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PHP is a scripting language, and is one of the most widely-used back-end web languages, though it can be used in a variety of other contexts. PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, a name which hints at it easily intermingles with HTML. Indeed, you'll often see HTML and PHP together in the same file.

In the context of the web, PHP runs on a server to generate content (mostly HTML, but also CSS and Javascript) that is then sent back to a user's computer. Most large-scale sites or web apps will use a PHP framework, such as CakePHP, Laravel, or Nette.

Many content management systems (CMS) are built in PHP, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, thus, many PHP jobs have coders modifying and extending these systems for web publishers.

Tackle these tasks, and then you'll be ready to build an amazing PHP project!


  • Learn PHP basics
    • Switching between HTML and PHP mode within a file
    • Associative arrays
    • include and require functions
    • Form handling and validation
    • Connecting to and using a MySQL database
    • Displaying data from a database on a web page
    • Classes and objects in PHP
  • Understand the Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradigm
  • Learn how to use the mysqli extension
    • Understand basic SQL: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE
    • Connect to a MySQL database with mysqli
    • Execute basic queries against a MySQL database from your PHP code

Time Commitment

The time to learn these tasks can be highly variable, depending on which resources you use, how many hours per week you are able to devote to learning, and what type of support you have (online via message boards, in-person at meetups, etc). Focus on learning all of these topics, rather than hitting the specified number of hours.

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