When and Why Should You Use PHP
There is a tendency in business to tune out the tech support crew when they start dropping abbreviations into the explanations of why some programs are important to your website. Although HTML, SQL and other processes shortened to their letters are important, they also presage an explanation that is technical, dry and – at worse – leaving the business person feeling like they are listening to a foreign language.
The end result is a management staff that doesn’t understand what is happening on their webpage and a technical staff that doesn’t understand why management won’t let them modernize to be competitive with other businesses. Neither side can communicate these issues nor find common ground to resolve the problem. Business suffers, tempers flare and another round of laying blame begins.
For management, it is easier to short-circuit that vicious cycle before it begins and understand what your techies are talking about. For the tech crew, it is helpful to remember that business people are usually big picture people and they have you to understand and initiate solutions to problems that they don’t understand. PHP development certainly falls into that category.
What is PHP?
PHP, shorthand for Hypertext Pre-Processor, is – in simplistic terms – a server-sided scripting language used in websites to enhance HTML coding. PHP exists on server programs, not on the user’s computer so it can be used for login pages, forms, surveys, picture galleries and, most importantly for e-businesses, easy-to-use and secure online shopping carts. It interacts seamlessly with HTML and, in many situations, is interchangeable. Using HTML to create the web page and PHP to populate it with interactive functions means your web site has the best of both worlds. It has a proven and stable framework combined with interactive functions to help your customers and visitors.
Getting the most out of PHP
Although E-commerce is a major reason to use PHP, it is certainly not the only one. In many ways, PHP can revolutionize the way you do business over the internet. By giving you the ability to interact with your customers, PHP optimized web sites allow a level of confidence and security for the site users.
You can also use PHP to spruce up and modernize your websites. Adding PHP to optimize E-commerce doesn’t preclude – it actually encourages designers to add more – features and applications. Since many current social media and E-commerce sites use PHP, it is familiar to users.
Making PHP simple
The best part of PHP development is that, in most cases, the program can scale with your website with little or no configuration changes. If your business expands or changes, PHP doesn’t need to be removed or overhauled to keep up with the changes. Configuration changes are simple and can be done without too much hassle. Once a part of your HTML framework, your tech crew can maintain and expand its functions.
If problems do arise, PHP has a ton of support on the web. Documentation, blogs and an active community mean that there are very few problems that no one has seen before, worked out a solution to and then posted that solution on one of the tons of websites created for that purpose. PHP is a stable program with a huge support system that anyone can access.
Putting it all together
Getting started with PHP can be a bit overwhelming and knowledgeable help is recommended. Fitting PHP into your existing web site will require a framework to hang the program on. The framework you use can also make a difference in both the E-commerce functionality and additional applications that PHP can be used for on your site.
The benefits for your company, however, can more than make up for the costs involved in getting, installing and optimizing PHP to your servers. Just make sure your tech crew are programmers who are intimately familiar with PHP installation and usage.
Solutions for everyone
Although there are programs that can duplicate PHP, very few of them can fit so seamlessly with HTML. Even fewer have the range of features and uses that are standard with PHP. The support community is top-notch, involved and vocal.
Once the decision to install PHP has been made, finding the best framework to install it on is your most important decision. Getting the best advice for what your company needs should be more important than other concerns, but businesses don’t get ahead by spending more money than is necessary, especially on products or services that no one needs or will use. Contact a PHP development company in your area to get a breakdown on what you need and what the different frameworks can do for your web site and for your company.
John Stone is an SEO Consultant from Sydney, Australia. Through years of experience, he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter.
Image information: by derivative work: — Lasse Havelund (p) (t) PHP_Hello_World_screenshot.png: The original uploader was Gary King at English Wikipedia (PHP_Hello_World_screenshot.png) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons