How to Learn PHP

By | April 3, 2019

PHP was initially stood for Personal Home Page but after some years it is changed into Hypertext Pre Processor which is a general-purpose, an object-oriented programming language designed for web development. PHP is initially designed and developed by Rasmus Lerdorf. PHP codes can be embedded into HTML code, and also can be used with various web frameworks, web template systems, and web content management systems. PHP code uses an interpreter to execute its code that is implemented as a module in a web server or it can be a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) executable also. Zend Engine provides the standard PHP interpreter which is free software under the PHP License.

PHP is the most widely used scripting language which runs on the server. It is an open-source language and free to download and easy to use. Before going with PHP you must have the knowledge about HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is Scripting Language

In the simple terms, a set of programming instructions is called the script which is interpreted at runtime. When these scripts interpret at runtime, it is known as the scripting language. Scripts are usually required other software environments to embedded into.

The main purpose of using the scripts is to enhance the performance or to perform routine tasks for an application.

There are two types of scripts- one is server-side and other client-side. When the scripts are interpreted on the server it is called server-side, while client-side scripts are interpreted by the client application.

PHP is a type of server-side scripting language that is interpreted on the server, while the example of client-side scripting is JavaScript which is interpreted by the client-side browser. PHP and JavaScript, both can be embedded into HTML pages.

Difference between Scripting and Programming Language

Scripting Language Programming Language
In this type of languages, the source code executes without compiling. Source code needs to be compiled before execution of that.
IT supports mostly routine tasks. Programming language supports all tasks which required to develop a complete application.
This is required to embed in the other software environments. This doesn’t need to embed any other languages.

Why PHP is very popular?

PHP is the core of the biggest blogging platform WordPress and it is deep enough to handle the biggest social media platform Facebook.

Here are some of the main reasons why PHP is very popular amongst the developers and programmers or it can say the features that make PHP different from others.

  • PHP is freely available, very simple and easy to learn the language.
  • PHP is an interpreted language that doesn’t need any compilation.
  • PHP supports a large community for help.
  • Regularly updated to keep up to date with the latest technology trends.
  • PHP generates dynamic page content.
  • PHP is also used to send and receive cookies.
  • PHP can design dynamic web pages and collect form data.
  • PHP can perform commands like create, open, read, write, delete, and close on the server for the file.
  • By using PHP, you can perform the operations such as add, delete, modify on your database.
  • PHP is able to encrypt data.
  • PHP has the power to control user access.

PHP Syntax

PHP syntax includes various data types, functions and objects. PHP code starts with <?php and in the end we add ?>. A valid PHP statements always ends with a semicolon (;). PHP files extension is “.php”.

Syntax:

<?php
// Source code here.
?>
PHP Example
<!DOCTYPE>
<html>
<body>
<?php
echo "<h2>Hello by PHP</h2>";
?>
</body>
</html>

Output:

Hello by PHP

Advantages of PHP

Open-Source

PHP is an open source scripting language and freely available for use. Its large community provides support to the PHP developers whenever needed.

Cross-Platform

PHP is highly compatible with all leading operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, Solaris, OpenBSD, etc. PHP also provides support for all major web servers including Apache, iPlanet, IIS, etc.

User-friendly

PHP codes are very easy and user-friendly which gives more flexibility to the developers than other languages. This helps PHP sites to generate more traffic.

Power

Now with the help of PHP, we can easily develop from small websites to giant business and organizational websites, chatting platforms, informative forums, CRM solutions, community websites, e-commerce shopping carts, e-business, gigantic database driven sites, and shopping carts.

Extensions

PHP supports a large number of libraries and extensions, that extend its core functionalities. To include these custom created extensions and components source PHP code can be modified and increase the extensibility.

Quick

PHP is mainly designed for web development and therefore working with HTML and URLs and the things like GET and POST methods are built-ins in PHP. That makes it concise to develop a website.

Security

PHP is a secure language and it helps to prevent malicious attacks.

Easy Development

You can easily make a website by giving a few dollars a month to the hosting companies for a server running PHP.

Automatically Refreshes

Dynamic websites have the feature of automatically refreshes and does not need to make many changes manually. Therefore dynamic websites are in the huge demand.

