A high-level scripting language that can be used to develop Web-based applications
PHP is an open source software project, the most popular general-purpose scripting language crafted especially for web development. In theory, PHP is a hypertext preprocessor, but it’s actually a fast, pragmatic and flexible server-side programming language that helps you create powerful websites.
Can be embedded into HTML
While a skilled web developer can easily embed PHP into HTML, it can be used as a standalone executable. Its syntax draws upon the C, Java, and Perl. It easy to learn if you previously interact with any of the aforementioned programming languages.
Supports XML, IMAP, Java and LDAP
Being designed from the offset to be a universal web programming language, PHP offers support for XML, IMAP, Java, LDAP, several major databases, various Internet protocols, and general data manipulation.
Integrates into a web server
It’s called a server-side programming language because it integrates into a web server, such as Apache or Microsoft IIS. To add support for PHP to a web server, you can install the native web server module or a CGI executable.
It can access database and FTP servers
PHP is an Internet-aware system that can access database servers, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, LDAP and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) servers.
It is highly extensible via its powerful APIs
PHP is actively developed in multiple stable and development branches, each one supporting various features and components. It is highly extensible via its powerful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
Supported operating systems and platforms
PHP is implemented in the C programming language, which means that it’s a cross-platform software supporting GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows operating systems. It runs successfully on both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware platforms. It is freely available for download on any of the aforementioned OSes, distributed under the PHP license.