PHP Statistics on the Internet

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PHP statistics and Brief History

In 1994 Rasmus Lerdorf wrote logic to track his online resume which he called PHP Tools. In 1995 he released the source code for these tools to the public to use and improve it. The next year Rasmus added new logic to that started to show some features that we see in today’s version of PHP. Again another year later, additional features like database interaction and cookie support was included. It’s popularity grew and by Spring 1998 there were 60,000 domains identified with PHP headers. At the time, this was about 1% of the Internet. (

W3Techs provides some interesting PHP statistics that are updated daily. As of May 2023 the following were noted:

  • In 2023, 77.4% of websites that use a server side programming language use PHP.
  • Only 12.7% of these websites are running the current supported version: PHP 8
  • 65% are using PHP 7
  • 21.1% are using PHP 5 (Mostly 5.6)

Upgrading from PHP 5 to PHP 7 took time for users to transition because PHP 7 has removed certain outdated features. This means that older code needs to be modified in order to work properly with PHP 7. One of the major changes is that the MySQL extension no longer functions in PHP 7. Therefore, any database queries that still rely on this extension would need to be rewritten. It’s important to note that the MySQL extension has been deprecated since version 5.5. You can find a list of other depreciated features in PHP 7 and backward incompatibilities in PHP 7 by referring to this resource.

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Other notable statistics:

  • PHP is a server-side scripting language. In simple terms, when you visit a website, the PHP code is processed on the server and the final output is then sent to your web browser. I
  • PHP is a free and open-source language. One of the great things about PHP is that it is free to use. This means that you don’t have to pay any money to use PHP.  Most web hosts have it preinstalled with your web hosting plan. Additionally, PHP is an open-source language, which means that the source code (the instructions that make up the language) is freely available to everyone. This allows developers from all over the world to contribute to the improvement and development of PHP, making it a collaborative and constantly evolving language.
  • PHP is a powerful language that can be used to create dynamic and interactive websites. Unlike static websites that display the same information to every visitor, PHP allows you to tailor the content based on user input, database information, or other external factors .
  • PHP has a huge user community to collaborate with.


Php ElephantThe PHP mascot is an elephant. Created by Vincent Pontier. You can read an interview from Vincent of how it came about.


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