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PHP Tutorial - Learn PHP

If you want to learn the basics of PHP, then you've come to the right place. The goal of this tutorial is to teach you the basics of PHP so that you can:

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  • 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.

PHP - What is it?

Taken directly from PHP's home,, "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.

PHP - What's it do?

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.

What You Should Know

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.

Tutorial Overview

This tutorial is aimed at the PHP novice and will teach you PHP from the ground up. If you want a drive-through PHP tutorial this probably is not the right tutorial for you.

Remember, you should not try to plow through this tutorial in one sitting. Read a couple lessons, take a break, then do some more after the information has had some time to sink in.

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Download's PHP Book

If you would rather download the PDF of this tutorial, check out our PHP eBook from the store. Print it out, write all over it, post your favorite lessons all over your wall!

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