In the cutthroat world of web development, trends come and go faster than a blink of an eye. Yet amidst this constant churn, there has been one relentless narrative: the supposed downfall of PHP and its offspring, WordPress. But here’s the twist—despite the years of criticism, proclamations of their death, and the rise of shinier, ‘cooler’ tools, PHP and WordPress are still standing. Not just standing but thriving.
Let’s face it. PHP has been the favourite whipping boy of developers for years. It’s been derided as messy, outdated, and everything in between. Yet, if PHP is as terrible as its critics claim, how has it survived and flourished in the competitive landscape of web development? The answer lies in its simplicity, flexibility, and resilience.
PHP might not be the prettiest language, but it gets the job done. Its dynamic typing and lenient syntax make it accessible for beginners while still being powerful enough for complex applications. It powers everything from small blogs to Wikipedia.
On the other hand, WordPress, born from the loins of PHP, has faced its fair share of scorn. It’s been labelled as bloated, insecure, and outdated. Yet, it continues to power over 40% of the web. WordPress’s influence is undeniable, from personal blogs to major news outlets and corporate websites. Why? Because WordPress embodies the qualities that make PHP great—simplicity, flexibility, and resilience—while boasting an unparalleled ecosystem of themes and plugins.
Despite the chorus of naysayers, developers keep returning to WordPress, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, highly customizable, and incredibly powerful. The ‘bloat’ that critics love to hate is actually a testament to WordPress’s adaptability and versatility. Want to create an online store? There’s a plugin for that. Need a contact form? There’s a plugin for that too. With WordPress, you’re not just getting a content management system—you’re getting a complete web development platform.
Sure, a smaller static-site CMS might be more resource efficient, but can it do everything WordPress can do out of the box? When something goes wrong, do you have access to a large community and a trove of knowledge going back years on how to solve your problem? Probably not.
I’m not hating on Gatsby, Hugo and all the other solutions some developers loved to choose over WordPress. Those still have a place. However, the moment you need to do anything with an ambitious feature set, you’re at the mercy of your chosen solution. Is there a plugin, or do you need to dive into the docs and work out how to do it yourself?
The disdain for PHP and WordPress isn’t a recent phenomenon. It’s been a constant hum in the background of the web development scene. But while developers have been busy forecasting their demise, PHP and WordPress have been quietly powering the web.
The lesson here is clear: don’t be swayed by the winds of developer opinion. PHP and WordPress have proven their mettle time and time again. They’ve weathered the storm of criticism, outlived numerous ‘PHP killers’, and continue to provide a solid foundation for web development.
So, the next time you hear a developer proclaiming the death of PHP or dismissing WordPress, take it with a grain of salt. These tools have survived, thrived, and evolved. They are the underdogs of web development, the survivors in a world obsessed with the new and shiny. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.