Hello and welcome to another exciting and educational piece on how to learn PHP!
This article will look at the essential PHP modules to learn and the various PHP resources from which beginners can learn.
At the end of this piece, you will know the pros and cons of learning by using free and paid PHP resources as well as the prospects of being a PHP Developer.
The following and other topics are going to be covered in this article:
- What is PHP – Overview
- PHP Frameworks
- Essential PHP Topics
- PHP Learning Resources – Free and Paid
- Learning Resource Comparison
So, let’s get started!
PHP – Overview
PHP is a scripting language that is open source and extensively used.
It is especially well-suited for building websites and may be incorporated into HTML.
PHP pages contain HTML with embedded codes instead of many instructions to output HTML.
PHP is user-friendly for those new to programming and provides many robust features for experienced Programmers.
Do not be intimidated by the extensive array of functionality that PHP provides.
You can hop in and start building simple apps in a short amount of time.
Even though server-side scripting is the primary emphasis of PHP’s development, the language has an array of applications.
Developing PHP applications requires a platform known as a PHP framework.
PHP frameworks make available code libraries that contain functions that are often used, hence reducing the amount of unique code that the Developer must write.
When compared to writing PHP code from the ground up, utilizing PHP frameworks offers several advantages that are well worth considering.
Here are the following advantages:
When you use functions already built into the framework, you eliminate the need to develop new code as you would otherwise have to.
A significant number of the responsibilities needed by Developers are repetitive.
Examples include sanitizing data, validating forms, and performing CRUD operations.
You can avoid the hassle of coding these functions by using the pre-written functions that come packaged with the framework instead.
Good Coding Practice
In most cases, coding standards and guidelines are adhered to by PHP frameworks.
For instance, they organize the code in an orderly fashion by function by separating it into separate folders.
They compel you to organize your code in a clearer, neater, and easier way, to maintain than it would be without.
Additionally, frameworks have naming standards for entities to which you are expected to adhere.
More Secured App Development
Utilizing a PHP framework reduces the likelihood of being exploited by a hacker; nonetheless, this does not replace the need to write safe code.
Sanitization of data and protection from the kind of common attacks described earlier are both standard features of solid frameworks.
Easy Code Maintenance
Refactoring existing code and adhering to the DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) development methodology are both encouraged by PHP frameworks.
The resulting codebase with fewer unnecessary components requires less upkeep.
Because the Developers will take care of updating and repairing the fundamental structure on your behalf, you won’t even need to bother about it.
Some common PHP frameworks are:
You can use this framework to construct web apps on several platforms.
It allows Developers to use a vast library of functionality that has already been pre-programmed (such as authentication, routing, and HTML templating).
Access to this toolkit makes it much easier to construct sophisticated web apps in a short time while simultaneously reducing the amount of necessary coding.
Symfony is a PHP framework with an MVC architecture and is available as a free source.
Among the community of open-source Software Developers, it is among the application frameworks with the highest level of demand.
It is utilized in the process of developing high-performance as well as complex online applications.
CodeIgniter is a PHP MVC framework that is utilized for the rapid development of web applications.
CodeIgniter comes with pre-installed libraries that allow users to connect to a database and carry out various activities.
These operations include sending emails, uploading files, and managing sessions.
It has since been rebranded as the Laminas Project and is a free, OOP web application framework written in PHP 7 and distributed under the terms of the New BSD License.
The framework is a collection of expertly crafted PHP-based packages in its most basic form.
In addition, the framework uses several packages utilizing Composer as a component of its package dependency management.
Some of these packages include PHPUnit, used for testing all packages, and Travis CI, used for continuous Integration Services.
Essential PHP Topics
Most new PHP Developers are confused about learning, where to begin, and how to complete practical projects.
You can make a dynamic website or gain an understanding of how to develop a website by learning these subjects step by step, which will allow you to build a dynamic website and understand how to develop a website, as well as how PHP works and which topics are used for certain purposes.
The following are the essential topics beginners will learn in a standard tutorial:
1. Fundamentals of Programming
To begin, the Developer needs to acquire a fundamental understanding of programming to comprehend what PHP is and how it operates.
The following are some fundamentals of programming that should be familiar to every Web Developer:
- Data Types
2. PHP Functions
The Programmer needs to become familiar with the PHP built-in functions to cut down on repetitive codings, such as that for the header, the footer, the sidebar, or anything else that appears on several pages.
These functions include the following:
3. File Upload function
The Developer needs to become familiar with the PHP mechanism known as file upload.
The ability to upload files is most commonly found on websites; for instance, in the application form for college, users can submit documents, and in the application form for jobs, users can upload resumes.
