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The Complete PHP Guide

category: Website | course: PHP | difficulty:
1. Table of Contents

PHP never expected to become this big, but nowadays the language is present in nearly every top 10 list of programming languages. Anybody who wants to create dynamic websites (or web apps) will at some point require some of PHP’s magic. After you’ve learned the ins and outs of HTML and CSS, and perhaps JavaScript, it’s usually time to learn about PHP. Fortunately, the language is easy to learn.

Whereas HTML stood for HyperText Markup Language, PHP is a recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. As the name suggests, it is executed before the HTML is loaded – it pre-processes the HTML.

This means that it’s executed on the server, and not within the user’s browser. Such a language is called a server-side language, and has the obvious advantage that it can interact with data on the server. The typical use case for PHP is, therefore, to load data from a server, or upload data to it. This data can be blog posts, files, user login information, comments – anything you want.


However simple or complex, however large or small, PHP will probably be able to do the job for you. This guide will teach you the core fundamentals of the language in a way that’s as general as possible, so that you can apply it to anything, not just specific examples. Nevertheless, PHP can’t do it all on its own, and you’ll probably need to learn about SQL as well at some point. This is not a bad thing; SQL is another language that is crucial to the world wide web, and it helps a lot if you can use it.

Ultimately, when you’ve become all excited and want to know more, you can keep reading and move towards the Advanced PHP Tutorial. It’s up to you how far you take it. (But I hope you take it very far; the more you know, the better and more secure your code.) Either way, have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Syntax
  3. A Powerful Echo
  4. Data Types
  5. Variables I
  6. Variables II
  7. Numbers & Operators
  8. Strings I
  9. Strings II
  10. Conditionals
  11. Control Flow I
  12. Arrays I
  13. Arrays II
  14. Loops
  15. Control Flow II
  16. Functions
  17. Scope
  18. Objects I
  19. Objects II
  20. Superglobals
  21. Forms & Dynamic Pages
  22. Files I
  23. Files II
  24. Cookies & Sessions
  25. Databases (MySQL)
  26. Error Handling & Debugging
  27. Best Practices
  28. Conclusion: what now?
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