To begin with the definition, PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. I know you must be thinking the short form doesn’t match. We call this recursive acronym. I’ll not dive much into what it is but I hope you got an idea about it. Coming back to definition, PHP is a server side programming language embedded in HTML. It is general purpose language that is extensively used in web programming.

Before you get overwhelmed by these technical terms, here is an example. Suppose you are the owner of a website where you sell your handicrafts.  As more traffic gathered, the website failed to cater to the needs of customers.  That means, bad user experience, lag in response and poor security of customer’s data. As a diligent business owner, you would like to improve your website’s features but you don’t know how. All of the above issues will be fixed by implementing your code in PHP. You may ask how? It is because  as easy it is to learn PHP it is as simpler to execute the code of your website. We will discuss more about the features of PHP in the next section.

A fun fact here! Did you know according to w3techs.com , around 77.4 % of total websites use PHP as a programming language?  Some of the major sites such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Wikipedia, etc.; also use PHP.


Let’s dive into the features of PHP which can be very attractive ones for any beginner.

  1. It is an open-source language, that means all of you can have access to it for absolutely free of cost.
  2. It is a simple and easy-to-use language for web programming. I bet this came as a good news for the beginners.
  3. In conventional web pages, even smallest of changes requires developer to rewrite the code and implement it. However, in case of PHP, any minute changes can be done remotely without the intervention of developer. This feature makes it a very flexible language.
  4. Coming to the next feature, websites developed on PHP are faster. That makes for a great dynamic website.
  5. The framework of PHP is built in such manner that it provides security and end-to-end encryption to customer’s data.
  6. PHP was launched back in 1995. Since then the PHP community has grown into a fairly large community that is helpful and interactive. It is because of their hard work and dedication that so many versions of PHP were launched. Majority of them are still in use making it a stable language.

A basic understanding of HTML and CSS will come handy while learning PHP. The code functions on HTML and CSS is required to add style to your HTML pages. It is the very basic step for any beginner to start with programming in PHP, because it will allow you to see your progress in real time. Now, there are numerous free resources on HTML that you can grab on the internet. There’s no need to pay any fees for it. Having said that, there are some paid content as well. If your wallet allows that, you can go for it too. But I will suggest taking up as much free resources as possible.

Perhaps this should have gone in the top but you’ll see why I put this on the second. You must have an understanding of how the web works – this is the basic step to start with actually. You can listen to great deal of YouTube videos where they teach and break down  smaller chunks and technical jargons into layman’s terms. To follow up with, you can learn the basics of one or two programming languages such as JavaScript and C++. JavaScript makes your website functional and interactive.

You’ll require understanding of MySQL for storing the user input data. Take the previous example . You’ll need the user’s data to provide them seamless experience if they decide to shop from your website the next time around. The data they put will be stored in some databases and extracted from them when required.

I’ve mentioned what you need to start in a nutshell. Your learning experience should expand at every stage. Go back to watch tutorials where you may learn new tricks or brush up on concepts that you forgot. Always keep learning and learn in a fun way.


I am delighted to share the applications and what can you do with PHP in brief. So, here we go :-

  • You can create a dynamic website using PHP.
  • You can create a fully functional e-commerce website with membership features.
  • You can encrypt data from end to end by writing really secure codes for your website or project.
  • You will be able to work with various databases such as MySQL and others too. You can add style in terms of colors, fonts, etc. This will enhance your skillset and provide you leverage in the market.

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