From our renowned online encyclopedia “Wikipedia” to the world of arts and aesthetics “Tumblr,” there is no shortage of websites that imply the use of PHP in some way. PHP is a must to learn programming language if you are looking forward to becoming a full-stack developer.
If you are someone who is looking to learn PHP and have questions like “What is PHP?” or “how long does it take to learn PHP?” then you have come to the right spot.
We’ll be answering all of your burning PHP questions, so stick around, and let’s get started!
What is PHP?
PHP, which stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a server-side scripting language. When a user visits a website built with PHP, their browser sends a request to the server hosting the website. The server then processes the PHP code associated with the requested page, generating an HTML page to be sent back to the user’s browser in real time, without the user being aware of the process.
PHP has remained among the most popular web development languages for over 25 years. You’d be surprised, but do you know over 80% of the total websites on the internet actually use PHP in some way or another?
Here are a few reasons why developers just love PHP:
Dynamic Content Generation
The best thing about PHP is it allows you to generate content dynamically. What it basically means is that PHP allows you to access data from a database and use that data so that you can generate a unique HTML page for each user’s request.
Okay, imagine you have an online store that sells classic novels; whenever a user visits your store’s website and searches for a particular classic novel, let’s suppose it searches for “Pride and Prejudice”, the PHP code can access the book’s information from the database and can actually generate a dynamic HTML page that displays all the information related to Pride and Prejudice from its renowned Author to the book cover.
This is really important because it allows dynamic content generation, instead of showing the same old static HTML page to all of your users, this allows you to display fresh and relevant information for each user.
Server Side Language
This is just providing the user with a lot of power, and he can misuse it. You are putting the security of your website at risk because malicious users can change the JS code and harm the website or, even worse can steal sensitive information. So you will not only be damaging your own reputation, but you’ll be putting your user’s data at risk. On the other hand, server-side languages are not visible to the user and are, therefore, more secure.
When we talk about integrating with databases, PHP is highly flexible as it can be used with a variety of databases; some famous databases include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle. Let’s suppose you are trying to develop a blog website and want to store all the posts in a database. The benefit of using PHP at this point will be that the PHP code can access your database and retrieve the most recent posts to be displayed on the homepage of your blog website. This makes it easy for you to manage large amounts of data and keep your website updated with fresh content.
One of the many amazing things about PHP is that it is an open-source programming language. This means that you can use it for free, and it has a large community of developers is that are constantly working and collaborating on its development and can provide you with assistance as well. Because it is so widely used, it’s easy for you to locate resources, tutorials, and forums.
There are a large number of tools and libraries available that you may utilize to construct your website or online application. PHP even has its own unique IDE, known as PHPstorm, designed specifically for writing PHP code.
How long does it take to learn PHP?
Learning is an art, and no matter what you are learning, it takes time and practice; the same is the case when learning PHP; it actually takes time and practice and, yes, a bit of brain too. However, there is no definitive answer to this question because the amount of time it will take you to learn PHP actually depends on your prior programming experience.
Now don’t get all down; if you are just starting off with the programming with the right mindset and practice, you can become a PHP developer in even just 3-6 months. The things that would need to focus on when starting off with PHP will be its basics, getting comfortable with its syntax, knowing its variables, how to define and call functions, and some control structures. Also, make sure to get a good grip on HTML and CSS as well.
Now if you are someone who does have an experience with another programming language, you’ll be able to pick on PHP must faster, and within a few weeks to a few months, you’ll find yourself proficient in PHP. However, it’s still important to go through the basics, even if you’re familiar with other programming concepts, as PHP has its own syntax and quirks that you’ll need to learn.
Here are some tips anyone can take to start off with PHP
Start with the basics
When it comes to learning PHP, it’s important to start with the basics. You can’t skip the basics part at all. Whether you have prior programming experience or not, you should take the time to understand the fundamental concepts of the language. Here are a few key things you’ll want to cover in your early days
- Syntax: Learn the basic syntax of PHP, including how to declare variables, write comments, and use conditional statements. Once you get comfortable with the syntax, you can move on to other things.
- Variables: In PHP, variables are used to store and manipulate data. Understanding how to declare and use variables is a key part of learning PHP. Knowing the right kind of variable to store the data is one of the most important things when it comes to becoming a good developer. So make sure you spend some time knowing variable types and their use cases.
- Functions: Functions are blocks of code that perform specific tasks and can be called multiple times throughout your code. Learning how to write and use functions in PHP is essential, as the major role of a PHP developer involves defining and calling functions.
- Control structures: Control structures are used to control the flow of your code. You’ll want to learn about conditional statements, loops, and other control structures in PHP.
Practice, practice, practice
Practice makes a man perfect. The more you practice writing PHP code, the faster you’ll become proficient. Just make sure you don’t give up. It’s okay to take breaks, do make sure those breaks remain just breaks.
Get hands-on experience
Once you have a solid grasp of the basics, you can try building a simple website or web application using PHP. This will help you learn how to use PHP in a real-world scenario and allow you to apply what you’ve learned.
Join a community
The PHP community is large and supportive, and there are many forums, groups, and communities where you can ask for help and get feedback on your code. Joining a community will also give you access to a wealth of resources, tutorials, and examples to help you learn faster.
How many hours a day to learn PHP?
Again the answer to this question depends on your prior programming knowledge, your learning pace and your goals. However, try to spend at least 2-3 hours daily on PHP.
If you’re just starting out and have no prior programming experience, you may need to spend more time initially to get a solid grasp of the basics. Always remember, “Talent beats hard work”.
If you already have some experience, you can move more quickly through the basics and focus on more advanced topics.
Keep this in mind the key to learning any programming language is consistency and continuous practice. So, even if you can only dedicate an hour a day to learning PHP, it’s better to stick to a consistent schedule than to try to cram for longer periods of time less frequently.
What is the fastest way to learn PHP?
There is no shortcut when it comes to programming. But you can actually shorten the learning time by putting in more effort sticking to a rigorous study plan, and driving yourself more so that you can achieve your goals. You need to devote your whole attention to the learning phase.
One of the best things you can do is start learning PHP by taking online courses or tutorials, Learning PHP at your own speed via online courses or tutorials is the best approach. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, found on websites like Udemy and Coursera are exactly what you need to get started with PHP.
Best resources to learn PHP
Since PHP is widely used, this helps you in a million ways. One of the best things about PHP is that there are tons of resources available on the internet that you instantly learn from. Here is a list of the top 6 resources for you:
- Official PHP documentation (php.net)
- W3Schools PHP Tutorials (w3schools.com)
- Codecademy’s Learn PHP (codecademy.com)
- Udemy PHP courses (udemy.com)
- YouTube tutorials by programmers such as Traversy Media
- PHP The Right Way (phptherightway.com)
Can I learn PHP in 6 months?
Yes, you can learn PHP in 6 months if you dedicate sufficient time and effort to the learning process.
Can I learn PHP without any programming experience?
Yes, you can learn PHP without any prior programming experience, but having some understanding of basic programming concepts can make the learning process easier.
Can I learn PHP in a year?
Yes, you can learn PHP in a year if you consistently practice and build projects.
Can anyone learn PHP?
Yes, anyone can learn PHP as long as they have the motivation and dedication to do so.
Is PHP difficult to learn?
The difficulty of learning PHP can vary from person to person. Some people may find it easy to learn, while others may find it challenging. However, with the right resources and dedication, anyone can learn PHP.