What is PHP? A Beginner’s Guide.

PHP is one of the most widely used server-side scripting languages. It enjoys great popularity as it is easy to learn, code and deploy on a server. Therefore, it is the first choice for beginners.

Popular websites such as Facebook, Yahoo, etc. are developed using PHP. So, let’s try to get a basic understanding of what the language is all about!

What is PHP?

PHP, which stands for Hypertext Pre-Processor, is a server-side scripting language. It is used for developing Static websites, Dynamic websites or Web applications. PHP previously stood for Personal Home Pages.

Some important factors of PHP you should know are as follows:

a) PHP is an interpreted language. As a result of which it doesn’t require any compiler.

b) PHP code can only be executed on a server which has PHP already installed.

c) PHP is free to download and use.

d) PHP is executed on the server and the result is sent in plain HTML text.

e) A PHP file contains PHP tags and ends with the extension of .php.

PHP code may be embedded into HTML code, or it can be used in combination with various web template systems, web content management system and web frameworks.

Why Should You Learn PHP?

Following are some more uses of PHP which will help you decide if you require to learn the language or not.

1) PHP is open source and free. Therefore, you can freely download, install and start developing using this language.

2) PHP syntax is very simple and easy to understand. Hence why its learning curve is smaller as compared to other scripting language such as JSP.

3) Most web hosting servers support PHP by default unlike other languages such as ASP that need IIS. This makes PHP a cost-effective choice.

4)  PHP is cross-platform. Therefore, you can easily develop and move/deploy your PHP code/project to almost all the major operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac OSX etc.

5) With PHP, you can create static and dynamic webpages, perform file handling operations, send emails, access and modify browser cookies, and almost everything else that you might want to implement in your web project.

6) PHP has in-built support for MySQL. It is one of the most widely used Database management system.

7) It is often used together with Apache (web server) on various operating systems. It can be also used with Microsoft’s IIS on Windows.

What Can PHP be Used For?

a) PHP can be sued for creating social media websites such as Facebook, Blogging websites such as WordPress and Joomla, eCommerce websites such as Magento, among many others.

b) PHP can create, open, read, write, delete, and close files on the server.

c) PHP can access cookies variable and set cookies.

d) Through PHP, you can keep track of the number of visitors to your website.

e) PHP can encrypt data.

f) It can be used for sending and building email applications.

g) PHP can be used for restricting user access to your website.

h) PHP can add, delete, modify data in your database.

What are your thoughts on this? Comment down below!

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