PHP for Startups: New Lease on Life?

  • January 8, 2017

With tech startups, the hassle around technology selection seems to outshine the chicken-and-egg problem. Is it the nature of the selected technology that determines implementation success, or the other way round, the hottest startups glorify the programming languages they implement? On the technology side, PHP for startups was given up for lost quite a while ago. But, while Ruby on Rails and Django advocates have been crossing swords to establish technology leadership, the PHP technology has evolved substantially in recent years. At the end of the day, PHP demonstrates incredible fitness for usage in tech startups.

I’m not going to enter the battle for technological supremacy as a PHP evangelist. I’m just saying that today, with PHP, you can do everything you thought was only possible, let’s say, with RoR (and probably at lower costs). The project I was recently engaged in used the PHP framework to deliver SaaS-based a solution for online management of household devices. With a set of modulable and ready-to-use bundles, we were able to literally assemble the customer-facing, ecommerce, and admin components to draw resources to proceed with more effort-consuming integration tasks. Basically, PHP is pretty good when used for the Web part of a multi-component, multi-technology solution. You also can test certain assumptions by swiftly assembling a minimum viable product with PHP—and move to technology optimization with further iterations if proven efficient. Facebook, the most frequently cited proof to PHP’s potency, got off the ground by building a product that enabled it to raise budgets for subsequent large-scale optimization of its massive PHP code base.


PHP is one of the fastest languages to code with, deploy, and execute. The philosophy behind it, if any at all, is built around quick turnaround. The language was originally designed for finding the shortest path and the slickest solution to Web problems. Moreover, community contributors have been steadily moving the technology towards modular design in recent years. The PHP frameworks offer easily configurable, modulable, and ready-to-use, out-of-the-box bundles and libraries to arrange into a ready-to-use solution. Sonata Project for the Symfony framework, for example, with its admin bundles, technical utilities, content management features, and ecommerce tools enables developers to dramatically shorten the path to the final product, all while caring for all project participants’ peace of mind.

Cost Effectiveness

From a hiring perspective, project stuffing, or finding replacements for current team members is not that big a headache. PHP developers are noticeably cheaper due to comparably low entry-level salaries for a programming language that is quickly learnt and embraced. The PHP resource pool is vast, and not so susceptible to fashion trends; given the today’s technology-based stereotypes, if a person persists in pursuing a PHP developer’s career, chasing trends is definitely not his or her style.