PHP is a server-side scripting language released back in 1995. Over the years, it has gained a lot of popularity in developing web applications. As of 2013, PHP has been used in over 240 million websites and 2.1 million web servers.
So how exactly does PHP work? Like many other server side script languages, the code is processed by a interpreter. After the code is interpreted and executed, the server sends back a resulting output to the client.
PHP Works Well With Other Languages
PHP alone can perform many functions, but it is often used with other languages to create what we typically see on the internet. The great thing about PHP is that it works very well with languages for front-end development, such as HTML and CSS. To harness the back-end capabilities of PHP, the code is simply embedded within the HTML code, much like CSS.
As of 2013, 9% of all vulnerabilities were linked to PHP. Often security issues are caused by programmer mistakes; flaws of the language itself or of the core libraries aren’t frequent.
Certain language features and configuration settings make PHP prone to security issues. An example of this is enabled dynamic loading of PHP extensions, which in a shared web hosting environment can leave vulnerabilities. To improve security, there are advanced protection patches specifically created for web hosting environments.
There are a couple of ways to install PHP to a web server. One way is as a native web server module. To go about this, PHP uses a direct module interface called Server Application Programming Interface (SAPI), which is supported by many web servers. If your server does not support SAPI, there are other alternatives.
Another method of installing PHP is as a Common Gateway Interface (CGI), which is bundled with the official PHP distribution. It contains some additional features, which are helpful for servers that are heavily loaded. After PHP is installed, if cloud environments are to be used, software development kits (SDKs) are provided.
Using PHP for eCommerce
To create an eCommerce store with PHP, you’ll need to create a database and the storefront itself. The database will contain information on products. In the database, the data will need to be categorized. This will enable customers to easily browse data. The storefront can be created with PHP, HTML, and CSS.
To accept payments, third-party payment gateways such as Paypal or Stripe are integrated. The benefits of this are built-in security and customer trust. However, there are typically transaction fees and a loss of the ability to tailor your payment solution to unique business needs. In order to personalize your website's eCommerce platform, creating a custom shopping cart is a viable option. To learn more about creating a custom shopping cart, click here.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about PHP and eCommerce web development, request a free consultation today.