The file upload functionality comprises the capability to upload a single file, the capability to upload many files at once, and the capability to upload files with validation to prevent spammers from using the feature.
4. H3 CRUD operation
The CRUD operations of the database are essential knowledge for Developers.
If the Developer is familiar with the concept of CRUD, then it serves as the central tenet of the database.
Creating (or inserting) a new record in the database is part of the CRUD operation.
Reading a record from the database, updating a record in the database, and deleting a record from the database are the other parts of the CRUD action.
After that, a Developer will have an easier time learning additional database issues and creating a dynamic website.
5. PHP Mail
Learning how to send mail in PHP is an important skill for any Programmer.
There are several distinct categories of e-mail, including plain text email (such as an inquiry sent via a contact form), mail with attachments (where you can upload a resume or other documents), and HTML email (Template-based mail like order confirmation email, cancellation email).
6. Sessions and Cookies
Sessions are frequently utilized in login forms to facilitate sharing of user information across several pages.
A session is used to exchange data across multiple pages.
In a login form, we show the user’s id or user name on the dashboard after successful login.
Similarly, in the registration form with numerous pages, there is a need to share certain data on the second page, third page, etc.
Cookies are frequently utilized in the process of user identification.
A cookie is a text a server saves on the user’s computer after embedding it there.
When a browser on the same machine requests a page, the cookie will be transmitted along with the request.
You can generate cookie values with PHP and retrieve previously generated ones.
7. Ajax and JSON
With the help of Ajax, you may send data to or get data from a database without reloading the page.
When we need to import or export data from other websites, we turn to JSON for support.
PHP Learning Resources – Free and Paid
PHP Manual – Official Website
Where better to begin than with the official documentation written by the people who created PHP?
This PHP tutorial will bring you through everything, from a brief overview of PHP to instructions on installing PHP and becoming familiar with its fundamental grammar.
It is an excellent choice for a first read, particularly if you are already familiar with programming documentation.
It is also quite easy to understand and gets right to the point, which is wonderful for some people, but complete novices could profit more from following guided instruction.
The one drawback to this is that, although it does cover some complex capabilities, it can only take you so far; this is the only limitation it has.
W3Schools is an excellent resource for novice Web Developers who are just starting.
Its tutorials are quite straightforward to understand.
Even online certification from W3Schools is available to you.
Check out the W3Schools material if you are interested in learning a new programming language and are searching for engaging and user-friendly tutorials to guide you through the process.
If you need a Web Developer without experience, this website can help you.
You may learn everything about designing, databases, and static and dynamic website construction on this website.
W3schools has its CSS and jQuery library, which is small and simple.
While many learning services include a variety of media (such as films, challenges, and so on) in their courses, w3schools only provides written instructions and code editors.
As a result, w3schools is more suited as a quick reference than a core learning resource.
Another set of video courses geared toward beginners is available from CodeCourse called PHP Essentials.
It provides you with brief videos ranging from five to ten minutes in length that can assist you in getting started with specific PHP capabilities.
This video tutorial series spans over five hours’ worth of content.
It should act as a stepping stone for newbies, encouraging them to explore PHP further and become more proficient in the language.
The lessons in the SoloLearn series are designed to be entertaining and interactive.
You can better retain the information you studied by taking quizzes while maintaining your interest through achievements and interactive content.
You only need to sign up for an account, and you’ll be able to complete the training online and on your mobile device.
Because there are more than one million students, many Software Engineers have started here.
Sololearn is an excellent learning environment for people with little prior experience in programming who are just starting.
If you already have some experience, in addition to using SoloLearn, you should try some other platforms because using SoloLearn alone isn’t enough to teach you everything you need to know.
Paid PHP courses take you to a more advanced level in your understanding of the language.
There are many of them, and many of them are well worth the money because they offer multiple methods of learning, including video tutorials, text tutorials, and interactive learning exercises.
Additionally, they might provide some insight into PHP that is not covered in the free tutorials.
Udemy is an extremely well-liked online platform that offers various courses on various subjects.
More than three and a half million students are learning PHP on this single platform.
These courses typically include downloadable resources, interactive lessons, and hours or even days’ worth of video content makes them a potentially worthwhile investment.
The one drawback is that the classes can be quite pricey, typically ranging from $50 to $200 per participant.
Tutorialspoint is another enormously helpful resource for learning PHP; however, rather than consisting of pages written in a straightforward documentation style, it is organized more like a series of instructional guides.
There is a good deal of information available here, beginning with the fundamentals and progressing to more complex topics, as well as providing examples of utilizing PHP for logins, forms, and in conjunction with AJAX.
Learners can learn from various topics, including data types and variables, arrays, functions, polymorphism, and more.
