PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor (it does not look like it, but that is what PHP stands for) is a programming language. One major difference between PHP and HTML is that HTML code is transmitted from the server (web host) to another computer and then the browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox) and the receiving computer decodes the information that is displayed. PHP is actually decoded from the server (web hosting) and transmitted as is. Originally PHP was created to build forms, but now almost any application on the web has some PHP. PHP is also good at hiding information and for that reason it is much more secure than HTML or many other languages.

PHP is used in combination with HTML in many cases to build websites and applications. Many website frameworks or content management systems run on PHP with the “displayed” area in HTML. They include:

  • Joomla
  • WordPress
  • Drupal

There’s limited software to perform PHP actions for someone who does not understand the language. Most PHP programmers have had training and practice to become good developers in the language.

The PHP interpreter is installed on the server and updated by a system administrator. PHP is probably one of the greatest advances in web technology during the first decade of the millennium.

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