PHP stands for “Hypertext Preprocessor“. Its original name was “Personal Home Page“.


It was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. He is a software engineer, and the team member of Apache and is the creator and original driving force behind PHP.


PHP is server side scripting language, which can be embedded in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) or used as a stand alone.


PHP doesn’t do anything about what a page looks and sounds like. In fact, most of what PHP does is invisible to the end user. PHP is an official module of Apache HTTP server. PHP is fully cross platform, meaning it runs native on several flavors of UNIX, as well as on Windows and also on Mac OS X. It is an open source so is free to download and use.


History & Evolution of PHP :

The first part of PHP was developed for his personal use in late 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. Actually series of CGI : Common Gateway Interfaces scripts was written for tracking the visits of his online resume and this “Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter : PHP/FI” was named “PHP Tools” i.e. “Personal Home Page Tools” .

Rasmus Lerdorf PHP Founder

Over the period, PHP was expanded with more features and functionality and in 1995 was made available to public after that  in 1996 development was started on second generation of PHP/FI ( PHP/FI 2) with beta testing and that was officially declared in 1997.

In PHP/FI 2 many features were not assembled as new features are needed to add , So  Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans prepared the base of PHP3 (after rewriting the parser ) and many features were added that led to the tremendous success of it and with that name was change to “Hypertext Preprocessor”. In 1998, PHP3 was officially declared as successor to the “PHP/FI 2.0”.

After release of PHP3, Zeev Suraski and Andi Gutmans started work on core PHP and reformed it and in 1999 they developed Zend Engine from initial of their name (Zeev and Andi). (Zend engine interprets the PHP ).

In the year 2000, PHP 4 was released with Zend Engine 1.0. and in 2004, PHP 5 with Zend Engine 2.0 was released with much more new features. As per Aug 2013, the stable version of PHP is PHP 5.5.3.


Critique about PHP :

This open source programming language are mainly used in these three areas including Server Side Scripting, Command Line Scripting and in desktop application.


By the middle of 1997, PHP was being used on approximately 50,000 sites worldwide. On more than 244 million websites and on 2.1 million web servers PHP is installed. Over 35% of the websites on the internet runs on PHP.


Many popular sites are developed using PHP, some well known of them are Yahoo!,,, Alexa, Flicker,, , Twitter and many more.