Well, maybe not “completely” dead. But PHP still has a lot of kick left, and it might make a comeback any time.
PHP gets a bad reputation
PHP is a server-side application based on pre-processor interpreter which processes commands during operation to provide output HTML, which is simple to understand. Sometimes people do expect too much from it, and try to build mega-scale infrastructure around it. Then, when the code gets too complex and processing takes lots of time and power, they will start whining.
However, I try to look at it from a different side. PHP is amazing for prototypes and first apps. It is easy enough to learn and capable enough to be used professionally. Implementation of scripts, functions and data structures is really quick. Mark Zuckerberg used PHP to write Facebook in 2005, and look where he is now.
Does Facebook still depend on PHP? No.
Would Facebook have been possible without PHP? Maybe.
But still, a platform that allowed a college student to build his own billion-dollar empire should not be disregarded as if it is completely useless.
WordPress and PHP
WordPress is treated like a demonic application by the web dev community. There are some selfish reasons hidden behind, mainly one that it makes web development look easy, thus undermining the hours of effort that it takes to perfect simple animations on custom-built websites by providing an overwhelming library of assets.
Secondly, it is kind-of hard to manipulate around, and tools like Woo-Commerce make it seem as if WordPress is the first tool for selling stuff online, which makes it hard to find out exactly when to transition from WordPress to a fully-integrated online system.
Still, WordPress is amazing when people use it for what it is actually meant to. Blogger? Advertiser? Personal Portfolio? Photography Gallery? WordPress provides a one-stop solution for these users, and more.
There are security implementations such as password-protected pages and search restrictions. Admin-Editor controls are there if you want to grant limited access to a second user, and there are many hidden perks that come as a part of being one of the best and polished open-source endeavours.\