PHP Sucks: So What?

Last updated: November 19, 2014

There have been quite a few, “hate on PHP” articles being posted lately it seems as though the let’s hate on PHP train rolls around every couple of years and the hate articles come out to play. This recent article got a lot of attention, it was well thought out and well-intentioned somewhat but that one single post spurned a new-found hatred towards one of the webs most popular languages from other bloggers.

One of those such posts is this article which was intelligently titled “Why PHP still sucks, even if you like it” written by a more than obvious Ruby fan-boy with a raging hard on for Ruby.

The reality is PHP does suck in comparison to other languages like Python or Ruby, but does anyone seriously care? I sure as hell don’t. PHP is my bread and butter, I know it basically inside and out, it gets shit done and gets me paid from my employer and freelance clients.

I’ve never once heard a client say: “Please build the site using X language, PHP sucks!” all clients care about is a result, all a company or freelancer cares about is getting paid so they have food to eat and a place to sleep.

Comparing programming languages to one another is the equivalent of a nerd dick measuring contest, except everyone has a small dick and nobody has the balls to admit it. Unless you are trying to achieve something specialised, any web language will be up to the task.

The one thing I love about one of the suckiest web languages around is there are next to no issues deploying PHP on any web-server (with exception of the odd outdated version of PHP being used by a host). How many other web languages around can say they can be deployed with next to no effort or issues on almost any web-host without having to install anything?

I’ve never encountered a problem PHP couldn’t solve and although some solutions in PHP might not be as pretty or efficient as other languages, I could care less. The arguments that PHP is an ugly language are half-truths, PHP only produces ugly code if you suck at coding and don’t care how you go about things, it’s easy to keep PHP code clean if you care.

PHP is cheap to host, cheap to find decently priced & skilled programmers and quick to code in if you know what you’re doing and at the end of the day what does your client truly care about; a final product that can be deployed almost anywhere cheaply, can be modified by one of the hundreds of thousands of PHP developers out there or a final product that might cost more to deploy, can only be worked on by someone who will most likely charge more than a PHP developer but the code-base looks cleaner?

Don’t get me started on the misinformed statements about scaling, security and compatibility. PHP is one of the most mature web languages around and while it might not enforce strict coding guidelines and set ways of doing things (like function naming and indentation), there are certainly no issues you’ll come across that are the fault of the PHP language itself that will prevent you from deploying something awesome cough Facebook cough Wikipedia cough a lot of Yahoo! projects cough WordPress.

People who call PHP a bad language are merely wasting their time stating the obvious, many people who use it (like me) acknowledge that it sucks, the ability to mix HTML and PHP alone makes me vomit inside of my head.

What more proof do you need that people acknowledge PHP sucks, but serves its purpose well other than the fact that the worlds most popular blogging application WordPress is coded in PHP? Have you seen the WordPress code-base, it sucks, it’s a mixture of backwards compatible code, a retarded inception of spaghetti code, procedural code and object oriented code being inconsistently used throughout the application (sometimes both styles in the one file) and has any of that stopped it being the number one blogging platform, no. And you know why that is? because most people don’t care how shitty PHP is.

So, while you all bitch and moan about how bad PHP is, writing blog posts that nobody cares about I’ll be making easy money and stealing your clients. Remember to keep warm, the streets are cold and mean.




66 thoughts on “PHP Sucks: So What?

  1. i will answer you because my momma told me to be polite even with stupid people. but i’m not planning to do so again. you are the same kind of stupid people who use to think 30 years ago that because you know about programming you are a smart ass but seems you are not. i challenged you to demontrate that you are better prepared in this field than me be you didn’t do it. that way this discussion would have been objective or with any meaning, know i’ll be just going down your stupidity level. so i quit. have a good day sir and try to read some books before writing again .

    PD dont botter in answer this i will not follow up any more, i have a strict policy of just argue with smart people

  2. Smart people don’t use PHP.

    Smart people know why it sucks.

    Smart people are capable of understanding the importance of proper design.

    PHP is objectively and provably bad.

    But I am happy it exists for one reason: it is a simple and effective(like 99.9999999%) way to filter out the crap applicants.

  3. Judging by the comments from those obviously not users of PHP nor fans of it, I am starting to think stupidity does not discriminate regardless of what language you prefer. Does it matter language you use if the result is the same? All the client or end-user sees is a website they can use, I bet most of you PHP haters have Facebook accounts and have definitely stopped by Wikipedia more than a couple of times: both products built on PHP. I bet if Facebook and Wikimedia never made it publicly known what languages they used, everyone would assume Python, Java or Rails, but surprise: PHP.

    While PHP isn’t the belle of the ball, it has confusing and inconsistent syntax/naming conventions. It suffers from lack of standardisation so it allows and encourages bad code from the undisciplined. If you view PHP from the standpoint of getting things done and usually quite fast, then it’s not a bad language. If you view PHP from the standpoint of a decent programming language, it’s not; it works, we don’t know why, but it works and sometimes that is all that matters.

