PHP. From robust server-side templating to strong ORM support, Symfony and Laravel are an absolute pleasure to work with. Even if you design a front-end with React or Angular or Vue, there is no other framework that comes closer than Symfony and Laravel to make your development seamless.

There are places I still won’t use PHP

PHP won’t work everywhere (like background workers). It’s fine for a low-traffic shopping site, but if some architecture needs background processing for example I won’t use PHP. PHP is not suited for this. I’m not selling PHP as a silver bullet.

  • Simple shopping site, content-driven side → Use PHP
  • Simple REST API backing web or mobile app → Use PHP
  • Needs complex background tasks, specialized domains (like machine learning) → Use what’s best, divide into micro-services etc.

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