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What you need to know about PHP

09/11/2012 | Internet hosting |

If you're looking to build a high-quality website, the first decision you need to make is what tool you are going to use to develop your domain before you can start looking at dedicated servers to host your domain. One of the most popular tools for web development is the PHP server-side scripting language. While this is a general purpose tool that can be used for a variety of solutions, such as developing desktop applications, it is especially well-suited for creating advanced web pages.

Created in 1995 by Danish programmer Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, though the PHP Group that manages the language now describes PHP as a recursive acronym standing for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. Since first being released, there have been five main versions of the software, with a sixth planned for release in the future. The latest updates - PHP 5.4.6 and PHP 5.3.16 - were released on August 16th and fix over 20 bugs. The scripting language is open source and freely available, while the features of PHP are claimed to be suitable for any user. The PHP Group states on its website: "The best things in using PHP are that it is extremely simple for a newcomer, but offers many advanced features for a professional programmer."

What makes PHP stand out from client-side languages such as JavaScript is that all the code is executed on the server. This enables an owner to limit access to the underlying source code of a website. PHP can be used on all major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Linux and many variants of Unix, while it also has support for the majority of web server software, such as Apache and IIS. "With PHP, you have the freedom of choosing an operating system and a web server. Furthermore, you also have the choice of using procedural programming or object oriented programming, or a mixture of them both," the PHP Group states.

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