I was introduced to PHP in 2012 during the beginning years of my digital marketing career. And it has become my go-to language for fast (and often hacky) development ever since. While I may not have a traditional web development background, I started learning PHP because of WordPress.
When it comes to API integrations, Python and PHP are my go-to choices due to their simplicity and readability. In this opinionated article, I will share why PHP is my preferred choice for fast development and how I’m using it for personal projects. Not a PHP stan per se, but the write-up may sound a bit fanboy-ish.
PHP’s syntax is straightforward and intuitive, allowing me to focus on creating my ideas rather than getting bogged down in the technical details. I found it easy to learn and understand. Its syntax is similar to that of other programming languages like C or Perl, making it easier for beginners to pick up.
Another benefit of PHP, I find, is its flexibility. It is a language that is adaptable to different projects and requirements. Additionally, PHP has an extensive community of developers who share resources and support one another. Whenever I encounter a problem or need help, I can rely on the community to provide solutions or guidance. Or Stack Overflow it 😉
And just like any other modern language, PHP has a vast collection of frameworks and libraries that can help developers create complex web applications quickly. Frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, and Symfony have become popular choices among developers due to their ease of use and the time-saving features they offer. These frameworks have features that handle tedious tasks like form validation, database interaction, and security, making development faster and more efficient.
Another significant advantage of PHP is its versatility in terms of hosting options. Most web hosts or control panels offer greater support for PHP, meaning I can deploy my projects quickly without worrying about compatibility issues. This saves me time and effort spent on configuring servers or troubleshooting errors. And migrations are much easier when it’s PHP (personal experience).
Moreover, PHP has a low learning curve (subjective), and beginners can start creating simple applications quickly. Its syntax is easy to understand, and developers can learn the language with minimal effort.
While I enjoy exploring new technologies and programming languages, I recently returned to PHP for my development needs. I had been experimenting with Node.js and React+Next.js for testing AI projects, but I was much more comfortable working with PHP. And recently, I ported every micro app I made to PHP and hosted them inside a WordPress environment.
And I love creating PHP hooks for WordPress (not plugins). A PHP hook is a function that allows you to add custom code to WordPress without having to modify the core files. GeneratePress is my default WordPress theme, by the way.
You can think of it as a way to “hook into” the WordPress system and add your own functionality. Hooks are incredibly flexible and can be used to perform a wide variety of tasks, from modifying the appearance of your site to adding custom functionality.
Using PHP hooks as a service inside my WordPress website allows me to make changes quickly and efficiently, even when I’m feeling lazy. Instead of spending hours digging through code, I can implement a hook in just a few minutes and move on to other tasks. And sometimes, I couple these hooks to fetch data from Python-powered RESTful APIs.
In short, PHP’s simplicity, flexibility, and extensive community make it an excellent language for fast development. While I am expanding my skill set with other languages like Python (strictly for automation and scripting), I will always have a soft spot for PHP and the benefits it provides. Also, I’m not a fanboy of any programming language. Plus, I’m not a full-stack developer. I’m happy if it works and ticks all the boxes.