When talking about the most widely used dynamic server-side programming languages, PHP tops the charts despite the tough competition from other languages such as Node.js and Python.
Studies found that 78% of the total websites use PHP to some degree.
This includes Fortune 500 tech companies such as Facebook, Slack and MailChimp that are using PHP as their primary server-side language.
Before moving forward to a comprehensive list of the top 15 most popular websites built with PHP from the world’s leading tech leaders and companies, let’s first have a look at a short overview of PHP and its market usage.
What is PHP?
PHP (Personal Home Page) or Hypertext Preprocessor is a general-purpose, server-side scripting language intended for web development. It is an open-source programming language that embeds into the HTML code of an application with ease.
Some of the key benefits and highlights of PHP are:
- It has an easy learning curve due to its similarity with the way HTML codes are written, making the language easy to comprehend and implement.
- It is open-source, thus making it free to use and implement.
- The programming language is platform-independent, implying that apps built using PHP work flawlessly across various platforms such as Mac OS, Windows, Linux & compatible with most web browsers.
- It is compatible with many different databases out there including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle and among others.
- It is updated on a regular basis to work well with modern technologies.
Key PHP Market Usage Stats to Watch Out
Here are some noteworthy market usage stats of PHP that show its popularity:
- PHP accounts for the highest number of users all over the world, with a market share of 28.56%.
- A whopping 81% of developers use PHP for web development.
- WordPress made using PHP powers 43% of websites on the web
- According to BuiltWith findings, there are around 4,532,971 active websites powered by PHP.
- PHP is among the top five most popular languages with 7.3 Million PHP developers as of the third quarter of 2021.
What Makes PHP Ideal for Web Development?
Down below are some factors that make developers and companies alike go with PHP for their web development projects:
1. It’s Open-Source & Free
Being a free and open-source server-side programming language, PHP can be installed quickly without any download or licensing cost. Free access attracts companies as it helps control the development cost.
2. It Saves Development Time
Since PHP is a partially object-oriented programming language, it enables the reuse of the development code. Reusable PHP components help save development time to a great extent.
3. It’s Flexible & Compatible
As mentioned earlier also, PHP is a cross-platform programming language. So, apps built with PHP run on major operating systems out there including Linux, Mac OS, Unix and Windows.
Moreover, PHP supports many servers including Apache, Microsoft IIS, Xitami, Tornado, Netscape, iPlanet and Caudium, in addition to more than 20 databases such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL and others.
4. It Has a Strong Community
Being one of the oldest server-side scripting programming languages, PHP has a large community of developers to support it and make enhancements.
Top 15 Websites Built with PHP
As promised, it’s time to dive into a list of the top 15 websites built with PHP and understand the reasons why they use PHP and what benefits PHP brings to them.
The world’s biggest social media platform with more than 2 billion active users, Facebook is primarily built on PHP due to the language’s scaling efficiency.
Right off the bat, the entire code of the Facebook app was written in PHP by Zuckerberg and Moskowitz. In 2010, Facebook came up with HipHop for PHP (HPHPc) called source code transformer that translates PHP into C++ language and then compiled further into binary for execution.
In 2013, HipHop for PHP was discontinued and superseded by the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM). As a result, Facebook witnessed enhanced performance and streamlined development and deployment.
Also Read: Top 12 Sites Built with Laravel Framework
One of the biggest sources of information on the web, Wikipedia is one of the websites built with PHP. At the present, the English Wikipedia has 6,451,492 articles.
Wikipedia is powered by the software called MediaWiki.
In 2014, Wikipedia made a switch to HHVM to bolster performance by translating PHP into other languages.
Tumblr is a widely popular micro-blogging website with over 500 million blogs.
In 2016, Tumblr switched to PHP 7, resulting in significant performance enhancements and implementing new language features with ease.
Slack is one of the world’s most popular communication platforms for businesses and corporations with the count of people using it exceeding 10 million on a daily basis. Its paid users include Fortune 100 businesses such as Apple, General Motors and Walmart.
In 2014, Slack was launched using PHP 5 as a backend technology.
Later in 2016, the company made a transition to HHVM along with numerous other companies. This move helped them run their PHP code pretty fast.
Also Read: Top 15 Popular Apps Built with Kotlin
The next one on our list of top websites built with PHP is Mailchimp, one of the most recommended marketing automation and email marketing platforms.
“PHP is the primary language we use here for development, and it’s the only language we use for everything touching the production MailChimp application.” said MailChimp itself.
