Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Is PHP still relevant?
17 points by hyper_rant 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments
Would you say it's worth investing the time to get good at it?





Depends on what you want out of it.

- Jobs. There are plenty of PHP jobs. Some pay low but plenty pay high as well. I doubt there are jobs in backend languages that can beat PHP in terms of volume. But again, may be you don't care about volume and options.

- Ease of installation: Almost all web hosts have a default LAMP stack where P is PHP. You can setup a php website in few seconds, literally. Compiled languages may have a single binary but they still some tuning and the sheer volume of PHP servers make it easy for anyone to get started. But compared to other interpreted languages (looking at you Python), deployment is the easiest.

- Composer: I think it is an underrated package management tool. Well managed and does the job. If you are used to npm horrors, composer is a welcome change.

- WordPress. Have to talk about WordPress when it comes to PHP. Powers like 30% of ENTIRE world's websites. That is big. So yea, PHP not going anywhere anytime soon. And No, clients don't give a shit if PHP sucks. They don't.

- Laravel/Symfony: Awesome full-stack frameworks. You can build anything quickly using Laravel. If you are more creative, you can use symfony components to build your own. Both are awesome.

- PHP 7: Game changer compared to PHP 5.x. Google it.

- Documentation and support systems: Google and you will get an answer to almost any PHP related question. Try that with some of the shinier languages.

There are obviously lot of negatives as well but since you asked, I would say it is VERY relevant and will remain so for a while.


I disagree on all these points.

> - Jobs. There are plenty of PHP jobs. Some pay low but plenty pay high as well. I doubt there are jobs in backend languages that can beat PHP in terms of volume. But again, may be you don't care about volume and options.

Jobs in UK on Indeed.co.uk

  - javascript developer: 8,978 jobs with average salary £48,921
  - java developer  6,145 jobs with average salary £52,690
  - python developer 3,702 jobs with average salary £58,250 
  - php developer 2,889 jobs with average salary £36,977
PHP can only do web backend poorly. If you do not care about options and salary choose PHP.

> - Ease of installation: Almost all web hosts have a default LAMP stack where P is PHP. You can setup a php website in few seconds, literally. Compiled languages may have a single binary but they still some tuning and the sheer volume of PHP servers make it easy for anyone to get started. But compared to other interpreted languages (looking at you Python), deployment is the easiest.

Not longer the case. I can use Heroku, Fargate, FaaS, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Ansible, Kubernetes, Gitlab to name few to have more robust and modern deployment than FTP manually files to a shared server. Compared to the above PHP is for amateurs.

> Composer: I think it is an underrated package management tool. Well managed and does the job. If you are used to npm horrors, composer is a welcome change.

NPM is package manager and composer is just dependency manager. Compared to npm it is a very limited tool. npm let you install transient dependencies with different versions, perform a security audit, publish packages, run scripts and more.

> - WordPress. Have to talk about WordPress when it comes to PHP. Powers like 30% of ENTIRE world's websites. That is big. So yea, PHP not going anywhere anytime soon. And No, clients don't give a shit if PHP sucks. They don't.

Wordpress jobs pay poorly. Client care when WordPress site gets hacked and show advertising of canadian pharmacy or porn. Wordpress has a terrible security track record.

> - Laravel/Symfony: Awesome full-stack frameworks. You can build anything quickly using Laravel. If you are more creative, you can use symfony components to build your own. Both are awesome.

Laravel is just poor man copy of RoR. There is nothing special here. RoR, Django, and Spring are more mature frameworks with better tooling and ecosystem.

> - PHP 7: Game changer compared to PHP 5.x. Google it.

It just added a bit of permanence. It is very slow compared to node.js, java, go.

> - Documentation and support systems: Google and you will get an answer to almost any PHP related question. Try that with some of the shinier languages.

PHP is brain damaging dump of random people hacky scripts.


Yes. Any language in which you can be productive is worth investing time in.

And since this question is stemming from something bigger: Please don't listen to the development community when it comes to things like "which language should I or shouldn't I learn", because the development community is full of zealots with huge egos that know very little about software outside of their own bubble.


I’m far away from a zealot, but looking at where the money is, it isn’t PHP.