    As for the remarks of PHP being an effective filter of eliminating candidates that sounds very counter-productive for a company that is looking to hire PHP developers and I just checked, there are a lot of PHP jobs out there, some with decent salaries too. What about an instance where someone who has PHP but Python and Rails as well as Node.JS on their resume, are you going to deny them the job because they know PHP? Weak.

    The one aspect no other framework or language has dared challenge is the ability to easily deploy. Most server environments come with Apache/MySQL/Linux/PH out-of-the-box. You don’t need to run any command line build scripts or generation of any kind, no commands to start servers, just upload your files and it’s done.

    People often use the argument, “Well that’s what Heroku is for” especially when talking about the deployment of Rails applications. Yes, Heroku does make it easy to deploy a Rails application, but you know what’s weak? A framework or language requiring a third party paid service to easily deploy an app. It doesn’t cost me a cent to Git push my PHP project to deploy to a remote server nor does it cost a cent to FTP files to a server, just time.

    As I said in the article debating programming languages is the equivalent of a nerd dick measuring contest.

  4. @dwayne i totally agree with your statement, most of the pople who argue about the php topic forgets there are programmers that knowing, java, c++ or any other language and its benefits still choose php because of its practical usefullness. debating programming languages is the equivalent of a nerd dick measuring contest. and that even shows you have a non objective mindset

  5. Dwayne just can’t stop showing his stupidity.

    For starters lots of those low quality hosts that crappy PHP “devs” can’t get enough of support Rails just fine.

    It is also trivially easy to setup in a VPS and you can get great VPS’s <= $15.00 and it takes about 10 minutes to get a rails app up in one. For fucks sake, a few weeks ago I had to set up a server for a client with ftp, stmp, imap, ruby from source, rails, a java-based server, ffmpeg and about 12 other AV codec stuff from source, config the firewall and DNS and the entire operation took less than 45 minutes.

    Here are the basic steps for a rails install:

    yum install ruby

    gem install passenger

    passenger-install-nginx-module (or apache2)

    open nginx config(or apache) and include the path to the public folder in your rails app.

    cd path/to/rails/app

    bundle install

    rake db:migrate

    and optionally rake db:seed if you need to put some data in the DB before it can run


    Now when you need to update your rails app their is the very easy

    cap deploy

    Or you can use whatever versioning system

    hg pull
    touch tmp/restart.txt


    Choosing PHP in any situations means that said "programmer" is incompetant. Period.

    No one who understands computer science would look at all of the inconsistancies, bad behavior, bugs, bloat and choose it.

  6. *sigh* i dont even want to argue about this anymore… is just not intellectually competent. so i gonna just give you a *sigh* and turn my eyes around

  7. Anyone who dismisses proper language design as a “dick measuring contest” has no business claiming that others are not intellectually competent.

    You are the poster child for the Dunning–Kruger effect.

    You are too stupid to understand the depth of your stupidity. That you are a PHP fan boy is not surprising as it is developed by idiots(at least Lerdof admits he is a clueless idiot-but that does stop you from using his crap) for idiots.

    At least Java was created with the mediocre programmer in mind, but to be created for idiots and people actually use is pretty damn amusing.

  8. Zetax says “don’t argue with an idiot” but he

    1. Constantly replies to posts he thinks are idiotic

    2. Does not claim why said posts are idiotic.

    3. Obviously does not have the background to discuss language design principles. AKA PHP fan

  9. Here’s the way I look at this. You can use kits to build a house, hammer and nails to build a house, or you can use cardboard. PHP is like using cardboard. When it rains, PHP card is often hard to maintain. It’s often poorly documented, and the libraries written are often poorly maintained. It’s hacker mentality. Despite what the infamous articles mentioned above say about PHP, it’s primary issue is that there is a toxic community of lazy hackers that don’t like comment lines and think ‘cool’ solutions matter more than clean, readable code.

    My main issue with PHP is ironically enough with the development community that exists for it. The vast majority of PHP sites I’ve had to work on as a contractor, were like opening the door and finding a mountain of garbage and spaghetti code.

  10. “Your analogy of building houses is flawed. You’re basically saying if a bad builder constructs a house out of good materials then the house will be better quality than a cardboard house constructed by a good builder who understands the caveats of the material he has chosen to use to build the house.”

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

    Using cardboard(PHP) to build a house results in a house that crumbles when it rains.

    Damn, you fucktard PHP fans are so technically illiterate is boggles the mind.

    Just like Rasmus, who hates programming and doesn’t give two shits about quality code. Don’t believe me? Read any article interviewing him.

  11. What gets me about PHP is that most developers of PHP or other scripting languages like JS don’t know why maintainable architecture and code matter. It’s terrifying, even some of the guys interviewing in the Midwest for Fortune 500 companies don’t know or care about software engineering or computer science. Some of them get in to positions of senior management at IT companies. It’s genuinely terrifying how dumbed-down this industry is getting.

  12. Oigan, dejen de discutir por favor. Vamos a desarrollar aplicaciones bilingües en Symfony y Django. ¿Por qué no putitos?

  13. * bad perfs because php reload full site on each user request / click
    * perfs problem to debug a large php app
    * no valuable programming ide

    -> low cost at start, exponential cost at end

    never use interpreted lang to create medium or large project

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