Etsy is one of the leading eCommerce marketplaces for handmade goods and craft supplies with 4.36 million active sellers and 81.9 million active buyers. In 2020, the marketplace generated a revenue of $1.72 billion.
In the retail sector, Etsy is one of the biggest marketplaces powered by PHP and makes use of HHVM for performance enhancement.
One of the most used content management systems, WordPress is also one of the most noteworthy PHP & MySQL-based projects. Taking advantage of WordPress, more than 500 sites are made each day.
The whole WordPress infrastructure is built on PHP to communicate with the database and fetch data from it and then output them as static HTML.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that works on a subscription-based business model wherein the users pay either monthly or annually to get access to e-learning courses available on the platform.
The technology stack of the Skillshare web-based learning system includes PHP for backend development. You can have a look at the complete tech stack of Skillshare listed on StackShare.
BigCommerce is one of the key players in the e-commerce market with a market share of 0.69%. Operating on a Software-as-a-service business model, it is also one of the websites built with PHP.
The BigCommerce website uses PHP as its primary language.
Moodle is an open-source and free LMS (learning management system) powered by PHP. It is used by many universities, colleges and workplaces to foster an online learning environment for targeted audiences.
If you’re looking for a perfect example of a learning management system developed using PHP to build your own custom LMS, look no further than Moodle.
Flickr is a pretty popular photo-sharing platform with around 112 million registered users and 3.5+ million new photos uploaded on a regular basis.
As for Flickr tech stack, they use PHP as their main server-side programming language. In addition, MySQL is used for databases. You can check the full technology stack of Flickr on techstacks.io.
Drupal is a free and open-source content management system preferred by millions of people and companies alike worldwide to build their websites. According to W3Techs, it is used by 1.9% of all the sites on the internet.
Drupal uses the PHP framework, Symfony, for its technology stack.
Thus, Drupal is a perfect example to look at when it comes to building your own content management system using PHP.
13. Delivery Hero
Delivery Hero is a global online food ordering and delivery service with a presence across more than 50 countries and partnerships with more than 500k restaurants.
The full technology stack of Delivery Hero includes many programming languages and PHP is one of them. Check out the full tech stack of it on Stackshare.
9GAG is a Hong Kong-based social media platform dedicated to young people. It enables its members to share content in the form of funny videos and memes as well as connect on each other’s posts.
It has become quite popular in the world of social media with global users of 150 million.
As for its technology stack, it uses many technologies and PHP is one of them. 9GAG also uses the PHP framework called Laravel.
The world’s leading stock content marketplace by Getty Images.,iStockPhoto is also one of the websites built with PHP.
The platform boasts millions of active users every month and around half a million new illustrations, videos, audio and photos are uploaded on the platform each month.
Hire Skilled PHP Developers from InfoStride with Zero Overhead
To take advantage of PHP’s abilities to the fullest for your project, you need a skilled PHP developer with strong expertise in building server-side backends for websites and applications.
At InfoStride, our PHP developers are at the forefront of delivering websites and applications known for security, scalability, high performance and engaging user experience. You can either hire a solo PHP developer or a dedicated team of PHP developers from InfoStride with an engagement model that meets your budget requirements.
Whether you need to hire PHP developers to help with certain phases of your development project or end-to-end product development, you can always rely on us with advantages:
- Recruitment savings: We have a PHP development team of only vetted developers who have successfully passed our technical, soft skill and English proficient assessments. What it means is that you don’t have to invest your time and money in finding skilled talent.
- No training & infrastructure investment: We ensure continuous learning for our developers so that they can keep pace with the new trends. With a modern development center in place, your hired developers will be equipped with technology to start working on your project from day one.
- Administrative support: Hiring developers from us saves you from the hassle of taking care of onboarding, payroll, taxes and compliance for the resources. We manage everything to let you just focus on what matters the most.
- Various engagement models: Whether you need to hire PHP developers hourly, monthly or on a project-basis, we’ve got you covered with our developers ready to work on your terms.
Interested? Just tell your needs and we’ll deploy PHP developers that align with your project requirements and goals.
Also Read: Guide to Build Offshore Development Teams
With its continuous usage as a server-side programming language by the world’s leading companies, one thing is crystal clear: PHP is ideal in many use cases from developing simple platforms to large-scale websites like Facebook and Slack.
And you just need skilled talent to get the job done right and leverage the numerous benefits the technology has to offer – flexibility, scalability, performance and compatibility for your website.
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