Ah, PHP. It’s been endlessly scorned by cool developers everywhere, but it’s still the backbone for the vast majority of websites. PHP is kind of like the boring accountant in the back room that no one really pays any attention to but is essential to running your company. We all know the knocks that PHP has against it: weak OOP principles, syntax requirements, etc. I certainly don’t disagree with any of those facts, but they are minor issues to me compared to the benefits of using PHP.
Frameworks to the Rescue
The frameworks of the last 5 years have taken PHP to a new level. We use CakePHP for all development at MediaLeaf, but we’ve heard great things about Symfony 2 as well. Frameworks make it super-easy to build out a prototype app quickly. CakePHP has command line tools that will create your CRUD scaffolding (Create – Read – Update – Delete) for you. Frameworks take care of the chores that go into each and every development project, particularly items like database connectivity and interaction.
Huge Community of PHP’ers
The huge community of PHP developers makes it rather simple to solve any issue that you come across. A simple Google search usually will yield results. Failing that, you can turn to the countless PHP forums. The vast number of PHP devs nearly guarantees that someone has already solved your problem. The key is usually figuring out the best way to describe your issue so that you can efficiently search for a solution.
PHP is Standard
Most hosting solutions, both cloud and dedicated, have PHP as part of the standard installation. This usually means that your hosting provider will provide you support relating to the PHP install itself. For smaller companies without system admins (like us), this is ideal.
It’s Proven at the Highest Levels
PHP is the engine that runs Facebook, WordPress, and countless other very large apps. If it can work effectively and efficiently for those guys, then we shouldn’t worry about it at scale for our applications.
We’ve evaluated Rails several times and have yet to find a compelling reason to move. We’re certainly not interested in migrating any of our existing apps away from PHP, but if something clearly better comes along then maybe we would consider it for future dev projects.
What are your thoughts on good-ol’ PHP? Do you still use it or have you abandoned it? Which PHP frameworks do you prefer?
Image credit: drewm on Flickr