For a plethora of reasons, PHP is one of the best server-side scripting languages for building scalable e-commerce sites. Without a doubt, it’s cheaper than most of the other languages in the same domain. Also, it provides users with robust security and quick turnaround time.
This language hasn’t achieved the topmost spot randomly. But it has constantly evolved by introducing new and advanced feature releases. And, PHP 7 is the very first major release that transformed the entire e-commerce web development industry. But what’s so special about it? Let’s deep dive and explore.
How PHP 7 & Was Born?
PHP 7 was born after a lot of discussion and hard work on the part of programmers. Earlier, the version PHP 5.6 was released following which the PHP developers and experts decided to create a “big update” and name it as PHP 6. This version was supposed to be released just after PHP 5.6.
But due to some issues, PHP 6 Unicode experiment couldn’t reach its final stage and got stuck as an ordinary pilot project. After much iteration and enhancement, finally, PHP 7 was released during 2014-2015.
What’s Unique In PHP 7?
Everyone associated with the PHP industry welcomed this new version with open arms but it does not mean that the community was on a pause before this. Let’s take a look at some of the core advantages of using PHP 7 for web development.
- PHP 7 has been proved to be equally beneficial for both the programmers, IT specialists as well as the entrepreneurs.
- This feature release is considered to be the biggest innovations in the market after the last release of PHP is 2004.
- PHP 7 facilitates the development of high-end web apps that don’t eat up a lot of memory and functions super fast.
- It’s become much easier for the enterprises to develop quality websites for their brands that have the potential to deliver amazing performances and cater to targeted audience efficiently without including any hardware.
What Are The Unique Selling Points For PHP 7?
Compatible With 64-bit Windows Systems
The traditional environment of PHP is not Windows but Linux. That’s the reason why the previous PHP series didn’t have the caliber to run on 64-bit Windows systems. But by providing consistent 64-bit support, PHP 7 has changed the whole scenario and makes the system capable to run efficiently on a 64-bit Windows system in a hassle-free manner.
A Comprehensive Zend Engine
Zend Engine II was first introduced in PHP 5 series that enhanced the overall functionality and incorporated an extensible object model. Also, it was responsible for boosting the performance of PHP.
But the game-changing point came when PHP7 came up with an exclusive new version of the Zend engine 3.0 which was called Next Generation. This engine is blessed with the power to double the performance of the web apps and minimize their memory consumption. Also, this engine was specifically built and refactored to suit today’s workloads and this is why it’s the first choice of web programmers.
In addition, the new version of Zend engine forces your code to run as fast as possible. Also, it gives the developers a golden opportunity to reduce the number of servers involved, which they were supposed to serve the same number of users in any case.
Two Unique Offerings: Scalar Type Declarations & Return Type Declarations
With the help of the above-mentioned two features, PHP 7 has made the maintenance of large pieces of code quite easier and simpler. This is done by letting multiple developers write more robust tests.
Scalar type declarations come in two different flavours as follows:
Here, the programmers are allowed to add even more parameters such as strings, floating-point numbers, integers, and booleans.
On the other hand, return type declarations identify the type of value that will be returned from a function. The types that can be used in this case are integers, float, booleans, strings, interfaces, array, and callable,
Seamless Error Processing
Earlier, PHP professionals face many difficulties in processing program errors. But with the advent of PHP 7, the error message mechanism was entirely modified. It allows users with the capacity to replace errors with exceptions.
When these exceptions weren’t traced by anyone, they got converted into fatal errors. After this, these errors were processed in the similar way as it was done with the previous versions of PHP.
Why You Should Choose PHP 7 For Developing E-commerce Websites?
As per a study performed by Statista.com, the online selling industry is anticipated to cross a $400 billion threshold in the coming few years. Clearly, the e-commerce domain is on its peak and the key to success for an entrepreneur is a feature-rich e-commerce store.
But one thing to note with current e-commerce websites is that the focus is gradually shifting from product range and prices to mobile-friendliness and seamless user experience. Considering the demand, PHP 7 is proving out to be a comprehensive server-side scripting language that guarantees flash compatibility, responsive designs, fancy headers for desktops and mobiles, special effects, quick online presentations, etc.
