PHP is a general-purpose scripting language geared toward web development. It was originally created by Danish-Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. The PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group.
The abbreviation PHP initially stood for Personal Homepage. But now it is a recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor. (It's recursive in the sense that the first word itself is an abbreviation, so the full meaning doesn't follow the abbreviation.)
The first version of PHP has launched 26 years ago. Now it's on version 8, released in November 2020, but version 7 remains the most widely used.
PHP has some advantages that have made it so popular, and it's been the go-to language for web servers for more than 15 years now. Here are some of PHP's benefits:
Cross-Platform: PHP is platform-independent. You don't have to have a particular OS to use it because it runs on every platform, whether it's Mac, Windows, or Linux.
Open Source: PHP is open source. The original code is made available to everyone who wants to build upon it. This is one of the reasons why one of its frameworks, Laravel, is so popular.
Easy to learn: PHP is not hard to learn for absolute beginners. You can pick it up pretty much if you already have programming knowledge.
PHP syncs with all Databases: You can easily connect PHP to all Databases, relational and non-relational. So it can connect in no time to MySQL, Postgress, MongoDB, or any other database.
Supportive Community: PHP has a very supportive online community. The official documentation provides guides on how to use the features and you can easily get your problem fixed while stuck.