What is PHP? It is a programming language used to create interactive and dynamic websites. It is an open-source scripting language adopted by popular platforms such as WordPress.
PHP operates through your web host on a server, allowing it to run in the background for access at any time. Viewers will see the HTML page it creates but not the script itself.
The purpose of the PHP language is to build dynamic web pages and power the backend of a WordPress website.
What is PHP and how it creates dynamic web pages
PHP is a script that allows you to interact with files stored within a server. PHP can write, open, create, read, and close files, to name a few. It also allows you to add or remove data as needed, making it easy to update a page’s content. A common example of what PHP is used for is to run the WordPress website engine. It uses PHP to execute all its scripts and mechanisms.
However, a web browser cannot view PHP files directly, as it can only work with HTML. The reason PHP works is because of the communication between the web host and the browser. Once someone enters your website, they’ll send a request to the web host. The host will then use PHP to write an HTML code, which they’ll send back to the browser. The browser interprets this code and turns it into a web page you can view and use.
How does PHP power the backend of a WordPress website?
All WordPress websites use PHP as a foundation. The WordPress web host accesses the data stored in the PHP code to supply the HTML code. The good news is that you don’t need to learn how to code PHP to use or manage a WordPress website.
WordPress makes customization easy by allowing users to adopt themes or plugins to these websites. These themes and plugins have codes that automatically apply a script, which changes your website. For example, you can place the following on your website through plugins:
- Request/contact form
- Data tracker
- Links to other websites
- And many more
However, those that want to customize their WordPress website may want to learn PHP because the language allows them to apply their specific vision. The alternative is hiring a professional to code for you, but this may mean an extra expense.
Should I use PHP? 🤔
PHP is one of the most flexible programming languages available, which is why it has been used by WordPress websites for 15+ years now. This language can work on all platforms, is fully customizable, and easy to pick up. Thanks to PHP’s versatility and compatibility, it works for everyone browsing online. The fact that it remains the primary language used by WordPress shows how powerful it is.
PHP continues to have regular updates which improve loading speed. This scalability gives you the means to create the website you desire, along with its ability to interact and work with many types of files.