Taken directly from PHP's home, PHP.net, "PHP is an HTML-embedded scripting language. Much of its syntax is borrowed from C, Java and Perl with a couple of unique PHP-specific features thrown in. The goal of the language is to allow web developers to write dynamically generated pages quickly."This is generally a good definition of PHP. However, it does contain a lot of terms you may not be used to. Another way to think of PHP is a powerful, behind the scenes scripting language that your visitors won't see!
When someone visits your PHP webpage, your web server processes the PHP code. It then sees which parts it needs to show to visitors(content and pictures) and hides the other stuff(file operations, math calculations, etc.) then translates your PHP into HTML. After the translation into HTML, it sends the webpage to your visitor's web browser.
What You Should Already KnowBefore you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following:
What is PHP?
- PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
- PHP is a widely-used, open source scripting language
- PHP scripts are executed on the server
- PHP is free to download and use
|PHP is simple for beginners.
PHP also offers many advanced features for professional programmers.
What is a PHP File?
- PHP code are executed on the server, and the result is returned to the browser as plain HTML
- PHP files have a default file extension of ".php"
What Can PHP Do?
- PHP can generate dynamic page content
- PHP can create, open, read, write, and close files on the server
- PHP can collect form data
- PHP can send and receive cookies
- PHP can add, delete, modify data in your database
- PHP can restrict users to access some pages on your website
- PHP can encrypt data
- PHP runs on different platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac OS X, etc.)
- PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
- PHP has support for a wide range of databases
- PHP is free. Download it from the official PHP resource: www.php.net
- PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side