What is PHP ? [Basic Information] - WAY2IT

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What is PHP ? [Basic Information]


  • PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • PHP is a server-side scripting language, like ASP
  • PHP scripts are executed on the server
  • PHP supports many databases (MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC, etc.)
  • PHP is an open source software
  • PHP is free to download and use
What is a PHP File ?
  • PHP files can contain text, HTML tags and scripts
  • PHP files are returned to the browser as plain HTML 
  • PHP files have a file extension of ".php", ".php3", or ".phtml"
What is MySQL ?
  • MySQL is a database server
  • MySQL is ideal for both small and large applications
  • MySQL supports standard SQL
  • MySQL compiles on a number of platforms
  • MySQL is free to download and use
PHP + MySQL :-
  • PHP combined with MySQL are cross-platform (you can develop in Windows and serve on a Unix platform)
Why PHP ?
  • PHP runs on different platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.)
  • PHP is compatible with almost all servers used today (Apache, IIS, etc.)
  • PHP is FREE to download from the official PHP resource: www.php.net
  • PHP is easy to learn and runs efficiently on the server side
Where to Start ?
To get access to a web server with PHP support, you can:

  • Install Apache (or IIS) on your own server, install PHP, and MySQL
  • Or find a web hosting plan with PHP and MySQL support

What do you Need ?

If your server supports PHP you don't need to do anything.
Just create some .php files in your web directory, and the server will parse them for you. Because it is free, most web hosts offer PHP support. However, if your server does not support PHP, you must install PHP.
Basic PHP Syntax :-
A PHP scripting block always starts with <?php and ends with ?>. A PHP scripting block can be placed anywhere in the document.

On servers with shorthand support enabled you can start a scripting block with <? and end with ?>.

For maximum compatibility, we recommend that you use the standard form (<?php) rather than the shorthand form.

<?php
?>

A PHP file normally contains HTML tags, just like an HTML file, and some PHP scripting code.

Below, we have an example of a simple PHP script which sends the text "Hello World" to the browser:

<html>
<body>

<?php
echo "Hello World";
?>

</body>
</html>

Each code line in PHP must end with a semicolon. The semicolon is a separator and is used to distinguish one set of instructions from another.

There are two basic statements to output text with PHP: echo and print. In the example above we have used the echo statement to output the text "Hello World".

Note : The file must have a .php extension. If the file has a .html extension, the PHP code will not be executed.

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