“Learning never exhausts the mind.” - Leonardo da Vinci

Learning to programme is plus when it comes to working. There are plenty of sectors looking for people with knowledge of the PHP programming language.

Programming and creating a dynamic website on a server requires some knowledge of coding. That said, even if you’re not a programmer, you can learn more about web technologies. You just have to go for it!

Learning PHP (PHP functions, HTML files, web apps, etc.) allows you to create a web interface with special characters and automate the interactive elements.

To create a website, you need to start by testing the source code to make sure it’ll work online. Here’s how you can display your work in your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, etc.).

What’s a PHP File For?

Syntax, script, command lines, strings, database management, etc. There’s plenty you’ll need to know about PHP in order to create a dynamic website. The code will allow you to create a web page that can change depending on who’s using it, the time of day, etc. It’s often used to create member areas and is used alongside other languages like CSS and HTML.

What are PHP files for?
PHP is a programming language you can use for websites. (Source: hitesh0141)

Learning to programme (headers, HTML code, PHP script, database management, etc) can be done with PHP tutorials or by teaching yourself to create your own dynamic website. Adding HTML, configuring a host, etc. all require that you create an executable code.

To implement this code, you need to write a few lines of script. These lines tell the server what to do. This is how web developers can create personalised web pages. The PHP file includes all the code that makes up the web page. Developers often use digital notepads to create them.

Once you’ve created the file, you can open it in a programme. In this case, you’ll just see the code. You can also directly read the PHP file on a server or with a programme that’s emulating the server.

Find out more about integrating images with PHP.

Downloading a Programme to Read the PHP File

A PHP file appears as a notepad file. To write PHP code or read a file that you’ve already created, you’ll need to download a programme to edit the code. Otherwise, you won’t be able to put these lines of code onto your server.

Which programme do you need to write PHP?
You'll need special characters to code in PHP. (Source: DomAlberts)

The editor is a programme that allows you to write code. You can use a simple word processor like those found in LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or Microsoft Office. That said, some functions aren’t available in these office suites.

Here are some programmes you can use to read and write PHP:

  • Notepad++
  • Dreamweaver,
  • Komodo Edi
  • TextEdit
  • Etc.

Once installed, the programme will allow you to use all the characters for writing your code and creating a PHP file. You just need to save the file onto your computer in a format that can be read by a browser. When you save your file, make sure it’s a PHP file so that it can be read.

Most of these programmes are free and can be downloaded. This has helped make PHP very accessible. In fact, PHP is an open-source programming language. This means that anyone can use or modify it. It’s, therefore, very easy to find tools.

Testing the File on a Web Server

Once you’ve got your PHP file, there are a few ways you can read it in a browser. You can do this through a server that you’re renting or by emulating a server on your computer with a special programme.

How do you open a PHP file on a server?
You'll be able to look at your work online. (Source: StockSnap)

You need to know that copying and pasting your PHP code won’t do anything. To display a PHP file online, you need the code to be interpreted by a server.

In order to see what your PHP code does, you’ll need to rent a server. A server is a computer that’s usually more powerful than your typical computer. This computer is connected to the internet and offers web hosting. To access a server, you need to use its IP address. The address is a series of numbers separated by full-stops.

It’s easy to rent a server. There are plenty of websites offering affordable rates. You can pay monthly or rent one for a specific period of time. You’ll be given an IP address. You can use this server to display your PHP file in a browser.

Once you’ve rented your server, you just need to upload your PHP file to the server and put it in a public folder. Finally, you can have a look at how your PHP code is interpreted by the server by typing in your domain name, a slash, your public folder, another slash, and your PHP filename.

Check out our article on using PHP with WordPress.

Opening a PHP File without Renting a Server

Another way to have a look at your work is by using a programme that emulates a server. This solution means that you won’t need to rent a server. In fact, some people just want to practise coding without having to create websites.

How do you read a PHP file?
Programming code can be difficult to understand at first. (Source: 3844328)

You could use a programme called XAMPP. You can find it online and download it. It’s compatible with operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Unix, and Linux.

Once you’ve installed it, you can use it to emulate a server. You can import PHP files or create them. You can correct PHP files in the programme without having to go back to your notepad.

To use XAMPP, launch the programme, Apache, and MySQL. This will allow you to test the programme. To import your files, you’ll need to launch the FTP.

To read a PHP file, you just need to input the address of the file in the browser and hit enter. The address will always start with “http://localhost” followed by your PHP file. And that’s it!

Find out more about the advantages of PHP.

Look up for some of the best IT computer course on Superprof.

What You Need to Know to Read a PHP File

Using PHP isn’t always intuitive for beginners. To make sure you start off on the right foot, here’s some advice to help you.

Before you start using PHP, you need to install a PHP engine on your computer. Everything can be found on PHP.net. You’ll find the latest version of PHP (version 7). New versions come with new functions and features.

To make sure that you don’t lose everything when modifying code, make sure you save a second copy of your code elsewhere.

Files can contain several programming languages at once. In the case of PHP, it’s often a mix of PHP and HTML, the most common language for creating static web pages. If your file includes both programming languages, it mightn’t display correctly.

If you use the PHP extension, the HTML lines won’t be displayed. If you use the HTML extension, the PHP lines won’t be interpreted by the server. To test a file, you need to test each part individually.

Finally, practise writing simple lines of code and then move on to more complicated stuff. Don’t go too quickly as you can easily get discouraged by code that’s full of errors. If you want to become a web developer, start off easy!

If you're interested in object-oriented programming, learning more about a scripting language, Perl, web development, PHP programming, web applications, server-side scripting, JavaScript, Python, MySQL, Zend, or Apache, for example, get in touch with the tutors on Superprof!

There are three types of tutorials available on the platform: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials and each type has its pros and cons.

Face-to-face tutorials are usually the most expensive but they're also the most cost-effective since you'll be the only student in the class and the tutor can focus entirely on you.

Online tutorials tend to cost less since the tutor doesn't have to worry about their travel costs to and from the student. While these aren't ideal for subjects that require a hands-on approach, they can be really effective for technical subjects like IT.

Group tutorials are usually the cheapest per hour since the cost of the lesson is shared amongst all of the students in attendance. Of course, this does mean that you'll get less personal attention from your tutor.

Don't forget that a lot of the tutors also offer the first hour of tutoring for free. You can use this time to see if you get along with them if their teaching approaches are right for you, and discuss what you want and expect from your private tutorials.

Work out what's best for you and soon you'll be an expert in PHP!

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