The virtual transparency of PHP to the end user means that there’s an excellent chance that you’ve used a web site based on PHP and not even known it. In fact, estimates based on research data suggest that more than twenty million websites currently use PHP and the number continues to increase daily. So what web sites are presently using PHP?
Social networking is a prime example of an entire industry that runs on PHP and similar languages. One example is the world’s largest and arguably most famous social networking site, Facebook. Of course, social networks aren’t the only sites that utilize PHP to provide content.
Wikipedia is another site that has deep PHP roots. Many organizations have expressed interest in creating both internal and external Wikis, and many have even done so. The uses could range from simplifying tech support and increasing customer awareness of products and services to training new employees and streamlining corporate learning. PHP is very likely to continue to be mainstay in these areas for the foreseeable future.
Yahoo! has offered PHP powered customized home pages for years and these pages can integrate functionality that employs a wide array of internal and external databases to bring viewers everything from mail and instant messages to customizable/targeted news information. This dynamic presentation is done in such a way that often the user may not even realize that their Yahoo! experience adapts to both information they provide as well as their actions and even their IP address.
YouTube is a site that also makes use of PHP, and as the site continues to grow and evolve it is pushing the boundaries between Flash and PHP in order to find a way to create marketing revenue. At present this system isn’t complete in anything but a very rough form and it will certainly be worth watching as it develops.
With the potential impending demise of newspapers, many wonder if next on the chopping block might just be news channels, and eventually entertainment channels. This fear seems well founded, especially if a way could be found to monetize online services while offering users a custom experience in much the way that Yahoo! presently does. Expect PHP to play a strong role as companies explore changing the way societies consume traditional information and entertainment.