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Top 15 startups built using PHP. Update 2019.

PHP is known for being able to provide different capabilities suitable for a variety of purposes and can easily solve a number of performance issues. Therefore, even 20 years after its first release, PHP powers some of the most frequently visited websites.

The PHP technology is at the core of every successful business, or practically at every. Don’t believe us? Below, we will list the most influential web services every avid Internet user has heard about. So, get comfortable to take a closer look at our list.




First things first, still. PHP is a general-purpose programming language developed to suit the needs of back-end (i.e. server-side) web development. PHP code can be embedded directly in the HTML code of the application.

Since its appearance in 1995, PHP has been one of the most popular programming languages among developers and is constantly being upgraded and improved. There have been seven major versions of the language, with PHP 7 being the latest one at the moment of writing.

At the moment, there are almost 35.5 million websites currently running that are built using PHP, which allows it to beat its competitors easily (ASP.NET is used for 24 million websites, Ruby on Rails – for less than a million).

Why has it gained such popularity among developers? Easily manageable coding, delivering quality outputs fast and cost-efficiently, an array of features along with a wide selection of cool PHP frameworks for developers – these are just some of the reasons why PHP is so often used in the today’s web development era. Besides, the Laravel framework, Symfony 2, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, and Phalcon contribute to PHP’s popularity as well.

PHP is especially popular among startups due to the fact that it’s free to use and can cater to a variety of needs – and this is the combination that suits beginning entrepreneurs the most during app development.

It should be added that there’s also a pretty solid PHP development community, so finding the right PHP solution won’t be a problem for you, no matter which PHP project you are involved in. After all, PHP is an open-source software development solution supported by developers on a voluntary basis – and it wouldn’t have survived for so long if it weren’t for such a vibrant community.


  1. Facebook  Yes, the most famous social media web application was developed primarily using PHP. According to SimilarWeb, Facebook is visited more than 22 billion times per month. So, it definitely has to deal with huge traffic volumes – and PHP helps the website with this. Of course, this pioneering social network app uses other latest technologies as well (like React, GraphQL, and Memcached, to name a few) – but, still, it is PHP that lies at its core. Indeed, at the very beginning, the entire Facebook application code was written in PHP by Zuckerberg and Moskowitz. The front-end is developed using XHP, and HipHop is used for the runtime software development. What is interesting, HipHop was built by Facebook itself for the web application’s needs and went open-source in 2013. 
  2. Yahoo  One of the leading world’s search engines is run by the means of PHP along with the combination of other technologies (like Apache and JavaScript). Interestingly, the company was launched in 1995, the same year as PHP was released. Nowadays, this website is visited more than 4.57 billion times every month, according to SimilarWeb. Apart from the search engine app itself, Yahoo provides a variety of services that are powered by PHP to a certain extent (Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, etc.).
  3. Wikipedia  This free online encyclopedia is developed and edited by volunteers all around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. We wouldn’t be surprised if it’s difficult for you to imagine the Internet without this website – or think of any Internet user who hasn’t read anything on this open-source web platform at least once. This socially important open-source app brilliantly runs on PHP.
  4. WordPress  WordPress is one of the most commonly used free content management systems. It can offer its users thousands of themes and plugins. There can be no doubt that the website is among today’s most popular web publishing company, offering almost endless capabilities for 60+ million websites that are currently using it. PHP and MySQL- these are two core technologies used during development to make this a reality.  
  5. Flickr  Flickr is one of the most famous photos sharing websites currently available, and it is believed to be the best source to find inspiration. Indeed, the web platform has become a boom right after its launch, and millions of people visit it today. By the way, this PHP-powered web app hosts more than 6 billion images and handles more than 3.5 million images being uploaded to the platform every day. Besides PHP, Flickr developers included Java and JavaScript in the development technology stack, among others.
  6. BLABLACAR  This famous social project was founded in France in 2006. It is more than just a carpool web platform – it is a community-focused web application. Today, BlaBlaCar provides its services 60+ million active users from 22 countries where BlaBlaCar is available at the moment. This robust web app is powered by Symfony2, a feature-packed PHP framework.
  7. Spotify  Spotify is a world-renowned music streaming service company loved by 191+ million users in dozens of countries. This freemium web platform allows you to instantly access millions of songs. Can you imagine the traffic volumes it has to deal with? Fortunately, it has a powerful technology stack to do so. Similarly to the previous web app on our list, this one also runs on a PHP framework – Symfony2.
  8. MailChimp  Being the top-rated email marketing app, MailChimp had to be powered by PHP. This trustworthy website comes with a wide selection of features and can automate the whole process of sending bulk emails, starting from creating the letter, filling in email addresses and up to gathering statistical data. Just for the record, the website sends around a billion letters on a daily basis. Currently, the company has millions of customers all around the world.
  9. Tumblr  Tumblr is a web platform where anyone can start their own microblog. As of now, it is visited 537 million times per month, and the web app hosts 450+ million blogs. Needless to say, the load the project deals with on a daily basis is huge. PHP used during development helps it do this quite successfully – in fact, the project runs on the latest PHP 7 to ensure the highest performance.
  10. Baidu It’s not a big issue if you haven’t heard about Baidu before. However, it is the fourth most visited website in the world, according to Alexa rating. Baidu is the Chinese answer to Google – it is a search engine, it offers maps, an online encyclopedia, image search, cloud storage services and a lot more. Using PHP for the backend web development of this website helps the company deal with tremendous traffic volumes, just like in the case of any other website on our list.
  11. iStock  iStock is one of the largest stock exchange websites of graphics (photos, illustrations, etc.). Started in 2000 as iStockPhoto, it is now visited 20+ million times every month (according to SimilarWeb). Furthermore, 500+ thousand new files are uploaded to the website every month. PHP helps iStock remain highly responsive and keep the project’s UX at the top.
  12. Cracked Cracked is one of the good examples of printed outlets adapting to the age of the Internet. The company used to be a humor magazine printed between 1958 and 2007, but now it is a website focused on bringing you entertaining and funny content 24/7. It is visited 15+ million times per month, so PHP comes in handy to handle this traffic volume.
  13. Slack Slack is a messenger mostly used for corporate purposes. The project has to handle 128+ million visits every month, enable not only texting but also sharing images and other files, calls, etc. Slack’s main goal is to make collaboration easy and trouble-free, and PHP used during the back-end development helps it achieve it.
  14. Freepic Freepik is quite similar to iStock that we’ve mentioned above. The company is a freemium marketplace where creators can sell their photos, illustrations, templates, etc. or share them for free. It is no coincidence websites built using PHP have to deal with huge loads of multimedia content – it’s proven its usefulness in keeping the website‘s performance high.
  15. Drupal Last but not least, Drupal has made it onto our list. Drupal itself is a content management system, like WordPress. It is open-source, so the website itself is always lively because of heated discussions among developers and constant news. PHP, in its turn, helps it run smoothly.

Surely, the list of successful websites built using PHP can go on for quite a long time – but we don’t have all the time in the world, unfortunately. There is one thing you have seen for yourself now – PHP powers some of the most popular websites that deal with huge performance challenges daily, and this proves that its potential is definitely worth your attention.

Fancy seeing your company on the top list? Contact Artelogic, a trusted app development company, and our strong PHP developer team will create an awesome PHP-powered product for you.

Do you think that we’ve left any honorable mentions off this list which demonstrate incredible opportunities PHP has to offer websites? Feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section below!