What is the perception (and value) of PHP in the marketplace today?

PHP is not any more "free" than other languages, if you want to create a website without a framework in Node, Python, etc then you can. And if we are talking "free" then most languages actually give you the freedom to do much more (without writing everything from scratch or trying to knock a round peg into a square hole), because they are commonly used in more areas than simply the backend of sites/apps.

As for the web, PHP is a perfectly decent option, but it doesn't beat any other language for it these days. Every language you mention, plus numerous others (Ruby, Elixir, Go, etc) have excellent options / frameworks for building the backend of sites/apps.

But then most of them have other benefits be it performance, more mature, more battletested features like concurrency (or simply vastly superior in that area like Elixir). Or other uses that make those languages attractive to companies such as JS being used on the frontend and for mobile apps, or with Python being used for machine learnin, data science, tolling, etc.

The only aspect where PHP is king is for freelance web devs where PHP is a much, much more common choice to be used for smaller projects (massively helped by things like Wordpress) that have the type of work that a typical freelancer can do.

/r/PHP Thread Parent