PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, and it is a very popular programming language that is greatly favored by web developers. The commands are usually embedded inside a regular HTML program and result in specific outputs as per requirement. PHP is used and runs on the server-side (unlike most other languages which execute on the client-side).
That is why the user would be able only to see the outputs of the PHO commands, but wouldn’t be able to see the underlying source code. The developer community loves PHP because it has something for everyone. A newbie can make sense of PHP and use it easily, but a highly experienced programmer can also get impressive results by using PHP. Let us look at the ten most important aspects of PHP.
Understandably, this is the most important foundation on which a good PHP program depends. Developers keep track of different versions of the code by using a good open-source distributed version control system like git. This works well whether the website has a single PHP web developer or a team of multiple PHP developers working simultaneously. Most development teams prefer to keep the PHP program open source so that they can utilize best practices and expertise from the greater developer community.
It is not enough to write a smart piece of code because when it is finally deployed, it might throw up a few surprises that were not envisioned. That is why developers depend largely on the testing team to check different scenarios. Apart from the technical aspects that are tested, many developers also like to carry out A/B testing to check the level of user acceptance of two or more different versions of the website.
Once the PHP program has been written and tested, it should be ready for deployment. But this process is never as easy as it sounds. Development teams get the jitters not only during the initial deployment but also at the time of implementing the necessary upgrades.
A PHP program requires a number of services at the backend, like databases, mail delivery systems, file storage protocols, information caches and so many more. These are also referred to as resources, and access to all such resources should be limited according to the person’s role in the development hierarchy.
Every time you fire up and execute a PHP program, a configuration file called php.ini is read. The configuration file, therefore, needs to be well documented and written so that the program runs well, whether the module version or the CGI is being used. Some of the important aspects of the configuration file are open tags, safe modes, disabling of certain functions, setting up of maximum execution time, etc.
In any PHP program, the code is closely linked to specific libraries. This might lead to hard-coding dependencies of the code. In order to work around this, developers usually use a software injection pattern that can modify such dependencies when the program is compiled or run. This makes the code easier to maintain and test.
When a user runs a program written using PHP (or any language for that matter), he not only uses certain data from the website but also generates some data, which is called runtime data. This data needs to be stored and accessed while the programs are being run. Like so many other things related to computing today, this storage of runtime files is also gradually moved to cloud storage.
Once the program has been written using PHP, a huge amount of compiled code scripts, text, and images get generated, which need to be properly listed under progressive version numbers, to keep the flow correct. This documentation would help the developer team not only when they deploy the program, but also in all subsequent runs.
A program written using PHP might look and feel perfect initially, but as more and more workloads get added, the performance of the program often suffers. Developers should, therefore, take a long-term view so that the program is suited for scaling up as and when needed.
Apart from the nine pillars listed above, the most important pillar of modern PHP development is flexibility. The development team should follow a flexible approach so that changes needed due to the impact of any of these nine aspects can be made easily and quickly.
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