Which one works best?
Are you a newbie in the PHP language? If you are, for sure you have encountered two kinds of PHP approaches programmers use nowadays: the procedural and the object oriented (OO). Different experienced programmers have already used both approaches, and most probably they would recommend only one kind of PHP approach to you. There are some who would say that it’s best to stick with the traditional procedural, while others would say that OO is much better to use. It can be quite confusing as to which approach to follow, but in order to make a choice, you must first know the pros and cons of using procedural and OO PHP.
For novice programmers, procedural PHP is probably the first PHP practice you will be exposed to. It’s because it’s the approach almost every programmer knows how to use, and its traditional tenets have already been established and easy to learn. Most web pages operate in a procedural manner, i.e. this tag, then this tag, then this tag, and so on. Using procedural PHP code with HTML is rather straightforward unlike OO, and programmers are given more space and freedom to create their own styles using the procedural approach.
Procedural PHP works heavily on the performance behind the code, thus programmers tend to come up with codes only they can understand. This is one of the major disadvantages of procedural PHP; in the effort to make things faster and more efficient, you create codes that cannot be used by anyone else, unless they get to figure what the codes are. Procedural PHP is also quite difficult to maintain, extend and distribute, unlike OO.
On the other hand, object oriented PHP or OO, are more inclined to work on the front lines of the programming world. In OO, you do not really have to think about the performance behind your creation, since you’re doing it for the sake of eye candy. Moreover, OO PHP is easier to distribute and maintain, since its main goal is to be placed anywhere and everywhere in the web. If you plan more on taking a career on web design and documentation, then OO PHP is for you.
OO also showcases productivity. Unlike the repetitive process of procedural PHP, you can actually skip this process due the creation of class files are more organized and reusable. Thus, you do save time and have more space to customize the codes you have created. OO PHP works best when you have to use complex functions in your project, when you plan to use the same code in future projects, as well as when you can’t run certain functions more than once on a page without logical errors.
You can find a lot of skins, and other fancy designs that operate behind OO PHP, mainly because the said approach focuses more on the look and feel of the object, rather than its performance. Packages such as Smarty and FPDF use object oriented PHP, so if you’re about to use these programs, then OO is the approach you should follow.
Meanwhile, for fast-working programmers who divulge more on the functionality and performance of the codes, then procedural programming is the one for them. You can actually find them using programs such as osCommerce and phpMyAdmin.
Choosing between procedural and object oriented PHP depends on your needs and tasks as a programmer. If your work inclines you to do more on performance, effectiveness and functionality of codes when it comes to programming, then procedural programming could cater to your needs. If you on the other hand would want to explore more on the abstract and creative side of programming, then you may as well work on object oriented programming.