Lessons on PHP can be found on Coursera and are highly recommended.
Some are free, but the majority of them do charge a fee for enrollment.
Because there is the possibility of receiving financial assistance, selecting this path may not break the bank.
You will enroll in a predetermined class, complete assignments alongside other students, be graded, and be awarded certification.
You will be charged a fee to participate in an OOP with PHP class offered on Coursera.
The world’s best universities are responsible for creating high-caliber curricula.
It not only helps you gain exposure to other cultures but also provides you with an international experience.
You can access Coursera through mobile phones; downloading course videos is an option.
Courses provided by Coursera do not allow for any degree of flexibility.
Coursera is having trouble keeping its discussion forums moderated.
There are certain Coursera classes that you can access on a certain day.
After you finish the course, you will no longer have access to the material you have previously turned in.
Learning Resource Comparison
Both Udemy and Coursera are well-known and widely used online learning platforms.
On the other hand, each provides a unique form of online education.
That indicates there isn’t necessarily a winner that can be identified between the two options.
The answer to this question will largely be determined by the specifics of your situation and your goals for taking online classes.
Udemy emphasizes shorter-term courses that students can use to learn specific skills such as photography or fundamental computer skills.
On Udemy, anyone can teach a class they’ve created.
However, Coursera takes a more academic approach, and most of its programs are taught by professors from real-world colleges and universities.
If you’re looking for specific information, you might find that Udemy or Coursera are better options than the other.
There are courses available on the platform that cost more money, but you can almost always find a best-selling course on the subject that you’re interested in for ten dollars or less.
Registration on Coursera is free, but certain features, such as graded assignments, mentorship, and certificates, require a fee to be paid before granting access.
Udemy may be more cost-effective if you only plan to enroll in a few classes or intend to move at a more leisurely pace.
To learn a great deal of more academic information, you might find that Coursera is a more cost-effective option.
PHP In the Future
Even though there is a great deal of debate concerning the future of PHP, it is abundantly clear that PHP does have a future.
By a wide margin, it is the most popular programming language for website development.
Because there is a significant amount of legacy data, determining the optimal course of action is not always easy.
In terms of the code, you could use a framework that does much of the grunt work for you and compels you to write cleaner code.
On the other hand, given the release of PHP 7, many advancements have been made.
If you are interested in beginning a career as a PHP Developer, you will not be limited in the number of employment opportunities available to you.
Many jobs are available that require knowledge of PHP, and this situation is not likely to change soon.
Learners’ challenges and solutions
PHP, like any other programming language, has its own set of coding rules, in addition to its own set of abbreviations and algorithms.
The process of learning PHP can be very simple or challenging, depending on the strategy utilized to tackle the challenge of learning the language itself.
Naturally, if you come from a background in programming, you will probably have an advantage over others when beginning the process; this is because you already have some experience under your belt.
On the other hand, if you have no previous experience with programming, a large number of resources are available to help you learn the ropes.
Currently, the programming language PHP holds a dominant position on the Internet, and there is no indication that this position will soon shift.
The continuous improvement of the language makes it more competitive.
As a server-side language, it has the greatest amount of popularity in web technologies.
Its functionality is currently being improved, with new libraries added to the directory, so the future looks promising.
There is no question that learning PHP is worthwhile, as the Back-End Development of the vast majority of web applications is done in this specific programming language.
Developers are seeking to make PHP a functional language, considering the concept of the Java language.
The number of tools that support PHP continues to grow.
Is PHP hard to learn?
PHP is a simple language that’s easy to pick up, and it is a great way to get started with Web Development before moving on to more complicated languages.
If you are also learning WordPress, pay attention to the plugins and themes other people utilize with it.
How fast can I learn PHP?
Learning PHP depends on how much effort you devote.
PHP has a friendly syntax, making it an excellent place to start for anyone interested in learning back-end web development.
Mastering PHP in three to six months is a reasonable goal if you commit to studying part-time.
Can I learn PHP without knowing HTML?
Before beginning to study PHP, you don’t have to have prior knowledge of HTML.
It is strongly suggested that you begin with HTML and then move on to PHP to obtain a comprehensive understanding of programming and making web pages.
Understanding HTML can help you learn PHP faster.
Do I need prior knowledge of programming to learn PHP?
Although PHP is a good option for a beginner’s first programming language, you shouldn’t start with it while learning how to design websites.
Spend some time getting familiar with HTML first, in case you haven’t already done so; this will prepare you better for learning PHP later.
Are there any prerequisites to learning PHP?
Learning PHP does not require you to have any prior experience.
PHP is not bundled with any other language; server-side content authors need to have it.
You can teach yourself Python or any other programming language, but you’ll also need to become familiar with its infrastructure.