Understanding PHP Scripting

Understanding PHP Scripting

PHP is a scripting language that is used in web applications to develop static or dynamic websites. The initials P.H.P stand for Hypertext Pre-processor. The language is basically used on the server side of web applications. PHP scripting should not be confused with any programming language like C# or C++; it is a scripting language. Let’s first understand what scripting language means,

PHP is a Scripting Language

A scripting language is a language that understands set of instructions when they are run. These instructions are referred to as a script. The script is used to enhance performance or perform a task within an application. Thus PHP scripting involves running scripts which are instructions that are run on the server side while the client side will run its own instructions. In our case, PHP scripting is done on the server-side so as to communicate with the client machine which is your web browser in phone or your laptop. To communicate to the client, JavaScript is needed. Therefore, the client side will run the JavaScript.

Reasons Why PHP scripting is used in Web Programming

  1. It is an open source language. By open source, we mean that you don’t have to pay. It is free.
  2. PHP is a language that can be learned within a very short time compared to the alternatives which include Asp and JSP. It is actually very easy, and that is why even first time learners will learn it within a very short time.
  3. PHP scripting is a very cost-effective choice because it is supported by many web hosting services. Other alternatives like ASP will call for the purchase of IIS.
  4. Being a server scripting language, you only need it on the server, and you don’t need it on the client side. This makes it easy to use based on the fact that you don’t need to run it on the client side. Browsers will be the only resource needed.
  5. PHP scripting works with several platforms which include windows, Linux, and Mac OS. This means the user has a wide choice of platforms on which to run PHP.
  6. PHP supports a wide range of Database, and if writing a website that runs on a Database like an online selling website, you can use the specific extensions like MYSQL or go for an abstraction layer like the PDO.

The most common uses of PHP include:

  1. PHP scripting is used in the handling of web-based forms that gather data from files and save it on a file including sending an email.
  2. PHP is used in accessing web cookies and setting cookies
  3. PHP scripting is used to access online database, and common application of this is on the online shopping platforms.
  4. You can use PHP to encrypt data where security is a threat. This is the feature that allows transactions to happen online.

PHP is a simple and flexible scripting language, and it has continued to dominate the market and therefore very familiar. It is a secure environment and therefore trusted. With PHP, programmers are not limited to the protocols that can be used. You can use several protocols, and examples include HTTP, POP3, SNMP, IMAP, and LDAP and several others.

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