In this tutorial, you will learn more about the history of PHP and its evolution over the years.

Let’s get started with the PHP/FI interpreter version.

PHP/FI: The First Appearance

The history started with the first release of PHP. Which was created in 1994 under the name PHP/FI, designed by Rasmus Lerdorf.

This version of PHP was released as “Personal Home Page” to monitor and track the visitors who were reading his online resume. Initially, the PHP compiler was named PHP/FI, which stands for Form Interpreter.

It laid the groundwork for PHP as we know it today, emphasizing ease of use and access to databases, which was a revolutionary concept at the time.

In 1995, version 2 of PHP was released. It could work with databases, helping to build complicated websites.

Let’s move into the following version of PHP in the next section.


It wasn’t until 1998, when PHP 3 came out, that PHP really went worldwide. Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski worked together on developing it.

They released the first version of the “Zend Engine” interpreter. It increased speed and expanded the feature set of PHP, cementing its place as a cornerstone of web development.

Anyway, in the following section, you will learn more about the subsequent version, which is PHP 4. Let’s move on.


The introduction of PHP 4 in 2000, which used Zend Engine 1.0 to improve performance, further polished the language.

The addition of features like output buffering, session management, and a more comprehensive extension API greatly enhanced its capabilities.

With this version, PHP’s status as a vital tool for building dynamic websites that update or change without a hitch was cemented as its popularity skyrocketed.

In the next section, we will delve into additional details about the subsequent version of PHP 5.


PHP 5, launched in 2004 and was a big step up. It brought in Zend Engine II with a new way to handle objects and made PHP faster and safer.

This version focused on making PHP good at object-oriented programming (OOP), which means PHP could do more things and let people build bigger, better, and easier to fix apps.

Let’s move onto the following PHP version, which is PHP 7 in the section below.


PHP continued to expand and change. The release of PHP 7 in 2015 was highly anticipated. It greatly improved the speed and usability of PHP.

You could now specify to PHP the kind of data you were working with (text or numbers), find errors more quickly, and take advantage of nifty new tools and shortcuts that made writing easier.

Anyway, let’s summarize.

Wrapping Up

In this tutorial, we explored the history of PHP

PHP has gone a long way since its inception in 1994. Rasmus Lerdorf was the person who created it back then. He wanted to keep track of who visited his website. This modest notion grew into something much bigger, known as PHP/FI, which was PHP’s initial step.

PHP improved gradually over time. In 1995, it could interact with databases, which was useful for having websites do more. Then, in 1998, PHP 3 was released, and it became widely popular across the world. This version was quicker and more capable due to something known as the Zend Engine.

Fast forward to 2000, PHP 4 arrived. It was even better and made websites work smoothly. It could remember users and had new tools for developers.

PHP did not end there. PHP 5 debuted in 2004 with new programming methods that improved speed and security. Then, in 2015, PHP 7 arrived, making things far quicker and more user-friendly.

Each version of PHP strengthened and improved its suitability for website development. It’s fascinating to see how PHP evolved from a simple tool to one that drives so many websites today. So, let’s keep studying and see what happens next with PHP!

Thank you for reading. Happy Coding!