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PHP - Dynamic Websites 101

A Beginner's Guide on PHP and Database-driven Sites

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PHP - Dynamic websites 101


PHP is probably the most popular web scripting language used today. PHP is popular because it's easy to learn and use - generally PHP makes life more exciting. Now that I’ve said that, I guess I should actually give you a reason or two to learn PHP!

  1. You will be able to do all kinds of neat things like process HTML forms, send mail from a web page, talk to a database et cetera.
  2. You will become a much more valuable person! Besides your web design skills, you will now have what is called ‘server-side programming’ skills – in this case, knowing PHP.

As depressing as it may seem, programmers usually are higher up on the totem pole. In other words, knowing how to program will put you in a higher bracket than people who only know web design.


It took me a while to decide on how to start this tutorial - should I begin with theory or do we jump right into coding PHP? After dragging my butt for a while watching TV (and whole host of procrastinations,) it came to me!

The first thing we need to do is make sure you have a place to test your PHP code.


You have two options:

  1. Find a host who supports PHP and test your code on their servers.
  2. Install PHP on your own computer.

There are pros and cons to both options (nothing in life is ever perfect!) but option one is probably the easiest for most. Once you're set up to view your PHP scripts in action you can move on to step 1 - a crash-mini course on PHP.


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