PHP for beginners

Posted by Andor on Jan 10, 2018, in Programming


PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and it is a widely-used, powerful server-side open source scripting language for writing potentially originated web pages. Rasmus Lerdorf created it originally in the year 1994 and now The PHP Group produces the PHP reference implementation. However, originally PHP stood for Personal Home Page but it is now known as Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP could be meshed with various famous databases that even include Sybase, Oracle, MySQL, Informix, Microsoft SQL Server and PostgreSQL. It can be implanted within standard HTML web pages. 

What can be done with PHP?

There are plenty of things you could do with PHP:

  • Dynamic pages and files can be generated
  • Files can be created, opened, read, write as well as closed on the server
  • Data can be collected from a web form like user information, credit card, email information and many more
  • Users of your website can be send emails
  • Cookies can be send and received for tracking the visitor of your website
  • Unauthorized access can be restricted to your website
  • Information in your database can be stored, deleted and modified
  • and much more

What you will need?

To use PHP, you need to insert PHP code inside the HTML which makes up the website. While a client will visit a web page which consists of this code, your server will execute it. This is the reason that you have to install your own server for testing PHP locally. Here, the server is the brain, not the browser. Users would not require any special plug-ins or something to view your PHP in action as this gets to the end user like a customary old-fashioned HTML. 

PHP is a script language as HTML. It means that there is no need to compile the code prior to getting used. It will get processed on the fly as required. However, before digging in it, you must be aware of a site known as PHP.net. It is the control center of PHP that is an open source language, having wide reference material about language along with tips sent in by users worldwide. PHP.net possesses outstanding, deep information about the language but it could be little bit cryptic for beginners. 

So, you would be installing a server on your own machine for testing your PHP scripts locally. You could install the WampServer for Windows machines for having one Localhost machine. However, if you use a Mac, you could install MAMP. If you are having space on a web server that supports PHP, you could even test your PHP there. But it is a type of pain as it means you will have to FTP your file or telnet each time you wish to modify something. For users of non-windows:

Linux Users

There are few sites available for helping users of Linux get up and run with the Apache server as well as PHP. There is unfortunately no easier way as is present for users of Mac and Windows. It is best to Google your distro with : Lamp + Ubuntu or Lamp + Debian. 

Apple Users

For users of Apple, MAMP is pretty good. It will be installing everything you require for this course as Wampserver. You are getting the server Apache up and running in order to run PHP scripts offline. You need to provide special attention to the place files are stored and even to the address of ‘localhost’.