PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. The language is founded in 1994 by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf. PHP is an interpreted server-side scripting language and it is used for creating dynamic and interactive web page. It is also used for developing web based software applications. It is an open source scripting language and faster than other scripting language which makes it one of the most used language in web development. It can set cookies of a website and restrict access of some web page of your website. It can also handle forms, file I/O and interact with databases. Some important features of PHP are given below:
Simple & Familiar Language - PHP is a simple language language and its syntax is similar to 'C' language. PHP is very logical and well organized general-purpose programming language. With normal programming background, one can easily learn and understand PHP language.
Fast & Efficient Language - PHP is faster than other scripting language e.g. ASP.NET, PERL and JSP. The faster speed of PHP is beneficial for users for its server administration and mail functionality.
Open-Source Language - PHP is an open source language which makes it freely usable and distributable, even for commercial use.
Platform Independent Language - PHP can be interpreted on various operating systems including UNIX-based systems, Linux, Mac OS and various versions of Windows.
Case-Sensitive Language - PHP is a case sensitive language. In PHP all keywords (e.g. if, else, while, for, echo, etc.), classes, functions and user-defined functions are NOT case-sensitive. User-defined variable are case-sensitive.
Interpreted Language - PHP is an interpreted language. There is no need of compilation of the PHP scripts.
Magic Constants - PHP have many built-in magic methods which starts with double underscore __, e.g. directory path can be accessed using magic constants:
(__DIR__), file path (__FILE__), function name (__FUNCTION__), class name (__CLASS__), namespace (__NAMESPACE__), method name (__METHOD__).
Object-Oriented Programming Language - PHP supports object oriented programming.
Loosely typed language - PHP supports the use of variables without declaring its data types. It is taken at the time of the execution based on the type of data the variable has.
Real-Time Access Monitoring - PHP provides logging accesses by creating the summary of recent accesses for the user.
Error Reporting - PHP have errors reporting constants to generate errors and warnings at run time. For example E_ERROR, E_WARNING, etc.