The future of PHP – Should developers and web app owners worry?

The Future of PHP - 2022 and beyond

One of the most popular scripting languages among web developers all around the world- PHP has been a game-changer in web development. It has stayed on pace with the consistent evolution of the web scape ever since it was first created in the mid-1990s. The language has undergone several stages of redevelopment to boost its performance, handle complex applications and add new features. Following these developments, PHP has arrived at its latest version in 2021. The recursive acronym, short for Hypertext Preprocessor, is sure to remain popular even in the coming times, courtesy of the fact that it still acts as a core of many web platforms.

PHP at Present

Being a relatively “old” tool as compared to the new languages that are being developed every day, one would expect PHP to slowly become invalid. However, the truth is quite a contrast to this expectation. After powering a large chunk of the web for more than a quarter of a century, this programming language is still going strong.

So how does PHP do it? Though the tool has faced some challenges of its own, it has always come through with new innovations. Every time developers had a complaint or the language fell behind on any aspect, a new version would remedy it all.

The current state of PHP as a programming tool is still positive after suffering a slight decline in its usage. A considerable percentage of the top websites on the internet still use PHP. For example- it acts as the core on WordPress, which is one of the largest blogging platforms online.

The latest major version of PHP is 8.1 which added a host of new features and diminished the role of some undesirable aspects. In all, it has made the already easy-to-use platform even more straightforward.

Who is Using PHP?

PHP’s ability to create dynamic web content with ease has made it the go-to for newbie developers as well as veterans. It is also the easiest web language that can be self-taught with some effort. It still boasts a clientele consisting of huge global websites like Facebook (Meta) and Wikipedia. These companies use PHP as an integral part of their programming infrastructure. This only supports the fact that Hypertext Preprocessor is ready to run the marathon of staying relevant in web programming for a long time.

Today, many technologies are being integrated with PHP to improve their overall functionalities. It can be said that it is due to this reason that the language is well-developed and is still in the course of development.

The PHP Foundation

To keep the PHP language relevant for at least the near future and introduce new advancements, several companies have come together to form The PHP Foundation. It is a non-profit organization that aims at ensuring the longevity of the language for the vested interests of companies and developers all over the globe.

After JetBrains announced companies like Laravel, Zend etc. collaborating to fund the language, the future of the web tool has begun to appear brighter. The move was fueled by the withdrawal of Nikita Popov who had been acting as a major contributor to the language for the past decade.

To fund web developers working on PHP, the foundation is gathering funds through the Open Collective. One-third of its annual budget will be paid for by JetBrains while the remaining part is dependent on successful crowdfunding.

What is the Future of its Development?

Despite facing some hiccups along the way, like losing a chief contributor or dwindling use, PHP is set on its way to remain relevant. Its selling point has always been its efficiency and ease of use, and PHP has always delivered when it comes to this. The formation of The PHP Foundation can prove to be an extremely important move in terms of its development.

With its latest version and the one that’s set to come in 2022, PHP will strengthen its position among the top programming languages. It has long helped developers create robust web apps, and it will continue to do so. PHP has always worked in line with new trends. As long as it continues to do so, it will remain a safe path for years to come.

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