Big Companies using PHP

Big Companies using PHP

These are some of the names which are using PHP

  • Google (Few of the apps are done using PHP)
  • Yahoo (Lots of apps are done using PHP)
  • Rediff (Many apps are done using PHP)
  • Facebook
  • WordPress
  • Wikipedia
  • MailChimp
  • Tumblr
  • Yahoo!
  • DailyMotion
  • Etsy
  • Slack
  • Intel (Few apps are using PHP)
  • Zynga
  • Flickr
  • Digg

Best ways to learn PHP

In this digital and technical world, if you want to learn PHP now by your own then you can do it. There are so many resources available including online and offline both, by which you will become a successful PHP developer with the regular practice and disciplined learning.

To help you in that, we are providing here the list of online and offline resources from where you can start learning.

Online Resources

e-Books

By Kevin Yank

This book will give you the complete knowledge about how to use PHP as well as MySQL. By using this you will be able to create your database driven website.

By Vikram Vaswani

This book is from the popular Zend engine and most popular for the beginners in PHP.

By Webmonkey

This is the another book for beginners which is by popular resource Webmonkey.

By Paul Hudson

If you are from a programming background, it will be helpful for you. Otherwise, also you can prefer this to learn PHP.

By Andi Gutmans, Stig Bakken and Derick Rethans

PHP Reference Beginner to Intermediate PHP 5

By Mario Lurig

An excellent book with over 250 PHP functions with explanations. Also included the basics of PHP, regular expressions syntax, additional tips, MySQL query examples, and two indexes to help you find information faster.

Video Tutorials

This is a great resource for those who wants to learn something specific in PHP.

This tutorial has the videos of 6 to 22 mins length. This is worthy for beginners.

Derek Banas’s Video tutorial on YouTube is useful if you just need a quick recap. It is not a guide, not a tutorial, not a reference material. Use it for fast recap.

Tutors of this tutorial, Jack Williams and Mike Wieger have the skills required to assist any PHP enthusiast. The concepts are well explained in depth in the tutorials.

  • CodeAcademy Video Tutorials

This academy’s way of explaining the Object Oriented Concepts of PHP is worth to gain knowledge.

Websites

  • PHP Manual7: A comprehensive guide to PHP programming.
  • PHP Tutorial by Tizag: This mainly focuses on the PHP definition, methods, and commands for using.
  • The Learn PHP Tutorial: This is for beginners and consist a big list of downloadable videos that will help you to know the basics of PHP.
  • PHPBuddy: This is designed to help you learn all about PHP programming including online tutorials, articles, and lessons.
  • CodeCourse: This is a PHP academy which has large descriptive content. They have tutorial on their website as well as on YouTube.

Offline Resources

Best books for PHP programming

Professional PHP6

By Ed Lecky Thompson, Steven D. Nowicki, and Thomas Myer

Publisher: Professional PHP6
Amazon: Professional PHP6

A book from Wrox’s Programmer-to-Programmer series, which is always give the best to learn for developers. This book concerning the ins and outs of PHP, including object-oriented ideas and aspects with examples that will transition very well into PHP6 whenever it happens to be released. Classes, iterators, names etc are well explained in the book.

Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites

By Robin Nixon

Publisher: Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites
Amazon: Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites

Are you afraid of MySQL? Never heard of JavaScript? Don’t worry. This book is just to help you in that case. The book is full of examples and step-by-step process to for building dynamic websites.

PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy

By David Powers

Publisher: PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy
Amazon: PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy

This book is for those developers who already know how to use PHP and want to learn more in-depth workings of the language.

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice To Professional

By W. Jason Gilmore

Publisher: Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice To Professional
Amazon: Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice To Professional

This book is a large number of different PHP technologies. The book explains the different ways of using repositories, third-party libraries, ideas, and tools to wrangle all the functionality you can from PHP. Things like email, authentication, and LDAP connectivity are just a few of the things covered in this book.

Head First PHP & MySQL

By Lynn Beighley and Michael Morrison

Publisher: Head First PHP & MySQL
Amazon: Head First PHP & MySQL

A perfect book for beginners to both PHP and programming in general. It is easy and fun-to-read which does an excellent job of communicating basic programming concepts. This is for anyone who is looking to learn how to program in PHP.

Summary

After going through with this complete article, you are now completely aware of what is PHP and how can you easily learn this language. This has so many opportunities to build your career with PHP. You may start learning this language on your own with the help of available mentioned resources here at TechGeekBuzz.

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About Paridhi Joshi

Paridhi Joshi is an expert web content manager with significant experience in content creation. Professionally she is dedicated to staying up to date with the latest trends and technologies in content writing and committed to bringing state-of-the-art web approaches to the workplace. She is an efficient multi-tasker who can complete multiple projects under strict deadlines.

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