PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a server-side or backend programming language primarily used for web development.
Learning PHP will help you to build fully functional websites with dynamic features. And I believe this post will showcase to you the complete path to learning the PHP programming language.
Whether you want to learn PHP to build your own web application or tools, WordPress theme, plugin or you want to work as a PHP developer or backend developer. The sources and steps shared in this post are best from my experience.
Step 1: Learn the basics of PHP
There are hundreds of free and good PHP video tutorials on YouTube. If haven’t learned any programming language before then watching, practicing, and learning the basics of PHP will help you to understand the basics of syntax writing, use of variables, data types, operators, control structures, functions, handling forms, and some others.
Although these are similar in other programming languages as well. But using and writing them in a PHP program is different.
Following are some of the best free online PHP courses for beginners on YouTube. I have watched all of these and also practiced on my own as well for learning.
This PHP tutorial has 200+ videos available in Hindi and is very useful for beginners to learn PHP basics.
This is a 4-hour video tutorial and it is in English and is also very helpful for beginners.
This is another 4:36:39 hours course which you can also use to learn the basics of PHP.
PHP courses on Udemy to Learn the Basics:
In this course, you’ll master the art of creating dynamic websites by building a CMS from scratch using PHP and MySQL. In this course in you can also explore essential aspects of web applications like login systems, CRUD operations, email sending, file uploads, and Ajax interactions.
Tips to practice PHP by following all of the above tutorials:
So now you have enough choices to select the best basic PHP course from the above. Now here are the tips to learn and practice php effectively:
- To start practicing PHP you have to install and setup a PHP development environment on your computer. For this, you can use the WAMP server.
- Practice one thing on your own before you move to the next concept. Watch a video for 10 minutes or watch one concept such as a variable or function, conditional statements, etc. and then practice that for at least 10 more minutes. The goal is here do not to be in a rush to finish or fast forward the tutorials instead the goal is to practice. Without practicing the basics, you can get problems when you will have to learn and use advanced PHP concepts and logic.
- Follow the PHP coding standard for syntax writing so that from the beginning you will adopt good and clean code habits.
- When learning the basics of PHP or any other technology. Set a fixed 1-hour or 2-hour time in a day that you can follow. The best time can be in the morning from 5 AM to 7 AM.
- If you are determined to become a PHP developer and web developer, then you have to be confident and disciplined. You may face difficulties in the beginning when watching and practicing PHP but do not give up.
- At this time your confidence and discipline will guide you further. And after some time, you will easily learn all the basic as well as advanced PHP concepts.
What not to do while learning the basics of PHP?
While learning PHP basics only focus on the tutorials shared in this post or any other that you selected. Other than this, do not search for perfect tutorials, and do not compare which is best PHP or Python, Do not watch videos related to “Is PHP Good?” Is PHP dead? etc. It’s because you may get distracted and then you will keep procrastinating learning coding. Whatever will happen will happen. But at least you must jump into the development world in any way possible and PHP is very good specifically for web development.
Step 2: Learn advanced PHP Concepts:
After learning the basics of PHP, now it’s time to learn advanced concepts, skills, and knowledge. You can take this section as a 2nd semester in the PHP course. So far you learned the things that are basic and common in almost every programming language. But from now the concept is more specific, targeted, and focused on specific development/web application and website needs.
Advanced PHP concepts include object-oriented programming, the use of PHP frameworks, databases, web security, Error handling, APIs and web services, and many other ways to automate building, testing tools, and deploying PHP applications and code.
While you will also get some of these advanced concepts to learn in basic tutorials. But now the following online courses, sources, and tips are specifically taking you from beginners to an expert level.
Popular Online courses on Udemy can take your PHP knowledge to the next level.
Even if you do not want to work as a WordPress developer, still knowledge and skills to use PHP through and within WordPress is important web development skills.
Is it not enough to learn PHP from the above sources?
Straight forward answer is no. No, because learning never ends. Each day you can learn new things when you will PHP in real projects. There is no web developer who knows everything. But everyone knows and follows a specific approach to get the job done. It can be done through searching and using AI tools, and it can be done through learning video tutorials or mainly StackOverflow.
Step 3: Learn to develop as many things as you can:
This step is as important as learning the basics. Many students start learning programming through exercise and building things. That’s very useful for those who have some programming experience.
But actually, this is the time when you understand the real use of learning basics and advanced PHP concepts. If you start developing and building websites, web apps, tools, plugins, and themes you will gain confidence and understand the process from beginning to deployment behind any website or web application. So the goal should be to learn to build as many things as you can.
How to get Ideas for PHP development exercises, and projects work?
- Follow a specific YouTube channel that is fully focused on PHP or Web Development. You will get updates on what’s trending in PHP.
- Find online courses that are building or creating something new in PHP. Try to follow that.
- Research PHP-related works and projects on Upwork or freelance websites and try to do that as a practice.
- Join PHP-related online communities, events, and boot camps.
- Read PHP-related development blogs.
Following are some of the best sources that can help you to practice PHP through exercises and projects. And by following these tools you can update or test your learned PHP concepts so far.
- PHP Tutorial by w3schools.com
- Getting Started with PHP: Dedicated blog on PHP
- Let’s Learn Laravel: A Guided Path For Beginners
- Laravel 10 – Build Multi-Vendor E-commerce Website (2023)
- Laravel 9 – News Portal Website for Beginner to Advanced
So I think all the above is enough resources to start learning PHP or PHP for Web and WordPress development.
How much time does it take to learn PHP?
To become able to build and manage a complete web application or web project on your own can take 6 months to 1 year for any individual. It can be less or depends on the individual learning capacity, methods of learning, learning environment, and abilities.
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