PHP is the coolest web programming language ever. At least according to some people. However, it is unquestionable that it is one of the most popular web programming languages. PHP is a server-side, scripting language that can be embedded within HTML and it is used to create dynamic web pages or web applications. PHP code is interpreted by the web server which then outputs a web page to the browsers that access it.
PHP can be used on almost any platform, Windows or Linux variants and many types of web servers including Apache and IIS. PHP can be used for managing email, connecting to other web sites or servers, processing form information, storing information in a database, creating cookies in a web browser, and much more. It can connect to almost any type of database in the world but most commonly is used in conjunction with MySQL.
PHP borrows a lot of syntax from the C programming language. Syntax is the wording and way that the language has to be used for it to work. PHP is very flexible so it is a great language for beginners to start learning how to program. Like any programming language, PHP has variables but they don’t have to be "typed". They can hold any type of value (text, numbers or arrays) and you can change their type at any time. Here are some important things to learn about PHP:
PHP also supports functions (blocks of code that can do specific things over and over) and objects (groups of functions that represent real-world objects like a book or a user). You can code PHP in any text editor but there are many PHP editors that support syntax highlighting and other features.
If you are interested to learn about PHP from its creators, we highly recommend reading the PHP manual. For a gentler introduction, you can try W3 Schools' "Learn PHP" section, or read Sitepoint's PHP and MySQL tutorials. We also recommend using a book from the library or one of the following: