What is PHP?
- PHP is an acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”
- PHP is a widely-used, open source scripting language
- PHP scripts are executed on the server
- PHP is free to download and use
PHP is an amazing and popular language!
It is powerful enough to be at the core of the biggest blogging system on the web (WordPress)!
It is deep enough to run the largest social network (Facebook)!
It is also easy enough to be a beginner’s first server side language!
What is a PHP File?
- PHP code is executed on the server, and the result is returned to the browser as plain HTML
- PHP files have extension “
What Can PHP Do?
- PHP can generate dynamic page content
- PHP can create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server
- PHP can collect form data
- PHP can send and receive cookies
- PHP can add, delete, modify data in your database
- PHP can be used to control user-access
- PHP can encrypt data
With PHP you are not limited to output HTML. You can output images, PDF files, and even Flash movies. You can also output any text, such as XHTML and XML.
- PHP runs on various platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc.)
- PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
- PHP supports a wide range of databases
- PHP is free. Download it from the official PHP resource: www.php.net
- PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
What’s new in PHP 7
- PHP 7 is much faster than the previous popular stable release (PHP 5.6)
- PHP 7 has improved Error Handling
- PHP 7 supports stricter Type Declarations for function arguments
- PHP 7 supports new operators (like the spaceship operator:
What Do I Need?
To start using PHP, you can:
- Find a web host with PHP and MySQL support
- Install a web server on your own PC, and then install PHP and MySQL
Use a Web Host With PHP Support
If your server has activated support for PHP you do not need to do anything.
Just create some
.php files, place them in your web directory, and the server will automatically parse them for you.
You do not need to compile anything or install any extra tools.
Because PHP is free, most web hosts offer PHP support.
Set Up PHP on Your Own PC
However, if your server does not support PHP, you must:
- install a web server
- install PHP
- install a database, such as MySQL
The official PHP website (PHP.net) has installation instructions for PHP: http://php.net/manual/en/install.php
PHP – Environment Setup
- Web Server − PHP will work with virtually all Web Server software, including Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS) but then most often used is freely available Apache Server. Download Apache for free here − https://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi
- Database − PHP will work with virtually all database software, including Oracle and Sybase but most commonly used is freely available MySQL database. Download MySQL for free here − https://www.mysql.com/downloads/
- PHP Parser − In order to process PHP script instructions a parser must be installed to generate HTML output that can be sent to the Web Browser. This tutorial will guide you how to install PHP parser on your computer.