Is PHP alive?

PHP is the language we hear least about in the media.

Angular, React, Node.js and Python are the trendiest ones right now. Even computer science degrees focus their efforts on the Java and C languages.

PHP sits in the corner and watches all other languages ​​get into the spotlight.

In this article, I want to find out if PHP is dead or is it still alive.

79% Internet

When someone mentions PHP, it is often frustrating for that programming language – however, according to W3Techs, it powers 79% of the Internet. Despite the bad reputation it got back in the 90s and early 2000s for its insecurity, it still manages to hold onto the title of the most used backend language.

However, much of this success can be attributed to the fact that it is used in WordPress. The widely popular CMS appeared in 2003, when the Internet and personal blogs began to be widely used. It has managed to surpass Google’s Blogger as a CMS.

WordPress has done its best to keep it incredibly simple.

According to a talk by Matt Mullenweg during his 2014 visit to Auckland, New Zealand, he mentioned that Squarespace’s Superbowl ads gave WordPress a free advertising boost as people started using WordPress as a comparison platform.

With built-in PHP in WordPress, supported by almost every shared hosting provider and still owning 61.5% of the Internet, PHP as a language doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Even if WordPress decides to completely switch to another language, there will still be a large number of legacy sites that will need to switch to the new system.

Changing trend

PHP’s close relationship with WordPress contributed to the way developers began to view the programming language. Most of all it has to do with the development of themes and plugins for the WordPress ecosystem.

Job prospects outside of WordPress-related activities are often associated with legacy platforms originally built in PHP. It is not often a natural choice for startups or new business projects to deliver this language to potential candidates.

Experience with PHP recruiting has been on the decline, according to Darwin Recruitment, a UK-based recruiting agency that released data on its recruiting services.

However, there is a competitive trend towards more applications that require PHP. This backward effect does not indicate that PHP’s competitiveness for the job has diminished over time.

But this is one of the many agencies that may have a different trend. In contrast, worldwide interest in the search term “PHP” has shown a declining trend over the past 5 years, with China and the Philippines being the most popular search countries.

This coincides interestingly with what the number of searches for “WordPress” looks like, with corresponding dips and peaks.

How is the thematic market?

By being PHP related to WordPress, themes and emerging plugins are becoming mainstream commercial destinations, especially if you want to go freelance.
ThemeForest is currently the largest WordPress-related commerce marketplace, with 114 authors currently earning over $ 1 million – at first glance this might seem like a lot, but it really isn’t because there are 47k actives in the market. WordPress themes that are on sale. There is no easy way to determine how many products are per author, but it is unlikely that their cumulative result is more than 10%.

While this can be a good source of passive income, it takes a lot more work to make a business out of it. However, wherever we work, it will bring us dividends.

Hosting giant BlueHost acquired Mojo Themes and renamed it Mojo Marketplace, and they wanted to cash in on WordPress themes. However, they weren’t as successful as Envato ThemeForest, with most of their top themes being less than a thousand in size.

PHP is not completely dead, but it is not completely alive either – not like JavaScript, which is currently in the development ecosystem. PHP’s relationship with WordPress is close and is based on long-term adoption of the platform by regular users.

Since PHP is an integral part of the content creation ecosystem, it is unlikely to disappear in a year, two, or anytime soon. Hosting companies have a role to play as well as they continue to maintain WordPress as their main CMS, making it much more accessible to casual users than other server-side languages ​​like Java and C ++.

Despite all the chatter about PHP dying, it won’t happen as long as WordPress is up and running. Unfortunately, a lot of legacy PHP codes are associated with older versions of WordPress that site owners have not yet updated.

What is special about PHP is that it also has strong communities that are not related to WordPress, such as Laravel and Symfony. PHP itself is also actively supported, with the next release scheduled for November 2019. In general, PHP is doing fine so far.

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