PHP is a scripting language used to create web pages. It is used in conjunction with SQL, which is a database that stores variables and data that the PHP files may use. However, there are people who may not be very familiar with PHP. This is why there is a comprehensive user guide to help PHP first timers get the hang of things and experience the power and fun in creating robust and quality applications. This article will focus on some key steps and guidelines to help users learn how to use PHP better and utilize its full potential.
Step 1: Basic PHP syntax
This is the starting point for anyone looking to learn PHP. Learners must build on the following points.
- Creation of a blank file with any program that can save the file in plain text format
- Save the file as .PHP file. A good example is webpage.php. saving a page using a .php extension communicates to the server that it needs to implement the PHP code
- Entering the <?php statement. This informs the server know there is an upcoming PHP code coming up
- The next step involves entering the body of the PHP program
- The last statement is ?> and this lets the browser know that the code is complete
Step 2: Comments
The next step involves comments. Comments are mainly for enabling the user conceals something on the page. In addition, this is a note to the user so that they can use it as a point of reference in future editing. This is a short demonstration of a comment.
//A comment on a single line
#Another single line comment
This method enables creation of larger texts and they all are commented out.
Step 3: Print and echo statements
The echo statement is the primary statement in PHP. This means it outputs whatever a user tells it to echo. Print works in a similar way to echo. These two statements are interchangeable, depending on what the user is doing. Since echoing and print are contained in quotation marks, if users want to use quotation marks inside the code, there must be use of a backslash. When there is use of more than one line of code in the php tags, each line is separated by a semicolon. At this point, it is possible to insert the HTML into the php print line and the rest of the document can be edited as desired. The most important thing is to save the work as a php file.
Step 4: Variables
The next crucial step is learning how to set variables. First, the definition of the word variable means something the represents another value. A good example is:
$like=”I like about”
$num = 12345;
The quotation marks and semi colon are both used in this instance. However, the second $num being an integer, it does not require use of quotation marks. Something crucial to keep in mind when working with variables is that they are case sensitive. In addition, they are at all times defined with a $ and they never start with a number, but an underscore or letter.
Step 5: Arrays
Arrays hold several pieces of data, as opposed to variables, that only hold particular pieces of data. Arrays are mostly used with loops and MySQL. The following is an illustration on arrays.
$age(“Justin”) = 45; $age(”Lloyd”) = 32; $age(“Alexia”) = 26;
$age(“Devron”) = 15;
Print “My friends’ names are”. friend(0) . “, “ . $friend(1) . “ ,” .
$friend(2) . “ , and “ . $friend(3);
Print “Alexia is “ . $age(“Alexia”) . “ years old”; ?>
Integers are used in arranging the first array. The second array shows that one can also use a string text. Just like variables, arrays are also case sensitive and they always are defined with a $. They must start with letters or an underscore.
Step 6: Operands
In PHP, expressions are used to execute operations and give answers to single values. This is with the help of expressions as used in mathematics. The expression consists of two parts i.e.
Operands can be;
- Boolean values
A good example is a=4+5 (the operands are 4 and 5.
b=(4+5)/2 (the expression (4+5) is used along b and 2.
Step 7: Operators
This step sheds more light on operators. The main purpose of operators is to tell users what to do with the operands. They are in three main categories and they include:
- Mathematical: plus (+), minus (-), multiplied by (x) and divided by (/)
- Boolean: && (shows both ends are true), ll (true if at least one operand is true, xor (true is only an operand is true), ! (true is a solitary operand is false)
- Comparison: greater than (>), equal to (=), (!) not equal to, (<) less than
The mathematical operators apply mathematical functions to operands, where as comparison operators compare one operand with another. Boolean gives logic to every statement, meaning the statement is either true or false.
This guide is appropriate for all beginners and is a doorway to achieving a lot with PHP framework.