Here Are the Top 4 Brand Names in the PHP User Base

It’s commonplace to draw comparisons between one’s tech stack and industry giants, and this is an effective method for making informed decisions. Yet, many resources that cover this topic emphasise on currently in-vogue technologies while overlooking foundational technologies like PHP.

Whilst enterprise-level tech stacks are becoming increasingly complex, PHP is still a preferred option for sizeable projects that require a sturdy foundation. The businesses we’re examining today largely choose to outsource their PHP development, as they’re more assured that their projects will be cost-effective and able to be scaled up.

What if we take a closer look?


Facebook is widely lauded for its leadership in system scalability and IT infrastructure solutions, with its 1.5 billion monthly users. However, what is not as commonly known is that Facebook has relied on the PHP programming language to create dynamic content since its inception in 2004.

At the outset, Facebook developed its code using PHP, and several years later, it launched HipHop for PHP. HipHop served as a transpiler, converting PHP scripts into native C++ apps. After that, Facebook introduced HipHop, an open-source virtual machine, which dramatically augmented the speed of PHP applications and streamlined deployment.

PHP and its HipHop extensions continue to form crucial elements of Facebook’s backend infrastructure. Significantly, HHVM has played a vital role in hastening the development of PHP applications and will continue to propel them forward in PHP7.


Wikipedia, one of the world’s most popular sources of public information, places a major emphasis on a sturdy IT infrastructure. Initially, in 2003, the site used UseModWiki as its backend, a multipurpose wiki software coded in Perl. At that period, the database size was only 4 gigabytes, but the company expected it to skyrocket. True enough, by April of the same year, the database was swelling by an average of 1.4 gigabytes each week.

As a result, PHP was soon integrated with Phase II software, which was subsequently reworked entirely by MediaWiki. Reports suggest that MediaWiki chiefly uses PHP7 for its backend. In 2023, Wikipedia took a cue from Facebook and also incorporated HHVM, substantially increasing the speed of page loading times for the site.


It’s hardly unexpected that the most widely-used CMS globally is written in PHP. Its dependability, quickness, and security are fundamental traits that have enabled it to fuel over 455 million websites – which is an amazing 43% of all websites in existence.

WordPress, which utilises MySQL and MariaDB, is built using PHP. However, users need not possess any PHP knowledge to benefit from the platform. PHP is employed to ensure a secure connection between the client’s website and the WordPress database, allowing the server-side to rapidly and securely request the client-side HTML output.

The upshot of this is that countless businesses and web developers can now create a diverse array of templates, plugins, and customisable UI components with little coding experience needed. It’s worth noting that WordPress’s dependence on PHP continues to evolve rapidly as the company channels resources into new projects aimed at bettering the platform as a whole.


Lastly, let’s examine Tumblr: the platform behind the formation of several renowned online memes and sensations. With over 510.5 million blogs and an expanding user base, the company had to rely on a dependable and sturdy technology stack.

To maintain a secure infrastructure powered by PHP, Tumblr will migrate its PHP5 systems to PHP7 in 2023. The company previously delved into this transition in a more comprehensive manner on their engineering blog. Let’s reflect on some of the critical takeaways.

By switching to PHP, Tumblr’s goal of enhancing site performance was successfully accomplished. Following their switch to PHP7, the company observed a 50% reduction in latency and a 50% decrease in server CPU utilisation. This, in effect, doubled their capability to host blogs and expand their user base. According to their blog post, “PHP 7 is truly fantastic!”

Ask Yourself: Is PHP Development Right For You?

There’s no denying that PHP has evolved into the industry norm for building websites and mobile apps. This is attested to by the reality that many of the world’s top businesses utilise PHP programming for powering their essential procedures.

Are you uncertain whether PHP programming is the best fit for your needs? Have you explored how it might integrate with the technologies you’re currently using? Moreover, have you considered how it could be improved by leveraging the existing technologies used by similar organisations? As it would be unfeasible to address all your inquiries in one sitting, I recommend reaching out to a proficient PHP specialist and devising a customised plan to suit your requirements.

After reading this post, it’s apparent that PHP is a crucial technology that isn’t going anywhere and will likely remain of significant importance, especially for large and multinational organisations.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs