You’re probably familiar with how web applications work. Given, you’re probably aware that when a user enters a URL into the browser, it contacts the webserver which returns some HTML. The browser then makes follow-up requests and then renders the web page. What you may not know, is how PHP plays into this process. The relationship between PHP code and the browser is important, because if you’re unfamiliar, you may miss out on possible improvements to your PHP site. Understanding PHP application will help improve your site and lead to successful changes overtime. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is PHP?
PHP, which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is an open-source scripting language that operates on the server-side. It is used primarily for the development of web applications. Essentially, it is a script-based program written for the automation of tasks.
Web pages are designed with HTML and operate on the user-side. Their code is executed on the browser side. PHP, on the other hand, is executed on the server-side and then goes to the browser side for the user.
PHP has the ability to be embedded in HTML. It is a coding language that easily connects with databases like MySQL and Oracle. PHP can be effectively used for the development and creation of web pages for web applications, e-commerce applications, and database applications.
The uses of PHP are numerous. It can be used on most popular operating systems including:
- Microsoft Windows
- Mac OS
- And many others
Additionally, it can support most web servers such as Apache, and IIS. Developers who choose to use PHP are afforded the flexibility and freedom to choose from several different operating systems and web servers.
In PHP, the primary area of operation is server-side scripting. There are several ways this is utilized.
This is a program that allows developers to convert source and human-readable code into a format that computers can more easily read and understand.
This is a program that serves to execute files forming web pages from user requests.
This is a PHP application that is used to display content on the World Wide Web
One of the amazing features of PHP is that with only a PHP parser, PHP script can be executed without a server or browser. However, this use of the PHP script is typically only used for simple text processing tasks, such as task schedulers.
PHP has various uses and can be used for the creation of applications on the client-side, such as desktop applications. One of the characterizing features of desktop applications is their graphic user interface. These client-side applications, and much more, can be developed with a little knowledge of the more advanced features of PHP, like PHP-GTK.
A dynamic website is a term ascribed to websites with web pages generated in real-time. These websites use web scripting code like PHP or ASP. Once accessed, the code in the page is parsed on the server and then the HTML gets sent to the client’s browser.
There are several well-known content managers and e-commerce systems which were built with PHP such as:
- Open cart
The PHP applications for dynamic websites are almost endless, making this a great code for web builders.
As has already been mentioned, PHP is extremely flexible and has several applications. Intranet systems, help desk systems, and distance learning systems are just a few web-based systems that stem from PHP applications.
PHP is so versatile that it can be used for purposes aside from that which it was created to serve. One example is how PHP can be used to write programs installed on personal computers.
There is a library called PHP-GTK and those familiar and comfortable with PHP can access this source and build programs already installed.
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