An Introduction to PHP for Beginners

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor)is a server-side scripting language designed for web development, but it is also used as a general purpose programming language.

PHP is seen by many as one of the older programming languages. However, it is worth noting that there is still enormous developmental influence with PHP. Even today, it is still among the top ten popular languages. Just consider the fact that PHP is used by two giants of the internet- the ubiquitous Facebook and WordPress.

If you want to improve your basic PHP skills, w3schools, offer an introductory course for the novice coder, although if you wish to take your journey more seriously, more professional options are available to up-and-coming coders.

PHP is often described as being fast, flexible, and pragmatic. As a general-purpose scripting language, it is suitable for website design. However, as is the case with many of the older programming languages, time catches up, and competitive, more suitably designed, languages demand more attention.

What PHP can do

  • It can generate dynamic page content.
  • Is a widely available, open-source technology.
  • Can facilitate interactive features.
  • Lets you create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server.
  • Allows you to collect form data.
  • Can send and receive cookies.
  • Add, delete, or modify data in your database.
  • Restrict the access of users to specified pages on your website.
  • Encrypt data.
  • PHP can be used on almost every operating system and platform, free of charge.

Works well with other languages

PHP can be used in collaboration with HTML, as well as being used alongside templating engines or web frameworks. Some languages can be incredibly difficult in how they work together alongside a secondary language. The flexibility of PHP to work with other coding languages, particularly such popular markup languages as HTML, is so valuable.

Today’s developers write code in many different languages, so there is always the chance of code being lost in translation. Some programming languages simply don’t play well with others, and it inevitably leads to extra effort and stress for the coder. PHP code is generally interpreted by the Zend Engine, which can be imagined as a translator between the inputted back-end code, and the front-end interface. The fact that PHP and HTML can be used interchangeably within the page allows for the smooth interaction between code. This is an attribute valued highly by many coders who use the two languages symbiotically.

Like all things in the world of technology, PHP is constantly evolving and diversifying. So too are most coding languages. Even if PHP isn’t the language you wish to learn, it is worth having a basic understanding of it.

Basic Code for Free

Learning a new coding language can be intimidating, but a great way to start is with the basics. Code Institute offers a free 5 Day Coding Challenge that will teach you the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. After one hour a day, over five days, you’ll build your first webpage. You can register for that through the form below.

Alternatively, if you want to learn full-stack development, click here to find out about our Diploma in Full-Stack Software Development.

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