What is PHP and what is it used for?

PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development.

One of the main features of PHP is that it can be embedded into HTML, and can interchange between PHP and HTML.  PHP scripts always execute on the server, so users really have no way of accessing or viewing the PHP scripts.
PHP has a powerful and comprehensive list of built-in Functions that deal with arrays, calender time and date, filesystems, ftp, mail, math, databases, etc.. One of the best aspects of PHP is its wide support of databases, and supportive functions.
Usually websites are downloaded from a server apon the initial request, and all remaining operations and navigation occur within the user's browser. Others can run entirely on the server, sending web site pages to the user's browser when necessary. The PHP scripts build each page and fill it with the content required directly from a database on the same server.
One of the most popular databases used is MySQL, having easy commands to lift data in any combination.
Most of the popular Content Management Systems (CMS) use PHP and MySQL at the core of their operations.

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