What is PHP ?

PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting in existence today. The language has the ability to communicate back and forth with a server and create a dynamic web page for the user. If you have a web hosting account to run your personal blog or website, I can guarantee that PHP is already installed. Even the page you are looking at right now was created by PHP. If you have ambitions of becoming a web developer, PHP is a must for you and will allow you to create dynamic web pages based on external input, usually from the user. It is also important to note that PHP is an object-oriented programming language, and O.O.P. is one of the things we will cover in the series.

PHP is not the language to jump straight into if you have had no experience at all. Getting a grasp of the basic programming concepts might be easier in a language such as Visual Basic as the syntax and concepts in PHP might be quite confusing for a beginner. If you have no experience in scripting, I might also suggest taking a look at JavaScript which is a client-side scripting language, making it limited when compared to PHP. But don’t let that scare you, PHP teaches some great coding habits and if you are capable of picking things up quickly then you should be just fine. Let’s take a little look at the syntax first, here’s how you would tell PHP to output the text “Welcome to my website” to a browser:

It all looks pretty logical, right? You are echoing out the sentence enclosed in the quotation marks to the web browser. And each statement in PHP must end with a “;” to notify the processor module that we have ended our statement. New lines and blank space are not recognised. You must also wrap PHP code inside “<?php” and “?>” tags to notify the server when a PHP script will start and end. So if you think you are ready to start learning PHP, click on the first video just below this paragraph to begin learning. I hope you find the free tutorials useful.


History of the Language

Originally (it is believed) the letters stood for Personal Home Page. The first work was done by Rasmus Lerdorf and dates back to about 1994. Lerdorf originally used it for his personal page – specifically to track visitors. Soon, a lot of additional functions were added. It took a few years, though, for it to become a language and not just a set of tools.

The code was released in the mid-1990s. Israel’s Andi Gutmans and Zeev Suraski did a major overhaul in 1997 with the goal of using PHP to run an eCommerce site. Their version, termed PHP 3.0, had more of the features we expect and see today.

The same duo later created Version 4.0. 2004 saw another major revision, PHP 5.0. Although there has not yet been a 6.0, there have been significant improvements since 5.0, including the removal of several things that had caused instability or potential security breaches.


Features of PHP

The main features of php is; it is open source scripting language so you can free download this and use. PHP is a server site scripting language. It is open source scripting language. It is widely used all over the world. It is faster than other scripting language. Some important features of php are given below;

It is most popular and frequently used world wide scripting language, the main reason of popularity is; It is open source and very simple.

  • Simple
  • Faster
  • Interpreted
  • Open Source
  • Case Sensitive
  • Simplicity
  • Efficiency
  • Platform Independent
  • Security
  • Flexibility
  • Familiarity
  • Error Reporting
  • Loosely Typed Language
  • Real-Time Access Monitoring


It is very simple and easy to use, compare to other scripting language it is very simple and easy, this is widely used all over the world.


It is an interpreted language, i.e. there is no need for compilation.


It is faster than other scripting language e.g. asp and jsp.

Open Source

Open source means you no need to pay for use php, you can free download and use.

Platform Independent

PHP code will be run on every platform, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, Windows.

Case Sensitive

PHP is case sensitive scripting language at time of variable declaration. In PHP, all keywords (e.g. if, else, while, echo, etc.), classes, functions, and user-defined functions are NOT case-sensitive.

Error Reporting

PHP have some predefined error reporting constants to generate a warning or error notice.

Real-Time Access Monitoring

PHP provides access logging by creating the summary of recent accesses for the user.