PHP Full Form: What is PHP, Why is it Used, Pros & Cons
  • Written By Team_Embibe
  • Last Modified 08-06-2022
  • Written By Team_Embibe
  • Last Modified 08-06-2022

PHP Full Form

The full form of PHP in English is Hypertext Preprocessor. Previously known as Personal Home Page, it is a scripting programming language that requires a unique run-time environment for code execution. In other words, PHP uses scripts to develop a dynamic webpage, web application, graphical user interface (GUI), contact forms, sign up and login pages, photo gallery, and many other web templates. Even WordPress, a CMS that powers 42% of the websites on the Internet, is built in PHP. Since PHP is a general-purpose scripting language, it can be used in a variety of application domains.

PHP can easily access the cookies on a website and create or set cookies for the same.  It also makes learning easy because syntax of PHP and some functions have been derived from C and C++. So, the programmers familiar with the ins and outs of C or C++ will not have any difficulties while learning the PHP language. From installation to set-up, everything is easy. Also, one can use some open-source PHP web servers, such as XAMPP, WAMP, or EasyPHP to develop stunning web pages.


The evolution of PHP started back in 1994 when Rasmus Lerdorf wrote several CGI scripts on his webpage. Rasmus, who inspired and co-authored PHP, is known for his outstanding contribution to developing a web-based world. However, he alone did not work hard for this significant achievement; Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski played a significant role in developing this server-side scripting language.

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PHP first appeared on June 8, 1995, and there have been many releases since then. PHP has been influenced by many programming languages, including Perl, C++, Java, C, Hack, JavaScript, and Tcl. 

How Does PHP Work?

PHP uses the concept of ‘PHP Interpreter’ to process a webpage on the user’s browser, i.e., this happens on the client-side. The processed query is then sent to the web server for execution, making an HTTP request. After the acknowledgement, the server responds to that request and returns the processed query to the browser. The data sent to the server could be a binary image, an HTML page, session Id., or any information.

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Advantages of Using PHP

Here are some of the advantages of using this language:

  • Fast: PHP is one of the fastest programming languages available since it uses its memory for code execution. In contrast, other languages depend on an overhead server. 
  • Flexible: Another reason why PHP is good is that it is compatible with most of the database languages (more than 20), such as MySQL, Oracle, SYBASE, SQLite, and more.
  • Platform Independent: Unlike other languages, PHP can run on most machines, including Windows, Linux, Solaris, and UNIX. There are many servers available to run PHP scripts on Windows alone.
  • Cost-effective: Being an open-source programming language, PHP is completely free. While a bit of cost may be involved in developing a dynamic web application, such as hosting and domain cost; running or experimenting with a script does not cost a penny.
  • Efficient: The code written in PHP is both reliable and scalable. No hacker can pose any security threats. The code can be edited later when the need arises since most pages on a website share similar code.

Disadvantages of PHP

Even though PHP comes with a lot of advantages, it does have its cons too:

  • It is not suitable for giant projects, especially content-based web applications
  • Since it is a weak-type language, everything can get mixed and create confusion for newbies
  • Sometimes, there might be security issues due to its open-source nature

Syntax of PHP

The basic syntax of PHP language is as follows:


// The PHP code goes in here.


Every PHP code (script) starts with a <?php and should end with ?>. There are many built-in functions included in the library. However, a programmer can also create user-defined functions as per the needs. These functions are not case-sensitive; so, whether a PHP script has ECHO, echo, or Echo, it will serve the same purpose — print out the values. However, all variables are case-sensitive in PHP.

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echo “This is how students can learn PHP with no prior coding experience”;


Can Students learn PHP with no prior knowledge?

What makes PHP an excellent programming language to learn is that it is super easy and fun to use. PHP does not necessarily require any prior coding knowledge; however, if someone is familiar with the basic concepts of C++, it will be helpful in getting things done more quickly. Many websites offer free PHP tutorials to learn and experiment with PHP code and develop great ideas. One of these sites is W3Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions on PHP Full Form (FAQs)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions by the users:

Question 1: What is the full form of PHP?

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Answer: The full form of PHP in English is Hypertext Preprocessor. Initially, it was called a Personal Home Page, but now it is famous as PHP, a recursive acronym. 

Question 2: When was the first version of PHP released?

Answer: The first version of PHP, i.e., 1.0, was released on 8 June 1995. At that time, it was also called PHP Tools. 

Question 3: What is PHP used for?

Answer: PHP language is mainly used to create dynamic web pages. It can also be used to create cookies, manage session tracking, and connect to servers. Companies nowadays use PHP to build entire e-commerce websites.

Question 4: What is the basic syntax of PHP?

Answer: Every PHP code begins with the starting tag, i.e., ‘<?php’ followed by the code. Once the user is done writing the code, it must be finished with the ending tag, i.e., ‘?>’. This helps the browser understand the code for compilation. 

If you have any questions about PHP, feel free to let us know, and we will get back to you. Stay tuned to to know more about PHP and take your learning to the next level.

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