Introduction to PHP

What is PHP?

  • PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.
  • PHP is a server-side scripting language, which means PHP is used to communicate with the server and carry out various tasks the code and scripts tells it to do.
  • PHP is very useful for making dynamic and interactive websites.
  • PHP is the most widely used server-side language being used today on more than 80% of all server-side websites.
  • PHP is free to download and use:
    • Note: downloading and installing PHP is primarily used if you plan to host yourself, such as using your own Apache servers. If you use a 3rd party host (GoDaddy, etc.), PHP is readily available – no downloading or installing necessary.

What is an example of what PHP can do?

  • When you write a post on social media, PHP communicates with the database and several things are usually done (depending on the website):
    • Your post is inserted into the database with a lot of different data (post title, post, timestamp, your user id, privacy setting, styling / html (if unique to the post, such as bold text), tracking information (wrote post +1, tags, categories, user id, ip address, url post was posted on), emoticon, and often times, much more information than that.
    • Writing a post (for example) will often insert into multiple tables. These tables should be joined together through relationships. You’ll learn more about that in a later lesson.

Official Documentation is the official authority on documentation. Visit them for any additional clarity. Remember, they can be a little tricky to understand, so… you’ll learn how to read the documentation in a later lesson.


You will be tested on your progress. Some of these quizzes may be optional; however, highly recommended to complete all quizzes because you will be required to get a 70% or higher on the final exam (timed test) to earn your certificate. Failed final exams will require you to RETAKE THE COURSE to retake the exam.


We encourage engagement among all students and instructors. Feel free to ask questions, provide answers, suggest corrections / errors / bug fixes (hopefully there aren’t any), recommendations for style / css changes, or… just to say hi and meet other students and instructors. We encourage you to introduce yourself on the first lesson of each course. This is the first page, so… introduce yourself below ⇓

2 thoughts on “Introduction to PHP

  1. Good afternoon everyone, I will be your instructor.

    My name is Donald Faulknor and I have been programming for 12 years. I have taught myself much of what I know and have a college education in Information Technology from Keiser University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Programming is a passion for me, I don’t make a lot of money doing it, after all, this course is only $10. I do it because I love it. My other hobbies include martial arts, watching movies with the family, and traveling.

    I have four children (Tyler [13], Jaden [11], Brandon [6], and Isabella [21 months]) and a fiance, Jennifer [41] – should I have said her age? lol

    Feel free to ask me any questions. I am here to help you learn better and become more successful. I try to reply within 24 to 48 hours, but that could depend on my schedule and the number of comments.

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