Is PHP an Object Oriented Programming?


Angela Bailey

Is PHP an Object Oriented Programming?

When it comes to programming languages, there are often debates about whether they are object-oriented or not. PHP, which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a widely used scripting language primarily designed for web development.

But is PHP an object-oriented programming language? Let’s dive into this topic and find out.

Understanding Object-Oriented Programming

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that organizes data and behaviors into reusable structures called objects. These objects contain data in the form of properties or attributes and behavior in the form of methods or functions. OOP promotes code reusability, modularity, and scalability.

In an object-oriented programming language, you can create classes that serve as blueprints for creating objects. These classes define the properties and methods that each object of that class will possess. Objects can interact with each other through defined interfaces, making it easier to manage complex systems.

The Evolution of PHP

PHP was initially developed as a procedural scripting language for web development tasks such as generating dynamic web pages. However, over time, PHP has evolved to include support for object-oriented programming.

PHP 4 introduced basic support for OOP by adding features like classes, objects, and inheritance. However, it lacked some advanced features commonly found in other fully-fledged OOP languages.

In PHP 5, significant improvements were made to the language’s object-oriented capabilities. It introduced concepts like visibility (public, protected, private), abstract classes, interfaces, and more robust inheritance mechanisms.

Object-Oriented Features in PHP


PHP supports single inheritance through the ‘extends’ keyword. A class can inherit properties and methods from another class, forming a hierarchy of classes.


PHP allows you to encapsulate data and behaviors within classes. You can use access modifiers like public, protected, and private to control the visibility of properties and methods.


PHP supports polymorphism through method overriding and interfaces. Method overriding allows a subclass to provide a different implementation of a method already defined in its parent class. Interfaces define a contract that classes can implement, enabling polymorphic behavior.

  • Example:

class Animal {
public function makeSound() {
echo “Animal makes sound”;

class Dog extends Animal {
public function makeSound() {
echo “Dog barks”;

$animal = new Animal();
$dog = new Dog();

$animal->makeSound(); // Output: “Animal makes sound”
$dog->makeSound(); // Output: “Dog barks”


You can achieve abstraction in PHP through abstract classes and interfaces. Abstract classes can define abstract methods that must be implemented by any concrete class extending them. Interfaces specify a contract that implementing classes must adhere to.


So, is PHP an object-oriented programming language? The answer is yes.

While PHP started as primarily a procedural language, it has evolved to include robust object-oriented features. PHP’s object-oriented capabilities provide developers with the flexibility and modularity necessary for building complex web applications.

If you’re just starting with PHP or want to transition from procedural programming to OOP, understanding these concepts will allow you to write more organized and maintainable code.

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