Web Development by Solarise


Meet Robin, Freelance PHP Developer – Building Awesome Apps With WordPress, Laravel & Craft CMS

PHP, a powerhouse of a programming language, has helped the internet prosper for three decades. Get in touch with Robin if you’ve got a PHP project to discuss.

PHP is Powerful. PHP is Practical. PHP is Pretty Neat

Did you know “PHP” is a backronym? It stands for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”

PHP isn’t just another programming language. For a business owner looking to harness the digital realm, PHP is a golden ticket. It’s a powerful, widely used platform on which to build successful applications.

For a freelance PHP developer like myself, it’s a tool I can use to deliver stunning applications and websites.

It’s the backbone of many successful online platforms and has been a trusted ally for developers and businesses alike for over two decades.

Many of the most powerful and widely used software applications online use it:

  • WordPress (extremely popular content management system)
  • Laravel (super-flexible programming framework)
  • Magento (now Adobe Commerce – a very powerful shopping cart system)

There are over 180,000 PHP developers employed in the United States as of 2023. It’s a very popular programming language, and rightly so.

Get in touch if you’ve got a PHP project to discuss.

The PHP ElePHPant, mascot of the PHP language since 1998
The PHP ElePHPant, mascot of the PHP language since 1998

Why PHP Matters for Business Owners

At its core, PHP is a server-side scripting language. This basically means it runs on the computers that power the internet to create dynamic experiences for web visitors. And it runs on a lot of computers.

It’s been around for decades. PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. Rasmus, a Danish-Canadian programmer, initially developed PHP to track visits to his online resume. He named it “Personal Home Page Tools” or PHP Tools.

PHP’s Many Milestones

PHP continued to develop in leaps and bounds after its creation. In 1999, PHP 4 was released, powered by the Zend Engine. This was a significant development as it enhanced PHP’s performance and allowed it to compete with other programming languages in terms of speed and reliability.

PHP 5, released in 2004, brought in a robust object-oriented programming model – well known among modern PHP developers. The improvements also made significant changes to the MySQL database functionality and added PHP Data Objects, a neater way of accessing multiple databases.

PHP 7, released in 2015, introduced consistent 64-bit support, boasting significant performance improvements, making scripts run twice as fast.

PHP 8, released in 2020, introduced the JIT (Just-in-time) compiler, which compiles parts of the bytecode into machine code, leading to faster execution.

So it’s been a busy few decades for this powerhouse of a language. As a freelance PHP developer, I love that I’ve been part of that journey.

Get in touch if you’ve got a PHP project to discuss.

PHP code runs behind the scenes of a lot of big sites
PHP code runs behind the scenes of a lot of big sites

Is PHP Over?


No Really, Is It Over?

This gets asked a lot. Like a lot. I’ll answer this now, to get it out of the way.

PHP is used by almost 80% of all websites on the internet. Is PHP finished? Is it going the way of the dinosaurs, soon to be replaced by more modern languages?

Of course it’s not finished! It’s extremely popular and developers are in high demand.

Freelance PHP developers such as myself just chuckle and move on whenever that question is asked. 😂

Giants of the PHP World

Three giants in the digital world, Facebook, Wikipedia, and Slack, are prime examples of the prowess of PHP.

  • Facebook: The social media behemoth that connects billions worldwide, relies on PHP for its seamless user experience and scalability. Every time you log in, comment, or like a post, PHP is working behind the scenes, ensuring everything runs smoothly.
  • Wikipedia: The world’s largest free encyclopedia, serving knowledge to millions daily, is built on PHP. It ensures that the vast amount of data is easily accessible and editable, making knowledge sharing efficient.
  • Slack: A hub for team collaboration and communication, Slack’s real-time messaging and integration capabilities are powered by PHP, ensuring teams can work seamlessly.

These platforms have not just used PHP; they’ve leveraged it to offer value to their users, scaling their businesses to new heights.

The largest source of knowledge on the internet is powered by PHP
The largest source of knowledge on the internet is powered by PHP

Introducing Robin: Freelance PHP Developer

Robin is a seasoned freelance PHP developer with a rich tapestry of experience in the digital realm and more than 15 years of experience with PHP.

He started out programming in pure PHP before exploring various tools such as Drupal, Joomla, ZenCart and the early iterations of WordPress.

