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PHP: The Most Flexible Way to Produce Dynamic Websites

Updated on September 30, 2015
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In today's competitive world, where everyone is striving hard to grab the success in their concerned field, it is essential to embrace with technology advancement. Almost every business in the world has started to realize the importance of Internet in promoting their products and services. Creating a website is perhaps the best idea to make people aware about your business. As technology keeps on changing, so should your websites. Dynamic websites are the need of today's businesses. Using an advanced and sophisticated technology, a website can be made easy to retrieve and update as well.

Some of the key advantages of dynamic websites as compared to static websites are as follows:

  • A dynamic website provides a hassle free experience in updating, retrieving and displaying the data

  • It offers an interactive interface to the customers

  • With an increased control over the content placement on the website, this type of website helps in making the site more SEO friendly

  • It looks neat and well organized

  • Better presentation of contents, designs and subheads gives a professional touch to the website

  • It allows faster updates and effective time management

  • It needs less maintenance thus cost-effective to maintain

Now the question is, how to make a website more dynamic? PHP is probably the best way to do so. Numerous businesses are already making use of this scripting language while developing their website.

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What is PHP?

PHP is basically a server-side scripting language that assist in building dynamic web pages. Earlier, PHP was an acronym for Personal Home Pages, but in the present scenario it is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is basically an open source language that was originally developed by the Danish Greenlander Rasmus Lerdorf. To describe PHP in simple words, we can say that it is a file that uses .php extension and comprises an accumulation of HTML tags and scripts that run on a web server.

Over the time, PHP has become the most popular scripting language on the web. This has become an adaptive language for a large number of businesses for developing their websites. Furthermore, candidates who are looking forward to starting their career in web designing or web scripting are required to have knowledge of PHP language.

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Things that PHP can do

PHP is a very effective scripting language that can perform various tasks with ease, some of these things include:

  • Gather information from web-based forms and use it in assorted ways

  • It can authenticate and track users

  • Controls the overall display of the content

  • Provide threaded discussions on the site

  • Offer various pages to people utilizing various browsers or devices

  • Publish a whole website with the use of a single layout template

  • Serve XML pages, etc.

Advantages of choosing PHP for website development

  • It is free of cost

  • Can be used to design any type of website

  • It can easily handle websites with a lot of traffic

  • The readable and easily understandable syntax makes it easy to use

  • PHP is compatible with all the major operating systems including Windows, UNIX, LINUX and Mac OS

  • It also supports all the major web servers such as Microsoft IIS, Apache, iPlanet server, Netscape, etc.

  • Supports all leading databases such as MySQL, IBM DB2, dBase, etc.

  • It takes very less loading time

  • It is fully secure and prevents threats and malicious attacks

Basic rules of PHP

  • In order to get a PHP script working properly, it is necessary to ensure that the file ends in .php

  • It is advisable to make notes regarding the code with the comment tags for future reference

  • Make sure to begin the PHP code with “<?php”

  • The code should end by adding “?>”

  • Except few instructions, each separate instruction needs to be end with a semicolon

  • The typical function should appear as print (); in which print is the function and the stuff that the function works on will come inside the parentheses i.e. () along with a semicolon to finish it off.

PHP is quite a flexible language that offers numerous functions to choose from. One can do everything starting from arranging the stuff in alphabetical order, connecting with databases to sending emails. In addition, it also allows the users to create their own functions, which will be executed just like those from the PHP library.

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Career in PHP

PHP is undoubtedly one of the web's most admired and powerful software development platforms. To connect the end users with highly scalable online databases, the companies needs to hire skilled professionals such as PHP developers who can effectively develop the code. For this purpose, several PHP developer jobs are emerging in the job market for the right candidates with through knowledge and grip on PHP language.

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What exactly PHP developers do?

In general, the job of a PHP developer involves developing scrips and implementing codes for numerous websites as well as applications by using PHP scripting language. Furthermore, the typical job duties of a PHP developers comprises:

  • Writing clean and well-designed codes

  • Producing detailed specifications

  • Testing, troubleshooting and maintaining the core product software and databases

  • Contributing towards various phases of the development lifecycle

  • Ensuring that the industry's best practices are being followed

  • Developing and deploying new features to aid related processes and tools if required

  • Supporting the front-end developers

  • Developing and integrating plugins for certain frameworks

What education and skills are required to become a PHP developer?

PHP developer is one of the hottest jobs right now in the job market. In order to make this profession a career, it is vital to determine first whether this career path suits your skills and interests or not. Moreover, a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering is the minimum requirement to start working as a PHP developer within an organization.

Additionally, before choosing a career as a PHP developer, you need to find out whether you are keen to learn different coding languages or not, do you have technical skills, creative bend of mind, ability to visualize complex processes and so on. If you discover that you fit well on all these criteria, then you can go ahead to choose PHP developer as your career. However, you must be aware of the essential skills that are required to succeed as a PHP developer. These skills include:

  • Self-motivation learning skills

  • An aptitude in information technology

  • Intellectual ability to envision complex processes

  • Patience and diligence to write clean and concise codes

  • Thorough knowledge of PHP web frameworks

  • Basic know-how of front-end technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3, etc.

Companies that hire PHP developers

PHP developers are largely demanded in companies that are looking forward to augmenting their online presence in order to interact and engage with their current and potential customers. These professionals are usually hired by different large, medium and small organizations on a part-time, full-time as well as contractile basis depending on the type of company and the project. Moreover, these professionals can also be self-employed or work as freelancers for various clients. The majority of companies, which hire PHP professionals includes:

  • Web design and development firms

  • Individual web entrepreneurs

  • Software design companies

  • Video game development companies

  • Computer systems designing companies

  • E-commerce application development companies

  • Internet application companies

  • Non-profit organizations

  • Government agencies

  • Educational institutions

PHP field is very vast and entails several functions. It is the most preferred language used for web development. With a plethora of applications and endless customization options, the opportunities available in this exciting platform are certainly never ending. Those who are looking forward to making their career in the world of PHP can find a lot of scope for exploration and growth. With the increasing demand for PHP professionals, it is clear that this career path can provide the best returns to the PHP professionals in terms of knowledge, attractive salary, and other perks.

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