The Top 10 Most-Used PHP Features

The scripting language which is perfect for web development has many useful features. However, in order to exploit them, a developer should understand the main base of the classes, functions, and methods without which you would not be able to understand the operation of all frameworks. Mentioned below are some of the most important features of PHP which are quite useful while working with this open source scripting language.

DateTime Class

important features of PHP

The DateTime class lets you control date and time in a way which is more object focused. This would be possible only with the use of standard core functions such as strtotime and mktime which can be used for standard functionalities such as changing the present time zone or subtracting or adding time intervals on a specific date. The DateTime class can also be stretched so extra functionality can be made available while making the code clean and easy to read. The main reason to utilize DateTime class is that it stores all dates as a 64-bit integer which offers a workaround for the 32 bit 2038 bug where all dates will stop its rise anymore.


The implementation of exceptions is to ‘throw’ errors which can be identified at any juncture by bubbling up through the code stack. Creating an exception is pretty simple all that is needed is the use of throw keyword along with an exception object. Catching exceptions is executed by wrapping the code which is needed to be tested in the try block. After which a create block needs to be built to catch an exception which is thrown by the try block in the code.

PHP Data Object (PDO) Class

important features of PHP

PHP Data Object is also one of the important features of PHP.  The PDO is used exclusively to connect our MySQL databases. The PDO delivers a wonderful concept coating around a set of database drivers such as PostgreSQL, MySQL and MS SQL. So, irrespective of the database you are using if it supports PDO the same functions can be used to execute same activities on the database.Your code is made more portable for the web application to be used on different databases without you having to invest any extra time for development.


The essential functions which PHP offers usually are better than the ones created by you using a PHP code. An example is the array_map as an alternative to, for or which loop.array_map lets you create a function known as the callback which will be functional with all the items in an array you provide. For instance, if you had an array of uppercase letters, a callback function can be generated to lowercase all characters in the array. The speed increase would be very small in a small size array but when you use it on larger arrays there would be a noticeable change in speed.


Next in the list of important features of PHP is the json_encode&json_decode. There are two functions which PHP offers that lets you control data both to and from JSON. Json_encode is used when the first argument is set as your initial data. From a simple string to multi-dimensional array, PHP returns a string of the data which is converted to a formatted string of JSON. The string can then be added to the HTML template that can be read by JavaScript code on front end or can be used to output on an API Json_decode uses JSON string as first argument and analyses the string into PHP variable. Json_decode gives direct access to data in object format or array.


important features of PHP

Developers can sort array based on compare function with usort which can be configured by the developer. This allows the creation of more complex sorting algorithms which are not given by standard array sort functions. Usort function is used every day to sort the easy multi-dimensional array. For instance, there is an array of girls that comprises of associative array of age and name. With usort function and closure function, the age name age can be sorted in descending or ascending order.


Glob is also one of the important features of PHP which is used in daily lives.You can create one-line solution to create an array of path names with the pattern you require with the glob function. If you are looking for a certain file type then glob is what you need to use as it lets you search in different folders and files which are present in the directory.

SimpleXML Class

Simple XML lets you read and edit the XML files through objects. The objects give the ability to return values and iterate over arrays in regular ways and a set of easy ways to modify the structure of XML. Even though SimpleXML class is not the core of PHP has been given as a regular extension for PHP and it there by default.


PHP tends to put all variable, class and function under global namespace, this was done to limit the developers to make sure that their applications had distinctive class and function names. This was overcome by the developers when they prefixed function and class names to make available a virtual effect of namespace but the problem was that this class name might have been big making it hard to read and write them without the use of a smart IDE(Integrated Development Environment). Using the namespace keyword after the namespace name above a PHP file puts all codes below in a reflective namespace which is inaccessible by other namespaces. Namespace helps in creating readable and well-framed code which is also easy to manage.

Hashing API

important features of PHP

The hashing API in the latest version of PHP offers an easy to use layer on the crypt to safeguard hashes which are difficult to be cracked by the cyber criminals.

The above are the most important features of PHP that are used almost every day by the developers who are working with this writing script.

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