PHP, or PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely used, general-purpose scripting language that was originally designed for web development, to produce dynamic web pages. It can be embedded into HTML and generally runs on a web server, which needs to be configured to process PHP code and create web page content from it. Any PHP code in a requested file is executed by the PHP runtime, usually to create dynamic web page content. It can be deployed on most web servers and on almost every operating system and platform free of charge. PHP is installed on over 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.
PHP can also be used for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. PHP can be deployed on most web servers, many operating systems and platforms, and can be used with many relational database management systems. It is available free of charge, and the PHP Group provides the complete source code for users to build, customize and extend for their own use.
PHP has also attracted the development of many frameworks that provide building blocks and a design structure to promote rapid application development (RAD). Some of these include CakePHP, Symfony, CodeIgniter, and Zend Framework, offering features similar to other web application frameworks.
The LAMP and WAMP architectures have become popular in the web industry as a way of deploying web applications. PHP is a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages.
PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and has been in continuous development ever since. The main implementation of PHP is now produced by The PHP Group and serves as the de facto standard for PHP as there is no formal specification. PHP is free software released under the PHP License, which is incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) because of restrictions on the use of the term PHP.
PHP has evolved to include a command line interface capability and can also be used in standalone graphical applications.