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PHP isn’t that bad, so why the hate?

Aphinya Dechalert 45

Despite the flak PHP often gets (which sometimes feels like it’s surpassed the number of internet cat videos), it is one of the most widely used server-side scripting languages out there. Yep, you heard it right. According to 3Techs, as of July 2023, PHP is used by a whopping 77.4% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know. That’s no small potatoes!

PHP’s rise can largely be credited to its easy entry point. You could have a webpage up and interacting with a database before you could say “Hello, World!”. And let’s not forget about WordPress. Can you believe it powers more than 40% of the internet?

But despite these impressive stats, PHP often ends up being the butt of many a developer’s joke. Just Google “PHP hate” and you’ll find more burns than a summer BBQ.

Even its creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, famously stated, “I don’t know how to stop it, there was never any intent to write a programming language […] I have absolutely no idea how to write a programming language, I just kept adding the next logical step on the way.” Now, if that’s not the most inspiring origin story, I don’t know what is.

But let’s be fair, PHP isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s far from it. Just like a clumsy superhero, PHP has had its share of growing pains but it’s evolved, matured, and is ready to show you what it’s truly capable of.

Because, after all, PHP isn’t that bad, right?

Understanding the Hate: Why PHP Has Historically Been Disliked

Let’s go back in time a bit.

PHP first showed up on the scene in 1995, and let’s just say it wasn’t exactly the belle of the ball. To be frank, it was a bit of a mess.

Some of the reasons it got a bad rep early on include:


There were (and still are) irregularities in function naming and parameter orders, which often seem more like a haphazard…