Introduction to PHP

PHP is one of the most widely used server side scripting language for web development. Popular websites like Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia etc, and our very own Studytonight, are developed using PHP.

PHP is so popular because it's very simple to learn, code and deploy on server, hence it has been the first choice for beginners since decades.

In this tutorial series we will be covering all the important concepts of Php language from basics to advanced and will also share some ready-to-use, useful code sinppets for beginners to kickstart their web development project.


What is PHP?

PHP stands for Hypertext Pre-Processor. PHP is a scripting language used to develop static and dynamic webpages and web applications. Here are a few important things you must know about PHP:

  1. PHP is an Interpreted language, hence it doesn't need a compiler.
  2. To run and execute PHP code, we need a Web server on which PHP must be installed.
  3. PHP is a server side scripting language, which means that PHP is executed on the server and the result is sent to the browser in plain HTML.
  4. PHP is open source and free.

Prerequisite for starting with PHP

Although we will cover all the concepts related to PHP in this tutorial series, but you must have a basic understanding of HTML before starting with this tutorial.

You can learn HTML using our HTML Interactive Course, which is also available in Hindi Language.


Is PHP the right language?

If you are still confused about whether you should learn PHP or is PHP the right language for your web project, then here we have listed down some of the features and usecases of PHP language, which will help you understand how simple yet powerful PHP scripting language is and why you should learn it.

  1. PHP is open source and free, hence you can freely download, install and start developing using it.
  2. PHP has a very simple and easy to understand syntax, hence the learning curve is smaller as compared to other scripting languages like JSP, ASP etc.
  3. PHP is cross platform, hence you can easily develop and move/deploy your PHP code/project to almost all the major operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OSX etc.
  4. All the popular web hosting services support PHP. Also the web hosting plans for PHP are generally the amongst the cheapest plans becasue of its popularity.
  5. Popular Content Management Systems like Joomla, Drupal etc are developed in PHP and if you want to start your own website like Studytonight, you can easily do that with PHP.
  6. With PHP, you can create static and dynamic webpages, perform file handling operations, send emails, access and modify browser cookies, and almost everything else that you might want to implement in your web project.
  7. PHP is fast as compared to other scripting languages like JSP and ASP.
  8. PHP has in-built support for MySQL, which is one of the most widely used Database management system.

These are some of the main features of PHP, while as you will learn the language you will realise that apart from these features,


Uses of PHP

To further fortify your trust in PHP, here are a few applications of this amazing scripting language:

  1. It can be used to create Web applications like Social Networks(Facebook, Digg), Blogs(Wordpress, Joomla), eCommerce websites(OpenCart, Magento etc.) etc.
  2. Comman Line Scripting. You can write PHP scripts to perform different operations on any machine, all you need is a PHP parser for this.
  3. Create Facebook applications and easily integrate Facebook plugins in your website, using Facebook's PHP SDK. Check this link for more information.
  4. Sending Emails or building email applications because PHP provides with a robust email sending function.
  5. Wordpress is one of the most used blogging(CMS) platform in the World, and if you know PHP, you can try a hand in Wordpress plugin development.