PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side scripting language used for creating dynamic and interactive web pages and web applications. If you’re a beginner programmer and interested in learning PHP, the first thing you may ask yourself would be “Is PHP easy to learn?” In this article, you will learn the steps on how to learn PHP, and also discuss how long it takes to learn PHP, and whether PHP is worth learning in 2023.
How Long Does It Take to Learn PHP?
The time it takes to learn PHP will depend on the time you dedicate to learning and how fast you can understand its concepts. How long does it take to learn PHP may last several weeks or months depending on your level of proficiency. If you don’t have any programming experience, it may take up to six months to be proficient. However, remember that learning PHP is an ongoing process. You will continue to learn new concepts and techniques as you progress in practicing PHP and using it for actual applications.
Steps on How to Learn PHP
Step 1: Learn HTML and CSS
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are the building blocks of web development so it’s important to be familiar with HTML and CSS. HTML creates the structure of the web pages while CSS controls the visual appearance of web pages. You can find many free online resources and tutorials for learning HTML and CSS.
Step 2: Learn the basics of PHP syntax
Starting with the basics such as variables, operators, arrays, and loops is an important step on how to learn PHP. These are the building blocks of PHP and you can’t write code without knowing about them. Once you understand the basics, you can study functions, data types, control structures, and other advanced topics. You can take free online tutorials on learning about the basics, and there are also many books about PHP for beginners.
Step 3: Set up a local development environment
To practice PHP, you have to install and set up a local development environment (LDE) on your computer. A development environment is a set of tools that you need to write PHP code. This environment includes a text editor for writing code and a local server for testing code. The most popular LDE tools are XAMPP, MAMP, and WAMP. They are free and open-source packages that you can download and use for free. After you set up your development environment, you can test if PHP is working correctly on your computer. Write a simple PHP code like “Hello, World!” using the following script:
echo "Hello World!";
Step 4: Practice coding
Devote as much time as you can to writing code. Start by building small projects such as creating a simple blog or a login system, or building a contact form or a simple calculator. As you become more familiar with PHP, you can move on to complex programs like building an e-commerce website or a content management system.
Step 5: Use online courses
There are many online resources (free and paid) for beginners. They can provide a structured learning path and help you build practical projects. Some of the websites offering free PHP tutorials:
Step 6: Join online PHP communities
There are many online communities including forums and social media groups where you can engage with other PHP programmers and developers. Some popular communities include PHP Community, Meetup PHP, GitHub, and Stack Overflow. Joining online communities will enable you to connect with others who can provide valuable support, insights, and learning opportunities.
Is PHP Worth Learning in 2023