Introduction to PHP

In this tutorial, we will learn an introduction to PHP. PHP stands for Hypertext preprocessor and it is a well-known language for developing web applications. In short definition, PHP is a server-side, open-source technology used to develop web applications. Web applications help us process data on the server side and generate dynamic web pages for clients. PHP was developed by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994.

Difference between Client-side and server-side scripting language: –

You might have heard about client-side or server-side scripting languages. But do you know the difference between client-side and server-side scripting languages?

  • The main difference between client-side and server-side scripting languages is that Server Side Scripting languages need a server to run, It means we can not run this kind of language directly on the client machine. On the other side, client-side scripting can work on the client machine.
  • Moreover, the user can not see server-side code because the whole code only stays on the server. Server-side code will process user requests and send only results back to the user. However, the end-user can see client-side scripting code. Because client-side scripting code works on the client machine.

We can not run code written in PHP directly on our PC. So it means we need a server to run code written in PHP. Do not worry I am not gonna tell you to buy a server. We have an alternative solution, we can create a virtual server on a PC. There is a lot of free software available that allows us to create a virtual server on our PC. 

Versions of PHP:

Before jumping to coding in PHP. Please take a quick glance at the history of the versions in PHP and here you can also see the latest available version.

VersionRelease DateSupported until
7.03 December 201510 January 2019
7.11 December 20161 December 2019
7.230 November 201730 November 2020
7.36 December 20186 December 2021
7.428 November 201928 November 2022
8.026 November 202026 November 2023
8.125 November 202125 November 2024
8.28 December 20228 December 2025
8.323 November 202323 November 2026

Please continue with the upcoming tutorials to learn about how to set the environment for PHP on PC and how to write a Hello World program in PHP.

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