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PHP5 vs PHP4

PHP5 vs PHP4

There are many tools available for web development but PHP just might be the most widely used. Short for Hypertext Preprocessor, PHP is a programming language that works from the server-side to create dynamic web pages. PHP4 was replaced by PHP5 over four years ago and since then, there has been much discussion in the web hosting business on the need to make upgrades for the sake of customers. If you are still coding with PHP4, this article will fill you in on why version 5 makes a better option.

Security and Continuous Support

The main reason you need to consider PHP5 is related to security and support. As of August of this year, PHP4 is no longer in development and therefore isn’t supported. This means that no patches are being created and distributed to address new security threats. PHP5 has also received a number of improvements that make the language more robust, secure, faster and easier to code with. The advantages of PHP5 doesn’t necessarily mean that version 4 makes a bad choice. The fact of the matter is that PHP itself dates back to the 90s and as web technology evolves and intruders get savvier, such upgrades are only warranted. With PHP6 currently in development, it is likely that version 4 will be phased out completely in the near future.

PHP5 comes loaded with a few additional features that bring a new functionality to web development. Some of the most notable features include:

Better Support for Object-Oriented Programming: One of the biggest gripes about PHP3 and 4 was the lack of object-orientated support. This all changes with version 5 as it supports interfaces, constructors, destructors, abstract classes and more. For those who love coding with objects, this feature alone is worth the upgrade.

Enhanced XML Support: XML support has received a complete overhaul in PHP5. The XML tools for PHP4 weren’t designed to work together and getting support for more advanced extensions has never been the easiest thing to do. With PHP5, all extensions have been standardized on one XML library. The language also has a new extension called SimpleXML that gives you the ability to easily manipulate XML as PHP objects.

Better Support for MySQL: PHP5 has a new MySQL extension called MySQLi, which is designed for those using MySQL versions 4.1 or higher. This extension offers both a conventional and object-orientated interface as well as several new database features.

SQLite: Although MySQL is arguably greater than it has ever been, its power is sometimes a bit much for certain tasks. PHP5 comes bundled with SQLite, a database library that allows you to store and query data by way of an SQL interface without having to install and run a separate database application.

Overall, version 5 is the same PHP developers have come to know and love – only better. Just as with any technology, PHP required improvements to make the language bigger, faster and more secure. Hostmonster has embraced this evolution with open arms, offering PHP5 with all of its hosting solutions. It’s only a matter of time before more companies follow suit.

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13th January 2009
Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Best Web Hosting Tips

One Response to “PHP5 vs PHP4”

  1. Shirish says:

    Very Good comparison. I agree with you that PHP 5 is more advanced & more user friendly.

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