PHP is one of the most popular open-source scripting languages. Open-source means free, so you can use PHP as often as you like without having to pay for licenses or support. It is a full-featured programming language, capable of managing very large database-driven online environments.
PHP works in conjunction with HTML. If you are already familiar with HTML, making the jump to PHP is simple, and the two languages are interchangeable on the page. PHP can add new features to your site, but the appearance will be determined by HTML.
PHP is known for interactive features such as:
1. shopping carts
2. recommend similar items to your users,
3. interactive forums
4. private messaging systems
The built in mathematical functions in PHP can help you track purchases through and hits to your website. Such functions include:
5. absolute value
6. square root
PHP is a server-side language. This means that PHP has access to all the information the server has, and very little access to information the client has. In fact, PHP only has access to client information that the client himself has given to the server. The fact that PHP is a server-side language makes it very useful for:
8. embedding dynamic text into static text
9. integrating databases with websites
C programs are ‘pre-compiled’, which in short means that they need to be re-compiled every time you switch machines. Most Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, do not provide you with a C compiler. Using PHP avoids this problem. If it works on one server, it will generally work on any other server that has it. And, most ISPs that provide server-side scripting provide PHP. So the final benefit is:
With just a little effort to learn and use this language, PHP will increase the functionality of your site, making it more effective for both the site owner and for the customer.