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PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.
In this movie, we're going to examine why you would want to use PHP over other web technologies. There are many reasons to use PHP. This first is obviously that you've discovered the limits of HTML and now you need something more. PHP is also open source and free software. Open source means, the source codes available for everyone to study, to use, or to modify. Any developer can create an improvement to the way PHP works, and submit it for consideration. And it's free software, which means that it's free to download and it's free to use. There's nothing to purchase, no licensing fees, no royalty fees.
And I'm sure I don't have to tell you why free is a good feature. PHP also cross platform to develop, to deploy and to use. That means we can put PHP on a Windows server, on a Mac server, or on a Linux server, and run the same PHP code with no problems or any differences. And if you remember, we're going to send the results of our PHP code to the user's browser's HTML. So it doesn't matter what computer type they're using. They don't need to have any kind of plugin or anything installed on their browser to be able to view our website. By learning the PHP language, you're not tying yourself to a specific piece of hardware or an operating system, or a vendor.
PHP is also powerful, robust, and scalable. Now, this quality might not affect you so much when you are developing, when you are finally deploy your finished website, you are going to want to know that it's going to be able to handle the amount of traffic that it gets. That it's not going to fail on you, just going to be able to grow with you as your traffic grows. The important point here, is that just because it's open-source and free. Doesn't mean that it's inferior and that it's not as powerful and stable as technologies that you pay for. Big sites like Facebook, Yahoo, and Wikipedia use PHP. PHP is web development specific. It was written from the very beginning with web development in mind. If you'll remember, version one was written to help someone maintain their personal website.
So the functions in PHP are going to be designed for web usage. And you don't have to learn a much larger, more comprehensive language that's full of lots of features that you won't need during web development. PHP is also fully object oriented since version five. Object oriented programming won't come up while we're learning the essentials. But it's nice to know that the language that you're about to dedicate yourself to learning, has some advanced features that you can take advantage of as your skills continue to progress. PHP has great documentation in many languages. If you go to php.net, that's the main web page for PHP, and you go to docs.php, you'll see some of this documentation. Let's take a look now.
So in my browser, I'm at php.net/docs.php. If you just go to php.net and click this link up here for documentation, it takes you the same place. And you'll see here that I have documentation in a lot of different languages. I'm going to go ahead and choose English. You'll see that it comes up and it gives me a table of contents for all of the different things. The basic syntax, variables, constants. Everything I might want to know, I can look up here in the reference. You'll also see that the top, there's a search bar where we can search for things. So lets do a search for our first one here. We're going to do Echo and then hit Return.
And you'll see that it's going to pop up and give me a definition of Echo. Echo outputs one or more strings. And it's going to go ahead and give me some examples, and some best practices to follow. If you go all the way down here, you'll see that there's user-contributed notes, and this is a great resource. This is where the developer community can actually input feedback, provide helpful hints, tips, tricks, even bits of code that they've written that might help you out. So you definitely want to become familiar with this resource and use it. And that brings us to the last reason why PHP is a great language to learn.
Which is that it has a large active developer community. Over 20 million websites use PHP. In terms of popularity, PHP is always among the top 10 of all programming and scripting languages. And consistently, one of the top three for web development. And that large active developer community. Has also already created some great examples of PHP applications that you may have already come across, like WordPress, Droople, Joomla, Magento, Expression Engine, Media Wiki, and PHP BB. These are all free tools that you can download, that can help you to create websites like blogs or bulletin boards.
By learning PHP, you're going to be able to work with those tools more efficiently and even customize them for your specific needs. Now, that we are comfortable with the choice to choose PHP for our website, let's get an overview of how we get PHP installed, so we can start developing with this powerful language.
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