PHP Introduction

August 23, 2021, Learn eTutorial

What is PHP?

PHP is a server-scripting language that is mostly used for dynamic and interactive web development. PHP is the acronym for “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It was formerly designed by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. PHP is the most popular server-side scripting language. It is the first server-side scripting language that can be embedded with HTML. PHP can be used to manage databases, sessions, cookies, and also to develop an entire dynamic website.  PHP is an interpreted and object-oriented scripting language and there is no need for compiling. PHP files may contain text, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP codes. PHP files have the extension ".php".  PHP supports several protocols such as HTTP, POP3, SNMP, LDAP, IMAP, and many more. According to studies approximately 75% of websites still use PHP. PHP 8.0.10 is the latest version of PHP.

Prerequisite For Learning PHP

Prerequisite For Learning PHP
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript


HTML is the acronym for “HyperText Markup Language”. HTML is used to structure the web pages.HTML is the most used standard markup language for developing a website. A static website can be built by only using HTML. HTML uses elements to define the structure of the web page. Each tag in HTML has its own properties. Some of the basic tags are:

  • <!DOCTYPE>: This tag is used to define the type and version of the HTML document.
  • <html>: It is the root element that defines the starting and end of the document.
  • <head>: Head tag contains all the metadata of the document.
  • <title>: This tag is used to define the title of the document.
  • <body>: Body tag includes all the other elements and contents which is visible on the webpage 


CSS is the acronym for “Cascading Style Sheet”. CSS is used to give styling to the HTML elements. CSS is the most popular language for designing web pages. CSS helps to design the layout of multiple web pages easily. By using CSS, we can reduce the use of HTML attributes and it helps to render the web page much faster.


JavaScript is a lightweight, high-level, weakly-typed, interpreted, object-oriented scripting language. JavaScript is mainly used to make the website dynamic and interactive. JavaScript is integrated with HTML which makes it easy to implement. JavaScript doesn’t require any other environment; most of the browsers support it. JavaScript also helps to render the web page even without reloading. JavaScript is also used to develop mobile applications, games, and desktop applications. 

Why choose PHP?

  • PHP is an Open-Source and Object-Oriented Scripting Language     
  • PHP is an interpreted language and there is no need for compiling the PHP file.
  • PHP and its frameworks (such as Laravel, Cake PHP) are free to use and easily available.
  • PHP is user-friendly and easy to learn for beginners. 
  • PHP is platform-independent, an application developed in one OS can also execute in any other OS also. 
  • In PHP the data encryption and validation can be done easily.
  • PHP can be integrated with most of the databases which are currently used in the industry namely MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • PHP has a vast developer community.
  • PHP is easy for file handling.
  • PHP can be used to handle cookies.
  • PHP supports almost all the servers which are currently used namely Apache, Wamp, XAMPP, and etc.

Features of PHP

Features of PHP

Open-Source: PHP is free of charge, and any version can be used by anyone according to their needs. Similarly, PHP frameworks are also open-source.

Platform-Independent: Since PHP is available for every operating system, a PHP application that has been developed in one OS can be run on another OS.

Faster: PHP is much faster than similar scripting languages, and it can use its own memory, so it renders faster, as well as making its performance higher.

Simple: PHP is a very simple and user-friendly scripting language. The syntax of PHP is similar to other languages and easy to understand.

Case-Sensitive: Like other languages, PHP is also case-sensitive. The keywords can’t be used for naming variables and identifiers. 

Error Reporting: PHP has some predefined error reporting constants for generating a warning or error notice at the time of execution. E.g., E_ERROR, E_WARNING, E_STRICT, E_PARSE.

Database Support: PHP supports most of the databases which are currently used in the industry namely MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.
Server Support: PHP supports almost all the servers that are currently in use, such as Apache, WAMP, Nginx, etc.

Loosely Typed: Declaration of the variable is not required in PHP. The data type of the variable will be considered based on the value of the variable automatically at the time of execution of the program. 

Security: PHP is one of the most secure scripting languages for developing a website. PHP has multiple layers of security that reduce the risk of threats and malware.

Which are the Top 10 PHP Frameworks?

Frameworks of PHP
  1. Laravel: Laravel is the most popular open-source PHP framework. Laravel was introduced in 2011. Laravel is capable of handling complex web applications securely and faster than other frameworks. Using Laravel, developers can easily implement routing, sessions, caching, and authentication.
  2. CodeIgniter: It offers numerous prebuilt modules that help in constructing robust and reusable components and is well known for its small size, including the documentation it sizes about 2MB.
  3. Symfony: Symfony is a PHP framework that is based on the architecture of MVC (Model, View & Controller). It was introduced in 2005. Even though it was introduced before most of the other frameworks it is still a reliable and mature platform.
  4. CakePHP: CakePHP is mostly used for small projects. It is one of the simplest frameworks to learn. CakePHP is used to develop visually impressive, feature-loaded websites.
  5. Yii: Yii stands for “Yes, it is”. Yii is a high-performance, component-based PHP framework for developing modern web applications. Yii can be used to develop all types of web applications.
  6. Zend Framework: Zend is an object-oriented framework. Zend uses interfaces and inheritance which makes it extendable. It is mostly used to develop complex projects.
  7. Phalcon: Phalcon is a full-stack PHP framework that is based on MVC architecture. Phalcon was developed in 2012 and it was developed using C and C++.
  8. FuelPHP: FulePHP is a full-stack PHP framework that was developed in 2011. Unlike other frameworks, it is based on HMVC (Hierarchical Model View Controller). And it only requires less time and memory compared to others.
  9. PHPixie: PHPixie is also based on HMVC. PHPixie was developed in 2012, it was developed mainly for static websites.
  10. Slim: Slim framework is a popular PHP micro-framework that is used to develop web applications and API’s

Basic program to print Hello World

 echo “Hello World !”;