All big languages that we use today have their history. PHP has had many reputations over the years, but being insecure as a language never really was one of them.
PHP as a language is really vast. It has its own story and has traveled many reputations over a period of time. There were phases when PHP was criticized for various updates and doubtful ventures. But then updates came in followed by lots of research and optimizations to make it slash all the limitations that were there and this kept happening at trial and error level for random updates, making for an ever-steady and resourceful language that we use today.
Till today, what happens majorly is people don't follow the guidelines laid and make themselves suffer to losses and in most creative ways possible. You always need to go by the latest technology has to offer.
It's important you know that PHP updates and enhancements are available for a better opening and reach to web development with all the security you need. You need to take it seriously and avoid messing up, continuing to work with outdated packages and primeval extensions. It's better to invest some of your time learning the latest at your earliest.
Here are the PHP tips, resources, and practices to follow in 2015:
Go with the latest version
Avoid damage to your PHP ecosystem sticking to the legacy support system. Make it a rule of thumb to go with the latest version of PHP no matter which situation or what idea you are working with. Even if you are asked by your client for some specific host or some version, ask him back to refer to such posts and get him rid of the repercussions that would become unavoidable in the future.
Avoid outdated hosts
Search for the host information at a length and look only for the latest option that goes as per your requirement. Go for a VPS, that offers you the privacy you need to avoid going to the shared hosts whose services are susceptible to instability. Instead of trying for shared environments that seem less protective towards your application accommodation and sheltering needs, set up your own server from scratch just having what is perfect for you within your budget helping you to settle with the latest thing available!
Encryption is a must today. It is important not only because you don't want someone to snoop into your website but also to protect your user's interest. Leakage of data and theft of important information are seen a lot these days and this makes it important for you to have Secured Socket Layer implemented even on the simplest of websites.
Secure your PHP
It is highly important for you to secure your PHP by following best practices in password protection, generation, encryption, and validation. You can do this following the instructions from reliable PHP guides like SecuringPHP.
Stay on the right way
With PHP The Right Way (PTRW) you get a great platform to get help for your PHP project meeting modern-day application needs. This is an open platform wherein you can get information on various resources and can find your way to get away with PHP development most easily. Here, in case you find something not placed right you can also contribute to the changes and updates via Github.
Avoid bad packages
About a few months back Symfony came up with a list of vulnerable packages for PHP and implemented it in its latest version to be used by developers. This is a great update to follow if you really care for the future of your project. You could also access and implement it by posting your composer.lock file to their API or the web interface or even the CLI tool and get the project vulnerability checked.
Use Vagrant to run cloned environments in undersized, no-frills, simple virtual machines that do the processing through ports inside the focal machine. This lets you use your host's browser and IDE without facing any lags or interventions. It is also possible to even host virtual machine into a virtual machine and that too with all the safety required. Refer to the help from Vagrant tutorials and explanations and you will be able to do this all most easily.