PHP is a general-purpose programming language originally designed for web development. It was created by Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish-Canadian programmer, in 1994. PHP was initially meant as an acronym for Personal Home Page as Rasmus created it mostly to maintain his personal website. PHP code can be executed by a PHP interpreter with a command line interface (CLI), however, it runs much more often as a web server-side application (or rather a PHP extension module mod_php on the Apache HTTP Server) in combination with template systems, specifically content management systems (CMS), or it is directly embedded into HTML code. Because of its close connection with HTML and dynamic web page generation, the name PHP is often interpreted as Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP easily integrates with various open source database management systems (DBMS), like MySQL. There are dedicated tools primarily written in PHP which have been developed for easy database system administration, e.g. highly popular phpMyAdmin commonly used with MySQL. This is probably one of the reasons why PHP has become so popular among web developers worldwide. As of June 2018, PHP was used as the server-side programming language on 83.5% of websites where the language could be determined. The most popular CMS applications are written in PHP, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Moodle and others which largely contributes to PHP usage for WWW. Interestingly, websites written in PHP, in back-end and/or user-facing portion, include Facebook.
In terms of syntax PHP resembles that of Perl, but is considered simpler, more limited and less consistent. Analogously to Perl, a variable starts with the $ sign, followed by the name of the variable. Other than that, PHP has also been influenced by other programming languages, like C, C++, C#, and Java.
The mascot of the PHP project is the elePHPant, a blue elephant with the PHP logo on its side (see picture above), designed by Vincent Pontier in 1998.
Cool links to PHP tutorials and other useful resources:
- Interactive PHP Tutorial - An Ultimate Guide for Beginners!!!
- Learn-php.org free interactive PHP tutorial
- W3Schools free interactive PHP 7 tutorial!!!
- Guru99 PHP Tutorial for Beginners: Learn in 7 Days
- PHP Tutorial with interactive examples by TutorialsPoint
- Learn PHP - a non-interactive tutorial by JavaPoint!!!
- Core PHP Tutorial with real-life examples by PHPpoint
- Execute PHP Online: a playground for PHP v.7.1.8 by TutorialsPoint
- Online PHP IDE by CodingGround (TutorialsPoint)
- PHP Builder - Great articles and tutorials on PHP programming!!!
- PEAR - PHP Extension and Application Repository
- PHP & MySQL Video Tutorial by The Net Ninja
- W3Schools PHP Quiz
- PHP Official Website
PHP is an amazing and popular language!
- It is powerful enough to be at the core of the biggest blogging system on the web (WordPress)!
- It is deep enough to run the largest social network (Facebook)!
- It is also easy enough to be a beginner's first server side language!