PHP Tutorial for Beginners: How to Get Started with PHP

In context to learn programming in PHP towards getting started with PHP in very easy way, this is an elegant PHP tutorial that would be quite worthy even for those who have just landed their step for getting started with PHP.

Before we get into nitty gritty of PHP, first of let me tell you what is PHP programming actually. PHP is considered as an excellent server-side language. This concept of PHP scripting is seems to be something confounded especially for those who never employed this concept earlier and designed website only by using client-side languages such as CSS, JavaScript and HTML.

However, a server-side language is too much identical to JavaScript which enables it users to embed small scripts or programs to a webpage in HTML code. When these programs are tend to execute, it provide a brilliant control over the elements which appears in the window of web-browsers in contrast of HTML that is capable to deliver alone. The marked distinction between PHP and JavaScript is the stage of web-page loading where these embedded programs are executed.

The Client-side languages like JavaScript are recited and executed by internet browser after downloading the web-page including embedded programs through web-server. On the other hand, server-side languages such as PHP are executed by web server, prior to transferring the web-page to web-browser. Moreover, the server-side languages enables you to create a customized page on the fly prior to even sent to web-browser. The client-side languages provide an absolute control over how a page appears once it make appear by browsers.

However, the PHP code implanted in a web-page once executed by web servers, the result occupy the places of PHP code in the web-page. Almost all web-browsers delivers standard HTML code after receiving the page, thus the term has been coined as “server-side language”. Before we proceed ahead lets take a look over this example for today.php.

This snippet code mostly comprises plain HTML, but apart of this the lines falls between <?php and ?> is PHP code. <?php in the code fragment says it is opening of an implanted PHP script as well as ?> is the end. However, the web-server analyze everything including all scripts, components etc. which sits between these two delimiters and render this to a regular HTML code before transporting the page to requested web-browse. Thus the web-browser appears as specified below.

One noticeable thing should be marked that the PHP code has been hidden from your eyes, and the script output has been appeared instead of that as well as convey an identical look of standard HTML. However, determine various distinct achievements and features of server-side scripting.

No issues of browser compatibility

As, the PHP scripts are analyzed by only web-server, thus give up the worry regarding language features you employed are whether supported by browser being used by visitors.

Accessing server-side resources

With reference to the example discussed above, we incorporate the date into web-page according to the web-server. However, if we supposed to insert the date by employing JavaScript, then we can only display the date according  to computer on which internet browser was running. Apart of this, various impressive illustration to exploit server-side resources are available, such as incorporating MySQL database  pulled content.

Reduced load on client

JavaScript may result in delaying of display of a specific web-page especially in case of mobile devices, as before displaying the webpage the browser must execute the script. In context to server-side code this issues is rolled out to web server, to which you can render as beefy according to the requirement of your application.

Basic Statements and Syntax

PHP syntax are supposed to be very well-known for everyone with an good comprehending of C, C++, C#, Objective-C, Java, JavaScript, Perl and other C-derived languages. In the case, if you or any other else is not familiar with this or anyone who has just landed his step towards in programming, even, they don’t have to worry about it.

A PHP script comprises a series of statements or commands, where each and every statement is an instruction which must be followed by web-server prior to proceed another next instruction. Likewise aforesaid languages, PHP statements should be always terminated by using a semicolon (;).

Below is a typical statement of PHP:

This is an echo statement that is useful in creating content (generally HTML code) in order to transport to browser. Usually it grasp the text it’s given and include it into HTML code page at the position of PHP Script where it was retained.

However, here we have deliver a text string as a output. ‘This is a <strong>test</strong>!’. Where, HTML tags are incorporated by text string (<strong> and </strong>), and is perfectly acceptable. Thus, when we employ this statement and include into a complete web page, the resulting code will be look like this:

When you will send this file to your web server and then through web-browser you make a request, the HTML code that sits below will be received by your web-browser.

The example today.php, we looked earlier incorporated a little bit more complex echo statement:

Rather than of providing an echo a simple text string to output, this statement calls an integrated function of date and passes it a text string: ‘I, F js Y.’. However, you might think about built-in functions as tasks which PHP is acquainted about how to accomplish that without you unveiling the details. PHP has got several built-in functions that enables to perform almost everything, from sending a mail to work with various information stored in distinct kind of databases.

Whenever you are supposed to adjure a PHP function as instructing this to perform its job – it may be assumed that you are calling that specific function. While a function is being called it used to return a value; then PHP treat as if you would literally typed that value you get in return after calling a function rather than in your code. However, here with this instance, the echo statement urge to date function, that deliver the current date as text string (it is the format that has been defined by text string when call for a function). Therefore, eventually what the result the echo statement deliver is the value returned by a function call.

One query may strike your mind that why we enclosed the text string in both parentheses ((…)) and single quotes (‘…’). However, in SQL, you will found that quotes are employed in PHP to mark the start and end of text string, thus it sits there. Moreover, the parentheses being employed here incorporate two specific purposes. First it winks that date is a function you have attempted to invoke this. Another purpose that sits around this is that they used to mark the start as well as end of a list arguments which you desire to provide in context of stating the function, what you supposed to achieve.

In date function, you are required to bestow a text string which define the format in which you wish the date to appear. Furthermore, you may also designate those kind of functions which is capable to accept multiple argument which can be separated by commas. Also, you may congregate functions that don’t accept any arguments. However, these function will still required the necessity of parentheses, even though no necessity to type anything between them.

Jason Larue

As a qualified PHP developer, Jason Larue is working with PHPDevelopmentServices to replenish the clients with excellent services at competitive rates. He has years of experience of working as a PHP web developer that truly reflects from the solutions that are delivered to the clients in the form of related projects. His experience has enabled him to emerge as an author who contributes in spreading the information regarding PHP web development through well-written blog posts.