PHP Frequently Asked Questions

PHP Frequently Asked Questions

What is PHP and where to start?

PHP is a widely used, general purpose, open source scripting language for writing web applications, dynamically generated pages, and command line interface scripts.

Why choose PHP?

PHP compared to other programming languages

A completely normal question to ask yourself when starting a project is which technologies to use.

Some of the strengths of PHP:

  • Good speed and performance.
  • Simplicity and the ability to develop complex applications.
  • Very vibrant, large, and diverse community.
  • Active, updated, and detailed manual.
  • A wide selection of out-of-the-box, popular, and production ready open source solutions such as content management and e-commerce systems, CRMs, frameworks, and components and libraries for building applications from scratch.
  • PHP is used by 82.1% of all the websites whose server-side platform could be measured.

Which books are recommended for learning PHP?

There are many books available for learning PHP, but they can quickly become outdated in a short period of time. Included here is a quick list of PHP books you should look into when learning PHP or extending your knowledge. Also keep in mind that writing a very good programming book can take several thousand hours, so supporting their authors is nice way of saying thank you.

Free PHP books

Which hosting service should I use for PHP? Are there

any free hosting providers?

In order for a web application to be able to run on the web (production environment), you usually choose a hosting service provider with a web server.

Types of web hosting

Shared hosting

A shared web hosting service or virtual hosting service is a service where many websites are hosted on the same webserver, and the server’s resources (RAM, disk, and processor) are shared among the users. PHP settings and installed extensions are usually the same for all websites. It might be a good option if you want to get started quickly and painlessly, but still leave the maintaining and server upgrading to your preferred hosting service.


A VPS (virtual private server) is a step up in terms of hosting services. It can be a bit more pricey than shared hosting, but no other user shares your package. A VPS can get a dedicated amount of RAM, disk, and processor speed, so your application is already a step forward in gaining more freedom in its settings and customizations.

Dedicated server

A dedicated server means an entire server machine, dedicated for your needs. More resources and disk quota is available for you when choosing to use a dedicated server. The price can be high, but flexibility and customization is at its best. Choose this option if you’re an advanced user with system administration knowledge.


Collocated hosting means that you bring your own hardware to your data center service provider, and they plug it onto their high speed and availability network.

Cloud hosting

This is latest trend in web hosting services with greater flexibility.

Free PHP hosting

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether there any good, free providers for hosting PHP applications.

In short, yes, there are, but keep in mind that sooner or later you’ll meet limitations with this approach. Almost nothing is completely free, and the same is true for web hosting.

Some of the limitations to be aware of:

  • Traffic quota limit.
  • Server resources quota limit.
  • PHP extensions and functionality limitations.
  • Forcibly injected advertising.

Do yourself and your application’s audience a favor and invest a bit into your hosting infrastructure. Stability and availability of your application will depend on a lot on this.

Free quaity options

The following list contains some free and quality hosting providers to check out.

Amazon AWS Free Tier


Zeit now

GitHub pages

GitHub provides a free and quality hosting for static content.


Netlify is a good and free alternative for hosting static content and automating the deployment via GitHub.

GitLab pages

GitLab provide a free and quality hosting for static content.

This option is for users who want to have very simple and fully functional blog platform out-of-the-box without installing or coding anything. has a free plan with a subdomain and a web space for your blog site.

What is the difference between a core PHP and a

vanilla/plain PHP?

While developing, there’s often a confusion between a core PHP developer and avanilla/plain PHP developer. This article will explain a difference between these terms to avoid further confusion.

Core PHP

Core PHP describes the main engine of the PHP language itself and doesn’t mean developing something with the PHP language directly. So a core PHP developer writes C code and extends the PHP core or develops PHP extensions, which are written in C programming language. Often times, core PHP is referred to as PHP internals also.

Vanilla or plain PHP

vanilla PHP developer or plain PHP developer is developing an application using the PHP language without any 3rd party libraries or frameworks. So the vanilla developer actually uses the language used in the name.


As long as you are writing PHP code, you are a vanilla or plain PHP developer. If you are however writing on the PHP core itself, you can be considered a core PHP developer.



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