What Does a PHP Developer Do? (Responsibilities and Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 January 2023

Published 15 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a computer language used to develop dynamic and interactive websites. Apart from websites, a PHP developer also develops programmes and applications using clean and well-designed code. A PHP developer usually creates backend components and ensures stability and performance of the code, which requires great attention to detail. In this article, we discuss what a PHP developer does, list the skills required to become a good PHP developer and find out how much they can earn on average.

What does a PHP developer do?

PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language used to create websites or applications that can help a business boost its online presence. A PHP developer can use a range of web development languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript to build interactive portals that meet the specific needs of users. They also troubleshoot errors in the code alongside managing databases and the security of the programmes. A PHP developer also helps develop a highly functional Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that can reinforce both graphical user interface (GUI) and non-GUI applications.

Key responsibilities of a PHP developer

PHP developers contribute to all stages of the product life cycle development and may undertake tasks such as:

  • develop layout and design of websites, programmes and applications

  • create reusable, effective and scalable PHP code

  • understand how web applications work, including security and session management

  • develop plugins and extensions

  • perform maintenance of the code and enhance it

  • define and maintain a database

  • integrate payment gateways on e-commerce portals

  • work with Application Program Interface (API)

  • assist frontend developers with code integration

  • liaise with the User Experience (UX) team

  • formulate internal coding standards

  • integrate data storage solutions

  • possess knowledge of common web server exploits

  • develop a workflow for projects

Related: PHP Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Common uses of PHP

Apart from creating websites and applications, here are some other ways in which developers use PHP:

  • Databases: Scripting in PHP can be used to establish a connection with a database and retrieve or send information to the database.

  • User authentication: PHP scripting can be used to store and retrieve usernames and passwords and authenticate users who use a protected section of a website or an application.

  • Real-time applications: PHP can support real-time actions of the users on the websites and applications hosting programmes such as games and chats.

  • Website themes: PHP is a flexible language that can be used to script a theme that can provide more features and functions than using a basic combination of HTML and CSS.

  • Website plugins: Some popular plugins that employ PHP include SEO tools, anti-spam plugins, comment plugins, social sharing plugins and content scheduling.

  • Graphical operations: Developers can use PHP script for backend graphics operations that can include the ability to create, resize and compress images for faster loading speeds.

Technical skills required to become a PHP developer

For PHP developers to enjoy a rewarding career, they may require knowledge and technical skills such as:

HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Developers can use PHP to create HTML, JavaScript and CSS codes. HTML gives a basic structure to a website whereas JavaScript and CSS can further enhance it. PHP collects and processes the information needed to develop web pages in HTML and JavaScript then sends the code to browsers that users use to access the web pages. Knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript can equip you with the know-how of different coding languages working together on websites.

PHP frameworks

A PHP framework serves as a platform on which PHP developers can develop web applications. These frameworks offer libraries of code for commonly used functions. Using these libraries can save a lot of time for PHP developers as it eliminates the need to write the code manually. Possessing the knowledge of various PHP frameworks can help you get rid of redundancy leading to efficiency and accuracy of the code.

Database languages

Database languages can help a PHP developer define and manipulate a database. A database language consists of two languages. Data Definition Language (DDL) is used to build a database, and Data Manipulation Language (DML) is used to access a database. Learning database languages can help a PHP developer create, update and maintain databases.

Web servers

A web server is a collaboration of software and hardware deployed together to run a website. A web server's main objective is to store, process and deliver web pages when requested by the user using a web browser. The browser makes a request to a web server to communicate with PHP scripts. This communication takes place using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Knowledge of web servers can give PHP developers a strong server-side PHP experience.

Content management systems

A content management system, commonly known as CMS, is an application to manage the content of a website. It enables individuals and teams to create, publish and modify content on the website. Developers have created some of the best content management systems based on PHP. Knowledge of CMS can help a PHP developer create responsive plug-ins for the CMS and gain knowledge of backend publishing programmes.

Graphic design software

Graphic design tools allow you to create appealing design elements and illustrations. A PHP developer can use graphics on websites or applications for devices to make them visually attractive. They can use graphic designing skills to integrate design elements with the PHP scripts and single-handedly create all the components of a website or an application. Knowledge and experience with graphic design can help PHP developers earn higher salaries and undertaken end-to-end freelance projects.

Related: What Is a Graphic Designer? And How You Can Become One

Salary and career scope of a PHP developer

The national average salary of a PHP developer is ₹22,605 per month, with the salary of a PHP developer in Gurgaon, Haryana being the highest at ₹28,016 per month. PHP developers are in high demand due to the increasing digital-first approach adopted by businesses across industries. Organisations in all verticals are marking their online presence using a website or an application for mobile devices. From social media platforms to e-commerce websites and mobile applications, the requirement of a PHP developer remains essential to delivering a smooth functioning online portal.

Here is a list of few industries where PHP developers are in high demand:

  • information technology

  • retail

  • fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)

  • telecom

  • banking

  • media and broadcast

  • manufacturing

  • energy

  • real estate

  • logistics

Related: Computer Skills: Definition and Example

Careers with skills and roles similar to PHP developers

There are many careers with similar skills and qualifications as that of PHP developers that can be attractive options as well:

1. Backend developer

National average salary: ₹7,07,327 per year

Primary duties: Backend developers are server-side programmers who focus on databases, scripting and the architecture of a website. They write high-quality code to build and maintain websites and applications. A backend developer also assesses the efficiency of the code and debugs it in order to troubleshoot errors.

2. Java developer

National average salary: ₹6,63,926 per year

Primary duties: A Java developer works on the design, development and management of applications based on Java. They may collaborate with software engineers and web developers to integrate Java into an application, software or website. They may also test and maintain application software for a hassle-free user experience.

Related: How To Become A JavaScript Developer: A Step-By-Step Guide

3. Full-stack developer

National average salary: ₹7,38,687 per year

Primary duties: A full stack developer focuses on complete web development and is equally proficient in managing frontend and backend operations. They use a range of programming languages to handle the work of databases, servers and systems engineering. A full-stack developer is also adept at user experience and visual design.

4. Frontend developer

National average salary: ₹6,12,227 per year

Primary duties: Frontend developers are client-side programmers who use various languages to ensure that the users are able to easily interact with the websites. They employ design and programming to create a graphical user interface that users can interact with. They use HTML, JavaScript or CSS to code various design elements like buttons, internal links and images.

5. Software engineer

National average salary: ₹44,744 per month

Primary duties: Software engineers use a variety of programming languages to design and build software using principles of engineering. They can build software for the end-user or make applications for various operating systems used in computers and mobile devices. A software engineer also tests the end-user software and updates it to ensure its maintenance.

Related: What Is a Full Stack Developer? Benefits and Career Advice

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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