PHP, which nowadays stands for the recursive acronym: "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor", was first created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish-Canadian programmer. Over time, Lerdorf added more functionality to the language and released it as "Personal Home Page Tools" (PHP Tools) in 1995. Other developers began to use the language and contribute to its development. The most recent stable version of PHP is 8.2, which was released in December 08, 2022.
PHP is a server-side programming language commonly used for web development. It stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is open-source, meaning that it is free to use and modify. PHP can be embedded into HTML code and can interact with a variety of databases, making it a popular choice for creating dynamic websites and web applications. It is also supported by many web servers and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
To start learning PHP, you should have a basic understanding of the following:
HTML and CSS: These are the building blocks of web development and are used to create the structure and layout of a website.
Understanding of basic programming concepts: This includes understanding variables, loops, functions, and conditional statements.
A text editor: You will need a text editor to write and edit your PHP code. Some popular choices include Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, Atom, and Notepad++.
A web server: PHP is a server-side language and needs a web server to run. You can use a local web server such as XAMPP or WAMP for testing and development.
Familiarity with databases: PHP can be used to interact with databases such as MySQL, and it will be helpful to have some understanding of SQL and database management.
Although, not all of the above are mandatory and you can learn php with the help of online tutorials and practice.
Why is PHP Popular?
PHP is popular because it is a server-side scripting language that is well-suited for web development. It is easy to learn and use, and it has a large community of developers who contribute to its development and provide support. PHP syntax is heavily influenced by the C programming language. It uses many of the same constructs. Additionally, it can be used in conjunction with a variety of databases and web frameworks, making it a versatile choice for building dynamic websites and web applications. PHP has several characteristics that make it a popular choice for web development:
- Server-side Scripting
- Cross-platform Compatibility
- High Performance
Common uses of PHP
PHP is a versatile language that can be used for a wide variety of tasks, some of the most common uses include:
Web Development: PHP is particularly well-suited for building dynamic websites and web applications. It can be used in conjunction with a variety of web frameworks and templates, making it easy to create complex, interactive websites.
Server-side scripting: PHP can be used to create scripts that run on the server. These scripts can perform a variety of tasks, such as connecting to a database, performing calculations, or generating dynamic content.
Content Management Systems: Many popular Content Management Systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are built on PHP.
E-commerce: PHP is a popular choice for building e-commerce websites, as it can be used to create shopping carts, manage inventory, and process payments.
Database Interactions: PHP can be used to interact with a variety of databases, such as MySQL, MariaDB, and MongoDB. This makes it a popular choice for building web applications that require database functionalities.
Web Services: PHP can be used to create web services, which allow different applications to communicate with each other over the internet.
Sending emails: PHP has built-in functions that allow for easy sending of emails from a web application, which can be useful for sending notifications, confirmations, and other types of automated messages.
Data Processing: PHP can be used to process large amounts of data and perform data analysis.
These are just a few examples of the many ways that PHP can be used. The flexibility of the language means that it can be used to build a wide variety of web applications and websites.
A PHP script typically starts with the opening tag
<?php and ends with the closing tag
echo "Welcome to PHP Introduction!";
In this script, the
echo function is used to output the string "Welcome to PHP Introduction!" to the browser.
PHP is often embedded within HTML code to create dynamic web pages. This means that PHP code is interspersed with HTML code, allowing for the creation of pages that change based on user input, database data or other factors. For example, consider the following HTML code that includes a PHP script:
<p><?php echo "Welcome to PHP Introduction!";?></p>
In this example, the PHP script
<?php echo "Welcome to PHP Introduction!";?> is embedded within the HTML
<p> tag. When the page is loaded, the PHP script is executed and
Welcome to PHP Introduction! is displayed on the page.
Here are a few websites that provide excellent resources for learning and staying up-to-date with PHP:
PHP.net: This is the official website for PHP, and it provides a comprehensive reference for the language, including the latest documentation, examples, and downloads.
W3Schools: This website provides a wide range of tutorials, examples, and references for PHP and other web technologies.
Codecademy: This is a popular platform for learning to code, and it offers a course on PHP that covers the basics of the language and how to use it to build dynamic websites.
PHP The Right Way: This website provides a collection of best practices and guidelines for writing PHP code, as well as links to other resources for learning the language.
Laravel: Laravel is a popular PHP framework for web development, and it has a large community of users and developers who provide resources and support for using the framework.
PHP Reddit: The PHP subreddit is a community of PHP developers who discuss the language and share resources and tips for working with it.
PHP Weekly: This is a weekly newsletter that provides updates on the latest developments in the PHP community, including new releases, articles, and events.