PHP maintains an enormous head begin relating to server-side programming languages

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Enlarge / Ruby is the only server-side web language that has seen strong growth over the past decade – and the remaining “threat” to PHP, even though it’s only 6.5% present.

The time-honored web programming language PHP is a common source of complaints and frustration, but it doesn’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon, according to a report by W3Techs released today.

W3Techs Web Server Survey Looks For Technologies Used By Sites In Alexa’s Top 10 Million List; Today’s report includes a year-over-year graph, starting January 2010 through 2021. The survey only includes top sites, not out of elitism but as part of efforts to avoid data-distorting returns from domain parking. Services and spammers that would otherwise be dominated by the sheer number of legitimate websites.

Within this dataset, the story told is clear. Aside from PHP – which had a 72.5 percent share in 2010 and 78.9 percent today – only one other server-side language has ever cracked 10 percent. That one competitor is ASP.NET, which held an impressive stake of 24.4 percent in 2010 but fell to 9.3 percent in January and 8.3 percent this month.

Among the small fry, the only really impressive growth can be seen at Ruby – which is still growing steadily, uninterrupted, at 5.2 percent in the W3Techs poll this month. This may come as a shock if you are primarily familiar with Ruby on Rails, which is still workable in itself but seems to be losing popularity.

Even with the results from W3Techs, there doesn’t seem to be a clear contender PHP to worry about – ASP.NET’s inexorable decline over the years hasn’t generated a significant boost in either PHP or any other single language.

In all likelihood, most of the “disappearing” ASP.NET sites already contained some PHP – which would have resulted in a single site being double counted in W3Techs’ results with little or no impact on the other languages, since ASP.NET services quietly disapprove.

Offer image from PavelVinnik / Getty Images

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