This isn’t the end! There’s much more in the stock. Let’s look at the five major reasons why you should hire PHP developers with eCommerce capabilities:
Built To Be Super Fast
PHP 7 has set a benchmark for speeding up the entire process of e-commerce web development. According to a recent study done by Zend Technologies, the CMS running on PHP 7 is twice faster in comparison to the one functioning on PHP 5.6.
This is an added advantage for e-commerce platforms such as Magneto. Also, it facilitates the development of e-commerce sites having minimum loading time and memory consumption.
Availability Of A Wide Range Of Responsive Design Templates For E-commerce Sites
Nowadays, an ideal e-commerce website has to be responsive to mobile devices because it’s the only way in which the majority of the users access these sites. PHP 7 is specifically beneficial for building responsive e-commerce designs which allow you to cater to a wide customer base.
III. Higher Scalability
Along with high speed, e-commerce solutions need to be extremely scalable so that they can be modified in the future to include necessary functionality to fulfil specific requirements and meet growing customer demands.
PHP 7 provides developers with the right tools which are useful for making scalable e-commerce sites. Also, this language can be scaled up by using cloud infrastructure with enough servers available and a NoSQL database. It also helps in addressing security issues related to these sites.
Seamless Integration With Other Major Platforms
PHP 7 can function seamlessly on multiple platforms such as UNIX, MacOS, Linux distributions, and Microsoft. Also, it supports all major servers like Microsoft IIS and Apache. This PHP version can be easily integrated with other technologies such as Mongo dB, making it capable to operate with Memcache, Big Data, etc.
Efficient Use Of Flash
Developers can use PHP 7 efficiently with Flash to create visually appealing 3D interactions, beautiful responsive headers, stunning banner ads, etc. All these elements make e-commerce solutions much more intuitive, eye-catchy and impressive.
A Pocket-Friendly Alternative
Being an open source platform, PHP 7 can is completely free and saves you from investing on subscription costs. Also, because of its huge demand, you can find professional programmers with ease. Specifically, in the case of ASP.NET which is a competitor of PHP, you have to spend heavily on debugging and hosting. This can burn a big hole in your pocket.
VII. Standard Documentation & Support
Fortunately, PHP is blessed with a passionate community of programmers and experts who are always willing to contribute and make it even more efficient. Also, these professionals help developers in overcoming challenges which they face when building e-commerce sites using PHP 7.
In addition, you can take help of an exclusive PHP manual which is available on the internet. This manual comes with complete information on how to migrate from one PHP version to another easily and efficiently.
VIII. Incorporating Beautiful Header Bar Designs To Enhance Brand Image
PHP 7 lets developers include fixed headers in their e-commerce sites. This makes it easier for users to access the main menu. Also, it enhances the overall look of the website and further boost brand promotion.
A Wide Range Of E-commerce Specific Solutions
E-commerce sites built with PHP 7 function seamlessly with all the major content management systems such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, etc. Also, there are different e-commerce specific solutions available like Zen Cart, Magneto, and UberCart that are blessed with enough coverage, flexibility, and scalability.
Ease Of Adding Special Effects
PHP 7 makes the entire process of adding special effects to e-commerce solutions a breeze for PHP developers. They can efficiently use concepts like parallax scrolling in order to add unique special effects and make e-commerce sites much more effective.
Numerous Feature-Rich Web Development Frameworks
There are several web development frameworks available under the umbrella of PHP that are meant for building high-end e-commerce solutions. Some of these frameworks are Symphony, Zend, CakePHP, Laravel, Yii, Codeigniter, etc.
All these frameworks have the potential of connecting to a database, handling calendars, debugging, and working with emails. Also, these frameworks give a golden opportunity to the programmers so that they can recycle the code.
XII. Facility To Integrate With Analytics Tools
You can easily use PHP 7 to connect an analytics service to your e-commerce website, for example, Google Analytics. But integration can also be done in the case of a dedicated CRM. Specifically for e-commerce web development, there are several sales analytics tools available in the off-the-shelf bandwagon. Better and detailed analytics help entrepreneurs make better business decisions.
All these factors make PHP 7 an ideal alternative for building e-commerce websites. The majority of the professionals have understood the significance of upgrading their e-commerce solutions to this newest version in order to enjoy its exclusive offerings.
Anubhuti Shrivastava is a content crafter at Arkenea and Benchpoint. She is passionate about writing articles on topics related to design and the software development industry.