Yes, you can definitely hide/encode/encrypt the php source code and ‘others’ can install it on their machine. You could use the below tools to achieve the same.
But these ‘others’ can also decode/decrypt the source code using other tools and services found online. So you cannot 100% protect your code, what you can do is, make it tougher for someone to reverse engineer your code.
Most of these tools above support Encoding and Obfuscating.
- Encoding will hide your code by encrypting it.
- Obfuscating will make your code difficult to understand.
You can choose to use both (Encoding and Obfuscating) or either one, depending on your needs.