PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages. It is among one of the first developed server-side scripting languages to be embedded into an HTML source document, rather than calling an external file to process data. Ultimately, the code is interpreted by a Web server with a PHP processor module which generates the resulting Web page. It also has evolved to include a command-line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. PHP can be deployed on most Web servers and also as a standalone shell on almost every operating system and platform free of charge. A competitor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) server-side script engine and similar languages, PHP is installed on more than 20 million Web sites and 1 million Web servers.
PHP on Wikipedia