When Robin started programming on the web the PHP ecosystem was nothing like the polished modern stack it is now.

There was a lot of trial and error!

But through the years, Robin has gained a masterful knowledge of PHP and has become adept with the modern versions of PHP tools such as WordPress, Craft CMS and Laravel.

If you’re a business owner looking for a solid, dependable developer to deliver your PHP project, I’m happy to help out.

As a freelance PHP developer I’ve got a strong programming background which helps me to dig into the fundamentals of PHP programming as well as explore the leading edge of development techniques – JIT compilation, opcode caching, asynchronous programming with Swoole for real-time chat apps.

I love working with systems like WordPress and Laravel to deliver strong and sturdy future-proof applications for clients.

The modern web is an exciting and dynamic place. I’m always on the lookout for interesting new challenges to expand my knowledge of this incredible language.

Incorporating a freelance PHP developer into your digital strategy isn’t just about hiring a developer; it’s about partnering with an expert who understands your vision and has the skills to bring it to life.

And siding with PHP, a tried-and-tested language with decades of wisdom and community behind it – that’s a recipe for success.

Get in touch if you’ve got a PHP project to discuss.

Robin Metcalfe is a freelance PHP developer, available for hire
Robin Metcalfe is a freelance PHP developer, available for hire

Perhaps one of the reasons I love PHP so much is the outlook of its creator, Rasmus Lerdorf

“I really don’t like programming. I built this tool to program less so that I could just reuse code.”

“PHP is about as exciting as your toothbrush. You use it every day, it does the job, it is a simple tool, so what? Who would want to read about toothbrushes?”

“I’m not a real programmer. I throw together things until it works then I move on. The real programmers will say ‘yeah it works but you’re leaking memory everywhere. Perhaps we should fix that.’ I’ll just restart apache every 10 requests.”

I can empathise with a lot of this.

For me, as a freelance PHP developer, programming isn’t about refining something until it’s perfect, it’s about building something which works, which is usable, which gets the job done and works within acceptable tolerances.

PHP has always been the language for products that work, that are shipped and which delight customers.

You can do a lot worse than build your next website or application with PHP!

Frequently Asked Questions for Clients

  1. What is PHP?
    PHP is a popular scripting language primarily used for web development. PHP is open-source and can run on various platforms like Windows, Linux, and MacOSX. It’s compatible with most servers used today, such as Apache and IIS.
  2. What are the common uses of PHP?
    PHP can perform system functions, handle forms, manage databases, access and set cookies, and even restrict user access to certain pages of a website. It’s a versatile language suitable for creating dynamic websites and mobile APIs.
  3. How is PHP different from other languages?
    PHP is partially case sensitive, meaning variable names are case-sensitive, but function names are not. It’s also unique in how it parses code, using a mechanism known as ‘escaping to PHP’.
  4. What are PHP variables and their characteristics?
    Variables in PHP are denoted with a leading dollar sign ($). They don’t need to be declared before assignment and don’t have intrinsic types. This means a variable can store numbers, strings, or other data types without prior specification.
  5. How secure is PHP?
    PHP, like any other language, is as secure as its implementation. Proper coding practices, regular updates, and using built-in security functions can make a PHP application secure.
  6. Is PHP suitable for large-scale applications?
    Yes, PHP is scalable and can be used for large-scale applications, provided the code is optimized and the infrastructure supports it.
  7. How does PHP handle form data?
    PHP can gather data from forms, save it to files, send it through email, and return data to the user. It offers a seamless way to manage user input and database interactions.
  8. Can PHP interact with databases?
    Absolutely! PHP can add, delete, and modify elements within databases. It’s commonly used with databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and others to create dynamic and data-driven websites.
  9. What’s new in the latest versions of PHP?
    PHP continuously evolves. Some of the features in PHP 7.4, for instance, include preloading for improved performance, array spread operators, and typed properties in classes.
  10. Is PHP free?
    Yes, PHP is open-source, which means it’s free to use, modify, and distribute.
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About Robin Metcalfe

Robin is the dedicated developer behind Solarise.dev. With years of experience in web development, he's committed to delivering high-quality solutions and ensuring websites run smoothly. Always eager to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, Robin believes in the power of collaboration and sharing knowledge. Outside of coding, he enjoys diving into tech news and exploring new tools in the industry.

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