Despite all hatred - and let's face it, PHP is a really strange phenomenon - this is why PHP continues to thrive. The PHP community gets from A to B by the most bizar reroutes across Z, Mary Poppins and f(x)=x^2e^x-2. PHP is a fractal of bad design, but they always seem to focus on the next issue that's simply in the way of getting the next real world job done. I've written a post on that a few weeks ago.
Them checking the performance of Wordpress (one of the large popular CMSes out there, with a really shitty architecture ... like most of its kind) as a benchmark for the foundation of a VM show how 'fast result' oriented the PHP community is. The idea itself of testing like this would seem insane to any serious developer, AFAICT.
Point in case for PHPs insanity that always seems to work out in a strange way:
I've fought it for over 12 years, but now I've finally given in and am working myself into Typo3, a big-league player in the world of PHP Web CMSes. Let me tell you: If you think Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla have an architecture that was designed by chimpansees (I should now, I've deployed Drupal and Joomla professionally and was on the Joomla Bugsquad), Typo3s has one that was designed by amobeas. With TypoScript - the T3 template and config language - they've got the textbook example of an inner platform (think PHP but non-turing complete for configuration and with magic numbers ... sort of like line-numbers, but not quite ... its really crazy ...). If PHP is a fractal of bad design, Typo3 classic is that ^2. It's very difficult to describe, you have to experience it for yourself to fully understand. It's like taking the red and the blue pill at the same time. Seriously.
Anyway, I'm veering off. The point is:
Knowing Typo3 is basically job security galore for any web developer in Germany. Period. I've agreed to dive into T3 and am right now scoring more than 60 Euros an hour. Being able to edit templates in the CMS Admin area isn't bad either. ... Although TypoScript is one of the strangest things I've seen in my 28 years of computing, I have to admit. Think of Typo3 as the Vi and Emacs of CMSes, all rolled into one. Yet there are over 2000 official Typo3 agencies here in Germany. Being an online agency basically means being a Typo3 agency over here. What do you say, it's what people want. T3 is a household brand, it has an official association, a neat website and the vibe of "big, complicated and professional" all over it. The customers want it, and they're willing to pay for deployment in T3. Who am I to complain?
PHP is bad, and nobody cares. Its barrier of entry is basically non-existant, security issues be damned, and they have a slew of pointy-clicky stuff for the peddlers to sell to end-customers. All for free. The most succesful FOSS projects are written in it and if the PHP crew are going to stick to their crazy "make it work, then make it beautiful" approach, it's probably going to stay that way for a long time.
My 2 cents.