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PHP : Getting Started : A simple tutorial

Chapter 2. A simple tutorial

Here we would like to show the very basics of PHP in a short, simple tutorial. This text only deals with dynamic web page creation with PHP, though PHP is not only capable of creating web pages. See the section titled What can PHP do for more information.

PHP-enabled web pages are treated just like regular HTML pages and you can create and edit them the same way you normally create regular HTML pages.

What do I need?

In this tutorial we assume that your server has activated support for PHP and that all files ending in .php are handled by PHP. On most servers, this is the default extension for PHP files, but ask your server administrator to be sure. If your server supports PHP, then you do not need to do anything. Just create your .php files, put them in your web directory and the server will automatically parse them for you. There is no need to compile anything nor do you need to install any extra tools. Think of these PHP-enabled files as simple HTML files with a whole new family of magical tags that let you do all sorts of things. Most web hosts offer PHP support, but if your host does not, consider reading the » PHP Links section for resources on finding PHP enabled web hosts.

Let us say you want to save precious bandwidth and develop locally. In this case, you will want to install a web server, such as » Apache, and of course » PHP. You will most likely want to install a database as well, such as » MySQL.

You can either install these individually or choose a simpler way. Our manual has installation instructions for PHP (assuming you already have some web server set up). In case you have problems with installing PHP yourself, we would suggest you ask your questions on our » installation mailing list. If you choose to go on the simpler route, then » locate a pre-configured package for your operating system, which automatically installs all of these with just a few mouse clicks. It is easy to setup a web server with PHP support on any operating system, including MacOSX, Linux and Windows. On Linux, you may find » rpmfind and » PBone helpful for locating RPMs. You may also want to visit » apt-get to find packages for Debian.

Related Examples ( Source code ) » tutorial

Code Examples / Notes » tutorial


Thats a good point. Beyone installation, once you're ready to begin learning about the functionality of PHP and creating dynamic content, I found that was a good source for free samples and articles to help along the way.

rob freefallfire

On the note of fast and easy developer setup's, Xampp is of particular note. If you're interested, just Google 'Xampp' ... It is a product from the Apache Friends group and includes the Apache web server, PHP and Perl along with some other interesting modules, Filezilla ftp server and MySQL. All within one installer, making it a very usefull and broad developers or learners platform.


just keep in mind that these installation packages are for development use, and are not built for a production enviroment, the preformance and security of these tools is not setup for use in a public website.


Agreed. Some of the pre-configured packs and associated tutorials really can simplify the installation and get you up and running in minutes but you MUST make sure that as an absolute minimum you add a secure password - ideally a mix of letters, numbers, not a real word etc. Otherwise, when your site/system is live, it will be potentially open to abuse.

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