PHP is a server side scripting language, widely used in internet programming. We can develop pages with dynamic content by using PHP. By using PHP we can interact with database servers and manage the page content accordingly. The difference between a static page like HTML and dynamic page like PHP is the way the server interpret the request.
The goal of this tutorial is to teach you the basics of PHP so that you can:
Customize PHP scripts that you download, so that they better fit your needs.
Begin to understand the working model of PHP, so you may begin to design your own PHP projects.
Give you a solid base in PHP, so as to make you more valuable in the eyes of future employers.
PHP stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor.
Taken directly from PHP's home, PHP.net, "PHP is an HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from C, Java and Perl with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in. The goal of the language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly."
This is generally a good definition of PHP. However, it does contain a lot of terms you may not be used to. Another way to think of PHP is a powerful, behind the scenes scripting language that your visitors won't see!
When someone visits your PHP webpage, your web server processes the PHP code. It then sees which parts it needs to show to visitors(content and pictures) and hides the other stuff(file operations, math calculations, etc.) then translates your PHP into HTML. After the translation into HTML, it sends the webpage to your visitor's web browser.
Five important characteristics make PHP's practical nature possible:
It is also helpful to think of PHP in terms of what it can do for you. PHP will allow you to:
Reduce the time to create large websites.
Create a customized user experience for visitors based on information that you have gathered from them.
Open up thousands of possibilities for online tools. Check out PHP - HotScripts for examples of the great things that are possible with PHP.
Allow creation of shopping carts for e-commerce websites.
Before starting this tutorial it is important that you have a basic understanding and experience in the following: HTML - Know the syntax and especially HTML Forms. Basic programming knowledge - This isn't required, but if you have any traditional programming experience it will make learning PHP a great deal easier.