php for web development

What is PHP ?

According to the Site "PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.

PHP is a server scripting language for creating dynamic Web pages.

Taken directyle from the php Site "What distinguishes PHP from something like client-side JavaScript is that the code is executed on the server, generating HTML which is then sent to the client". The client would receive the results of running that script, but would not know what the underlying code was. You can even configure your web server to process all your HTML files with PHP, and then there's really no way that users can tell what you have up your sleeve.

PHP can be used on all major operating systems, including Linux, many Unix variants (including HP-UX, Solaris and OpenBSD), Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, RISC OS, and probably others. PHP has also support for most of the web servers today.
This includes Apache, IIS, and many others. And this includes any web server that can utilize the FastCGI PHP binary, like lighttpd and nginx. PHP works as either a module, or as a CGI processor. So with PHP, you have the freedom of choosing an operating system and a web server. Furthermore, you also have the choice of using procedural programming orobject oriented programming (OOP), or a mixture of them both."

What you need to know before starting to learn PHP

Before starting to learn PHP it is important that you have a basic understanding and experience in the following:

  1. Basic knowledge of HTML
  2. Basic programming knowledge - This isn't must, but if you have any programming experience it will make learning PHP a lot easier.

Some important facts about PHP

  • PHP is used by over 244M sites, 2.1M IP addresses and 1 million servers ⇒
  • PHP supports both procedural programming and object oriented programming.
  • PHP is amazingly flexible and allows you do crazy but useful things like passing functions as parameters and invoking object methods named dynamically.
  • PHP has support for a wide range of databases
  • PHP is completely free - you do not have to pay anything to use it and the source code is always available. You can download it on
  • Any developer can extend the language if required.
  • PHP runs on all popular operating systems and web servers.
  • PHP has been around for over 18 years and have been consistently supported, extended and enhanced. Rasmus Lerdorf wrote the original version of PHP in 1995 - for a full history ⇒ read more


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