Long time ago, I’ve been searching for ways to secure my PHP code on hosting server or code installed on client’s server. As like compiled language such as C++ or VB, you can easily compile it as executable file (.exe) and you do not have to hand in your source code.
As for PHP, you can also do this by having additional code to encrypt your PHP code. Some of the softwares are
But as usual, there always smarter people than smart people. We can only do what we can. Encrpyted code is better than unencrypted one. At least more work needed to hack the code.