By Jennifer Marsh
Jennifer Marsh is a software developer, programmer and technology writer and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
PHP is a free platform that usually runs on Apache web hosting servers. It’s the platform language for popular frameworks such as WordPress and Joomla and it’s a convenient language for new websites because it’s free and has plenty of resources available to find the answers to even the simplest programming questions.
What Can PHP Do for You?
The business owner must make a few decisions when choosing a hosting provider for their PHP site, and platform language is one of those decisions. Typically, sites are built in Microsoft .NET or PHP. PHP has the advantage of making hosting cheaper because .NET hosting tends to cost more.
PHP is completely dynamic, so your business can pull data (such as products and content) from a database and display that information according to rules set out by the business owner.
This is much more convenient than a static HTML page. For instance, if the business decides to discontinue a product, simply make the changes in the database and all subsequent website pages are updated with new product information. With static HTML, each page would need to be modified one at at a time. Faster updates means more efficiency for the business.
PHP also lets you create A/B comparison landing pages. An A/B comparison is a type of marketing technique that displays different web page layouts and content for random visitors. The business also uses PHP to then log the activity of the website visitor whether it’s navigating to a new page, bouncing from the site, or purchasing a product. With some reporting and good marketing, the business can determine which landing page is more profitable for sales and leads generation.
Don’t want to create a website from scratch? The advantage of going with the PHP platform is that there are several out-of-the-box solutions to setting up a content or ecommerce site that can easily facilitate product management and customer relations without needing to know the PHP code. If the business grows and the owner decides to customize the installation, plenty of PHP tutorials and help files are available transition to a fully-custom site build.
PHP supports large and small websites, and it can help businesses move forward from clunky static HTML pages to dynamic, content-rich product pages that are more easily managed. It reduces the amount of mistakes, because only one page needs to be changed for dynamic pages. Less coding time means less time the business owner needs to spend on trivial content changes and more time marketing the business.