PHP is a general-purpose scripting language made for web development. It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994.
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. Initially, it was called Personal Home Page Tools or just PHP Tools.
PHP is a multi-paradigm language. It supports Imperative, functional, object-oriented, procedural, reflective programming.
PHP was designed by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. Initially, he wrote several Common Gateway Interface programs in C to maintain his personal homepage.
In June of 1995, Rasmus released the source code for PHP Tools to the public. This way people could use it the way they find it fit.
Later, he extended those tools to work with web forms and to communicate with databases. The new implementation was called "Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter" or just PHP/FI.
PHP/FI could be used to build simple as well as dynamic web applications.
Initially, PHP was not intended to be a new programming language. It grew organically.
PHP has been implemented using the C language.
PHP supports all major operating systems, including Linux, Windows, macOS. It has been widely ported and can be deployed on most web servers on almost every operating system and platform, free of charge.
The PHP scripting language is released under PHP License.
PHP script file uses .php extension.
PHP has influenced many other popular programming languages such as Hack, JSP, ASP, etc.
A PHP script can be directly executed from the command line.
Apart from web applications, PHP can be used for standalone graphical applications and robotic drone control.
Until 2014, there was not a standard written specification for PHP. Since then, a lot of work has been done to develop a formal PHP specification.
According to, W3Techs, as of April 2021, "PHP is used by 79.2% of all the websites they know." PHP version 7 is used by 65.4% of all the websites that use PHP.
Rasmus the creator of PHP had no idea how to write a programming language. He just kept adding the next logical step on the way.
PHP/FI 2 was officially released in November 1997.
PHP was not a well-planned project, it all started with several CGI programs, and grew organically, on the go. This has led to inconsistent naming of functions and inconsistent ordering of their parameters.
PHP 3 was formed by rewriting the parser in 1997. The renamed version was released with the recursive acronym: Hypertext Preprocessor. It was officially released in 1998.
In 1999, Suraski and Gutmans rewrote PHP's core and formed the Zend Engine.
The Zend Engine is the open-source scripting engine that interprets the PHP programming language.
Zend Engine is maintained by Zend Technologies. It was founded by Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski in 1999.
PHP 4, powered by the Zend Engine 1.0, was released On 22 May 2000.
PHP 4 was officially discontinued in 2008. It is no longer under development nor will get any security updates. Active development for the scripting language was discontinued in 2008.
PHP 5 was officially released on 1 July 2004. It was powered by Zend Engine II.
PHP introduced support for object-oriented programming, the PHP Data Objects (PDO) extensions, and performance enhancements.
In 2008, PHP 5 was the only stable version under development.
PHP 5.3 introduced the late static binding first time ever.
In 2008, the GoPHP5 initiative, made many popular open-source projects drop support for PHP 4. It was the initiative for promoting the transition from PHP 4 to PHP 5.
PHP 8.0 introduced numerous improvements and new features such as Union Types, Named Arguments, Match Expressions, Attributes, Constructor, Property, Promotion, Nullsafe, Operator, Weak Maps, and Just In Time Compilation.
php.net is an official PHP homepage. This is the primary website. The homepage is where the latest news is published: such as new PHP versions, security updates, and new projects launched. This site is also mirrored in dozens of countries worldwide.
The official PHP documentation is a real community project by itself.
The PHP documentation is the most popular section on the official website. Documentation is easy to learn and try and contains a lot of samples and examples.
The PHP documentation is translated into twelve different languages. It is available in a variety of different formats.
Users can read notes on the documentation left by other users, and contribute their own notes.
The PHP community has built a huge network of knowledge bases, PHP user groups, and training sessions.
The PHP documentation developmental server is a PHP mirror that contains upcoming releases of the PHP documentation before it's pushed out to the mirrors.
The PHP Quality Assurance team protects users from bugs.
The PHP project is organized with a Git server. It is available at github.com/php/
The PHP project was used to be organized under the SVN revision control system until 2012. In March 2012, it got migrated to Git.
PHP-GTK project allows PHP to be used to build graphical interfaces, with a slick interface and highly interactive content. You can build intuitive user interfaces with it.
PHP-GTK is an extension for the PHP programming language that implements language bindings for GTK+.
PHP-GTK provides an object-oriented interface to GTK+ classes and functions and greatly simplifies writing client-side cross-platform GUI applications.
gcov.php.net site is used for automatic PHP code coverage testing. On a regular basis, current Git snapshots are being built and tested on this machine. After all, tests are done the results are visualized along with a code coverage analysis.
A list of the developers behind PHP along with quick profiles for each of them are available on people.php.net.
PEAR is a framework and distribution system for reusable PHP components. The packaging and distribution system used by PECL is shared with its sister project, PEAR.
PHP-PEAR eases installation by bringing an automated wizard and packing the strength and experience of PHP users into a nicely organized OOP library.
PECL is a repository for PHP Extensions, providing a directory of all known extensions and hosting facilities for downloading and developing PHP extensions.
The PHP bug database is where you can bring problems with PHP to the attention of developers. It is available at bugs.php.net
PhD O.E. is an online documentation editor. It's a great tool for users that are looking for a way to get into contributing to PHP.net. The PhD Online Editor is available at edit.php.net.