PHP Lesson 2 – A brief history of the PHP programming language

Last updated on November 27th, 2023

What kind of language is PHP?

PHP is a server-side programming language. This means that, unlike HTML, which run in the browser, PHP runs on the server. This will be explained in more detail in another lesson.

Who and when created PHP?

PHP was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. He wrote several simple programs in the programming language C to count visitors to his personal page, so he named them “Personal Home Page Tools” (PHP Tools).

In the following years, PHP was developed rapidly and was completely rewritten by Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans in 1997.

1997 – the second version of the language appeared – PHP 2.0.

1998 – the third version PHP 3.0 was released and the language was renamed to “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. PHP 3.0 is the first version of the language that has the characteristic features of PHP as we know it today. At that time, PHP was used in about 50,000 websites.

In 2020, the eighth major version of the language was released – PHP 8.0.

How many versions of PHP are there?

Major versions of PHP by year of release:

1995 – PHP 1.0
1997 – PHP 2.0
1998 – PHP 3.0
2000 – PHP 4.0
2004 – PHP 5.0
2014 – PHP 5.6
2015 – PHP 7.0
2020 – PHP 8.0

How many websites use PHP?

According to statistics, PHP is used in almost 80% of all websites on the Internet.

Top 5 websites that are entirely built in PHP or partially use PHP: