The 5 W's of PHP Development

Prologue

In this article you will learn about the 5 W’s of PHP Development. From Who uses PHP to Why PHP is important. From this article I want the readers to grasp the idea of PHP and the things you can do with it overtime in simple, and complicated environments.

Who?

PHP is a very big language and a lot of people use it. From social networks like digg to web blogs like wordpress and drupal.

What?

Definition:

Some might ask what exactly is PHP? I’m going to inherit the definition from PHP’s main website.

“PHP is a widely used scripting language that is suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.”

PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, yet earlier it was once known as Personal Home Page.

What could I create?

You can do a lot with PHP, and there is a long variety of answers to this question, but I’ll list a few things that you could create and most of these things are simple and some are very hard.

  • Guest Book
  • Contact Form
  • Blog Software – like wordpress, and more.
  • Bookmarking script – say you don’t want to use FireFox’s or Internet Explorers or even Opera’s bookmarking system you could create your own so its easier to manage your own bookmarks the way you would want to.
  • News System – You one of them people would have a website and want to keep your users up to date, but constantly making html files gets tiring? This would be easy to have a news system to post news, edit them and delete them at ease.
  • Forum software – This is one of the harder tasks people try to come across, not everyone is built for this type of project, might take some time to get up there with Invision Power or vBulletin.
  • The list goes on…..

When?

When to use PHP some might ask? Thats pretty simple and straightforward, and to answer I would recommend when ever you need a task done quicker then doing it manually. Less work and easier to manage.

Data Loss prevention?

Some don’t realize how important their data is, and some do. To have an accurate and safe website environment it’s always important to make sure you have copies of your website, else if some attacker comes and destroys your website you will have a backup and make it as easy as possible to get it backup in no time. First things first, never rely on a shared, vps, or dedicated hosting company. Yeah Dedicated hosting might be great, but you never know if your going to get scammed, there dedicated hosting is vulnerable. The list goes on. So that comes down to always back up your own websites manually. This is one thing I recommend anyone and everyone. Plus most companies back up weekly, say you have A LOT of new stuff on your website and “POOF” its gone? That whole week of relying on your hosting was a waste is it not? Always good to do somethings by hand :).

How often do I backup my mysql?

Backup daily, its recommended from the “Pro PHP Security” Book I’ve bought some time last year, great read to anyone who’s interested. Worth the $44.99 :).

Where?

A lot of people ask where do you start? It’s always best to read tutorials, guides, or even e-books about PHP topics that you want to learn about. I’ve writing an article called “Where does Web Development go from here” that touches on this article also. I’ll list some of the ones I like best.

Tutorials
  • TalkPHP Articles – some great articles created by the community
  • w3schools – some of the basic tutorial guide, more where to start and how to start PHP
  • Pixel2life – some nice tutorials quick reference of different things you can do
  • Tizag – much like w3schools, but I rather prefer this website instead.
Ebooks
  • hudzilla – great book this is the newest version, also I’m pretty sure there is a book version on this that you could buy.
  • Google Search – yep, Google can possible find any and every e-book available to man for free. (I have no control and will not take any actions for the usage of using this Google example, this is for learning purposes and I won’t have any part in the acts of anyone who reads this in the wrong matter.)
Guides
  • I couldn’t find many guides, but I hope this Google link will help you in the future.

Why?

PHP is one of the best, not degrading any other like asp, jsp, coldfusion etc.., I’m saying PHP is one of the best, easy to use and the most used server side scripting language created. PHP can do almost anything any other language can do to a certain extent, yet PHP gets the job done and gets the job done right. PHP is also one of the easiest to learn. I personal love the language, and I wasn’t meant to be a Web Developer :P, was more of a Python, C++ guy, but PHP grabbed my attention and went on FIRE :). This is just an opinion, others might have different aspects of my opinion. In the end PHP will be a dominate server side scripting language for the future and recommend anyone and everyone to learn it, if they plan on starting a basic site or a business site.

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