Nowadays PHP is the most admired programing language for web development. It is fast, scalable, easy to use, provides a variety of development tools, and allows building web apps with the top-notch and latest features.
Major online businesses such as Wikipedia, Facebook, Tumblr, WordPress, MailChimp, Flickr, and many others use PHP for the development of their products.
In this article, we will uncover:
- Why is PHP the right choice when it comes to web development?
- What are the rising web development trends today?
Why Use PHP for Web Development?
PHP is an open-source server-side scripting programming language. It runs on a web server and was designed for building dynamic web pages and applications. PHP dates back to 1995 and through its development history, it has acquired elaborated online documentation and a number of robust frameworks. Therefore, it has a shallow learning curve and it’s quick to configure for a flying development start.
There are many other reasons why to use PHP for web development. It has:
- fast turn-around time and impressive performance in the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP);
- enhanced website scalability and maintenance, meaning that software engineers can easily add new features or update a website after writing the code;
- great compatibility with web servers such as Apache, Windows, Linux, and Unix;
- wide interoperability with various databases, including MySQL, Sybase, Oracle, and others;
- great compatibility with commonly used web protocols such as HTTP, LDAP, POP3, COM, and others;
- HTML and HTML5 enhance compatibility for creating highly dynamic and responsive websites;
- a variety of PHP frameworks such as Laravel, CodeIgniter, Symfony, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and others for accelerated and minimum error development;
- a wide range of add-onsdeveloped by PHP supporters to meet the specific requirements on their business projects and shared online.
What Are the Rising Web Development Trends Today?
With the wide range of tools and functionalities listed above, web developers can use PHP to enhance their web apps with the most prominent and effective solutions. Let’s have a closer look at the features you can use to build modern and powerful web apps.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design (RWD) is the practice of developing web pages that adjust to screen resolutions on any device. It provides a user-friendly and intuitive experience for mobile phone and desktop users alike.
The need for RWD has emerged with the online market demand for expansion. More and more businesses wanted to improve their brand awareness and be easily accessible online on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers. However, browsing through webpages on wireless devices provided a negative experience to their users – they were hard to read and navigate. Therefore, software developers had to develop RWD technology.
RWD technology lets devices style HTML elements so that they adapt to the screen features, they allow to:
- resize images and videos;
- align web page columns to the reading priority;
- control dimensions that have flexible units such as percentages or auto values;
- adjust words and sentences to the screen width;
- adjust fonts based on screen resolutions, and so on.
Software developers can enhance their sites written on PHP with RWD technology. They can make them responsive by adding CSS Media Queries to the client-side when building an app.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are an open-source framework developed by Google that enables software engineers to create fast-loading mobile web pages. It’s an especially valuable functionality for e-commerce companies, publishers, advertisers, and those for whom web app loading speed is a critical point for their business.
AMP technology optimizes web page performance without doing any alterations in the primary mobile web experience. AMP does this optimization by excluding additional CSS requests and omitting heavy on-page elements such as cumbersome pictures, call to action buttons, and other parts, rendering only those elements that suit for mobile use.
Above all, AMP technology has a positive effect on web page rankings in mobile search engines. Mobile web pages enhanced with AMP technology get higher in mobile engine search results.
Using this front-end feature together with fast PHP back-end logics can turn your web app into an effective and robust solution that makes the user experience a priority.
Single Page Applications
Single page application (SPA) is another technology that can greatly enhance the user experience by reducing users’ wait time. SPA represents a web app that works with a web browser. It loads web page resources (HTML, CSS, and scripts) only once and after dynamically rewrites the current web page, adding the necessary data to the page from the web server instead of reloading it entirely.
SPAs are widely used, some of the most popular examples of SPAs are Gmail, Facebook, GitHub, and others.
Built with advanced front-end frameworks such as AngularJS, VueJS, Ember.js, and mixed with back-end PHP code, SPAs help users to keep in single web space with the content represented in a convenient, intuitive, and simple manner.
Progressive Web Applications
- Service Worker is located in a browser, it represents a proxy layer between the front-end and back-end of an app that processes requests;
- HTTPS protocol that helps to transfer site resources;
- Application Shell is a skeleton of the user interface;
- Web App Manifestdefines PWA parameters and also allows putting PWA on a mobile phone’s home screen;
- Push Notifications for a user to get the latest news from the website.
All these technologies make PWAs independent from the internet connection, fast, and engaging web apps.
Web development practices are slowly changing and becoming closer to mobile. Every year more and more solutions appear allowing to adjust web sites to mobile apps, making them faster, robust, and more user-friendly. Nevertheless, these changes are based on time-tested technologies, like PHP programming language. It allows developing more effective and viable solutions, yet remaining simple, fast, easy to scale and adapt.