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Why PHP is still #1 in 2021

As a person who has been both a full-time paid PHP developer as well as a full-time paid Node.js, Firebase, and React Native developer (those three fall into the “javascript everything” world/mind-set), I believe I’ve got the experience to speak about this topic.

  1. Many “adult” applications built behind corporate APIs do not require the ability to handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users. I worked for a year and a half for a company that had gross revenues of nearly $100 million USD per year ($100,000,000) and we had about 200 internal employees and about 2000 “external” employees. We had lots of people interfacing with the API and including through a mobile app, but we never had the massive scale and concurrency that Nodejs and like frameworks/languages are designed for. Even if we had tripled in size, we could have accommodated the increased load without much problem.
  2. Server load can be lessened with aggressive caching through CDNs.
  3. PHP is quite fast right now.
  4. It is easy to debug.
  5. Simple problems are solved simply and easily. I can do something small quickly, with no need for eighteen thousand configurations.
  6. For mid-size companies that have a working system in place, it makes no sense to throw it away and start fresh.
  7. Small business continues to increase technical debt to systems like WordPress. Thus, we don’t see long-term commitment to PHP-based systems decreasing among companies that may later grow larger and “see the light” of these better systems.

Which do I prefer? I prefer Node.js and the javascript world. That being said, this little blog was built with WordPress and PHP. I wanted to get something done quickly and without too much fuss. So…