Getting Good with PHP


In Getting Good with PHP, Andrew Burgess will teach you everything you need to know about the basics of PHP.

Even if you don't have any programming experience under your belt, this easy-to-read guide will get you started with PHP in no time.

This book isn't meant to be the super extreme, all-encompassing book which will make you become one with PHP. But if you know nothing at all about PHP and want to get comfy with it as quickly as possible, then I think this book is definitely for you. Although it won't make you an expert, it will take you all the way to the advanced beginner state, getting you to a point where you'll be comfortable writing PHP scripts for your own websites and ready to digest more advanced PHP topics.

Andrew Burgess has been a student of web development for eight years, and a teacher of it for three and a half years. He's a staff writer at Nettuts+, and staff instructor at Tuts+ Premium. He's also the author of two other Rockable books: Getting Good with Git, and Getting Good with JavaScript.

Hear From the Author

Hi! My name's Andrew Burgess, and thanks so much for checking out my new book, Getting Good with PHP. If you've been wanting to learn PHP, I'm hoping you'll find my book the perfect fit.

PHP is a somewhat controversial language: some developers sing its praises, while others decry its inconsistencies. But I think most would agree that PHP is the most widely used server-side language. Huge sites like Facebook and popular frameworks like WordPress all use PHP to work their wonders, and you'll be on your way to doing the same after reading this book.

If you've tried to learn PHP before, but hit a mental wall, I think the conversational style of Getting Good with PHP will help. I can't sit down with every one of you and spend a couple of hours teaching you PHP, but this book is the next best thing.

What the Book Covers

Getting Up and Running

Before we actually start learning PHP, let's figure out exactly what PHP is, and why you should use it. Of course, to learn PHP, you'll need to have it installed on your computer, so we'll also walk through the installation process on both Windows and Mac.

The Nuts and Bolts of PHP

Next up, we'll walk through the datatypes and operators of PHP. Datatypes and operators are the core of pretty much every programming language; having these under your belt will really make you feel like you're beginning to grok PHP. We'll also look at creating functions.

PHP's Control Structures and Built-in Functions

If datatypes and operators are the nuts and bolts, then control structures are the chassis of programming languages. `If` and `else`, `foreach` and `switch`, `return` and `require`: all of them play important roles in your understanding of PHP Fundamentals. Then, we'll dive into PHP's massive library of built-in functions: as you'll see, there really is a function for pretty much anything you might want to do.

PHP Forms and Persistence

PHP is useful for dealing with user input, so that's what we look at next. Of course, the web doesn't keep track of your website viewers, so PHP has several methods of preserving the visitor's data. Then, of course, there are databases, which are great for storing user data for longer periods of time.

Security and Problem Solving

When you're working with user input, you want to make sure that you don't make place for hackers to exploit your site. While this isn't quite "Security 101," you'll learn some helpful tips to make sure that the input you get from your users is what you expect, and not what you dread. Then, we'll wrap it up with a discussion on how to fix things when they go wrong.

Source files and extra information

All Rockable Press publications come with source files and added information. The last page of any Rockable Press book contains the link information to download those files.

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