One of the most widely used scripting platforms on the web, PHP is a server-side scripting language that can help create highly interactive web pages – login pages, forums, and picture galleries, just to name a few, are all possible with PHP.
It’s called a server-sided script because the PHP code does not execute in your computer, but in the computer that owns the page. You’ll know you’re in a website running PHP when the site’s URL ends with a .php.
PHP is open source, and supports most of the well-known operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Unix, just to name a few.
PHP was initially known as Personal Home Page and was designed by Rasmus Lerdorf in ’94. The name evolved to Hypertext Preprocessor, a “recursive acronym” as Wikipedia explains it.
Since PHP works at the server-side of things, there is a level of control on what users can do in a website running a PHP script. PHP can set conditions that can validate, track, and authenticate users, among other important functions.
|Client-sided scripting language (except in Node JS)||Strictly server-sided|
|Open standard as implemented, but not open source||Completely open source|
|Can be disabled in the browser||Cannot be disabled|
|Enhances website interface||Implements secure access to website|