PHP is a computer programming language used to create dynamic and interactive websites. WordPress is written in PHP. It is also an open source language.
PHP runs on the server side, where the website is hosted. When a user requests a page that contains PHP code, this code is executed by the PHP module installed on the server and then generates an HTML display on the user's browser screen.
The main advantages of PHP are:
- It is fast. The execution times are very efficient;
- It handles SQL queries well and can communicate with almost all database management systems (Oracle, MySQL, Postgresql, SQLServer, Access, etc.);
- PHP platforms are very stable when properly set-up;
- It was developed by Open Source pioneers, and benefits from a very large community of users who help each other on numerous forums;
- It is free of charge.
A WordPress user does not need to learn PHP to manage a website.
However, if you want to develop themes, plugins, or change the default behavior of WordPress, then you will need to learn basic PHP syntax, as well as HTML and CSS.