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PHP is a server-side programming language that is very popular and often frowned upon. The acronym PHP was originally Personal Homepage to which later it changed its name to a more accurate Hypertext Pre-Processor. It uses a C style syntax and even a lot basic C functions.
PHP is written inline with HTML documents, making it ideal for people who have experience with designing websites with HTML/CSS and want to create a more dynamic web experience. PHP is processed by the server before it is rendered in the browser.
All of the examples here assume that you have a rudimentary understanding of HTML and have webserver software installed on your system, or access to a webserver with PHP.
The PHP documentation is a valuable resource that should always be open in a seperate tab when you're developing PHP projects.
<?php echo "Hello world!"; ?>
If you put this code into a file and give it a .php extension, it will render plain text to the web browser. As you can see every piece of PHP must be opened and closed with the PHP html tags.
<?php // variable declaration $date = date("Y/m/d"); // using the variable with the echo function echo $date; ?>
The Date function is a great tool to show how PHP generates dynamic content. The above format displays the full year, the month and day all in numbers like so: 1999/02/16.
Most package managers have a current version (5.x) of PHP being maintained. Server software needs specific tools to allow PHP to be executed on the system.
On a Debian based distribution, you must install the Apache webserver, the PHP module and PHP itself.
sudo apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-php5 php5
Nginx requires you to have php5-fpm or php5-cgi installed and configured. This will show you how to install and configure php5-fpm with nginx.
You could, if you're silly, download WAMPserver but that is generally not the best move. However, if you were serious about PHP development you would use a dedicated server.