Money has nothing to do with a specific language. It comes down to how good you are as a developer. There are plenty of high paying jobs where PHP is used as a backend language. I don't understand this argument about how PHP doesn't have money. It is true that PHP has a lot of low quality programmers due to barrier to entry and WordPress tweaks but that is not it.

It doesn’t matter how good of an AppleSoft Basic programmer you are, if no one wants a Basic programmer, you aren’t going to make any money.

On the other hand, if the market is saturated with developers of a language, you still can’t command a high salary.

It also doesn’t matter if you’re a “10x developer” if all the company wants is another software as a service CRUD app.

Companies who want good developers who are interested in their career and technology aren’t doing PHP.

From a personal anecdote, I worked for a company that had one legacy product that was written in PHP and one new product that was written in C#. The company couldn’t get any traction on their new project but was getting business modifying their legacy PHP product. Once we as developers saw that the roadmap for the next year was doing PHP, all 14 developers left within the next three months.

None of us wanted to waste a year of our life and put on our resume that we wrote a “PHP website”.


It's not always that simple. Often major cities will have more c#/java/enterprise jobs because they're the offices of big companies with big complex needs whereas regional areas and smaller cities will have more php/ruby jobs. So a direct salary comparison is useless because it's not like for like.

But why would you want to limit yourself to those jobs? Even if you don’t have a desire to love in the city center of a major metropolitan area, there are always the burbs and the cost of living vs salary is still excellent almost anywhere besides the West coast and NYC or DC.

If you are an average C#/Java/Node developer, companies will be lining up to give you a much better paying job.


> But why would you want to limit yourself to those jobs?

You aren't limiting yourself to those jobs, you're constraining yourself to a geographical area (there may be any number of good reason for this) and optimizing your learning path for the jobs available in that area.

Even if it is sub-optimal in the costs/salary sense, there is much more to life.


I would say most definitely.

Regardless of all the koolaid peddled these days by all the dev blogs, the fact is that at the end of the day to make a website you can still use the same backend that you used in 2005 (aka lamp) and it still works flawlessly for most of the sites (or any site getting less than 1M hits a month which is quite common).

If you want to get shit done quickly PHP is still as relevant as ever imo.


Massive sites like pornhub get millions of hits per hour using php. I'd say php scales quite well too.

The Laravel Framework makes PHP relevant for me.

I'm not s huge fan of PHP but using Laravel is a great development experience.

Laravel is a great PHP Framework, with a great community, check it out if you haven't already.

laravel.com forge.laravel.com laracasts.com https://laravel-news.com/laracon-2018-videos


That depends on your situation.

Generally, I think it's worth investing the time to get good at every language you can. When you learn a different language, you also learn things that can help you be better at using the other languages you know.


If it would allow you to hack, manipulate, contribute, to projects you like, or if you have some simple or interesting tools you want to try. After the third language the fourth is 40% figured out In an hour or so.

YES to whether it's relevant. Regardless of opinions about PHP as a language, it's way too widely utilized to be irrelevant in the near future.

Whether it's worth investing time to be a PHP master is subjective. Personally, I won't be excited about being a crackerjack PHP dev, but if you find certain aspects of working with PHP compelling and suited to whatever you're building, it may be worthwhile. There's also plenty of work out there for people with PHP skills, so it could be pretty relevant with regard to employment.


Recently I installed bugzilla (developed in php). Its pretty amazing what people can create considering all were volunteers.

First I tried to install in windows, eventually gave up as the DB driver was not installing and had a whole bunch of compiling issues. Then installed on ubuntu after lot of bumps - I had to go all over the internet to troubleshoot lot of major / minor issues.

It seems lot of hard work went into php earlier (bugzilla needs a lot of modules) but now people are moving on to newer stuff.


The answer depends on your use case. If you need to do fast prototyping and quick shipping, especially for web apps, I'd say PHP is still relevant.

Ultimately what qualities do you like in languages? PHP is easy, has cheap ubiquitous hosting,, dynamically typed, and focuses on being productive and getting something out door fast.

I like think about correctness, safety, static type systems, and generally trying to catch things at compile time.

As a result I like Haskell, rust, ml, elm etc I'm not a much of fan of PHP, but I can see why people use it.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: