If you can crack the basics and get to grips with a working knowledge of the a few key functions you can soon be building your own mini web applications, and your ability will just keep on climbing upwards. But before you can do that, you need to set the foundations and get started. Here are a few tips:
1 – Installing the environment
It isn’t essential, as most standard web hosts have PHP already installed. But if you can get hold of your own server set up, or afford a dedicated server – it is well worth having a go at installing the framework for yourself. This will really help you to understand the subtle nuances of the language in more detail.
2 – Stick to simple code editors
IDE’s (Integrated Development Environments) are bits of software which aim to make your life easier when coding, by managing files and helping with pieces of code. However, learning on such a platform can teach you bad habits. When you learn, try to use a simple editor such as notepad or notepad++ (it’s free). In particular, this will help you to learn correct syntax.
Hint: You will make mistakes along the way, and spending an hour banging your head against the wall over something like a missing semi-colon is common place. But getting your syntax down from the start will help you a lot.
3 – Don’t use readymade frameworks
If you dive right in and try to edit the PHP of some open source application (eg WordPress), you will be taken back by the complexity of the coding and won’t really know where to start. At first you should just aim to build a few of your own mini applications. Only move on to editing readymade code once you are at a higher level.
4 – Choose a good hosting company
Different versions of PHP work to different levels. You want to learn on the most up to date version of PHP with all the plugins, otherwise your knowledge will be incomplete. Make sure you have access to PHP5 as well as things such as cURL. Read a Host Gator Review here to see how they stack up.
5 – OO
It stands for Object Orientation and you can code without it if you want – but you shouldn’t. When I was first learning I made the mistake of putting off learning the nuances of OO programming, but when I finally did get on board I realized what I had been missing.
OO can be a bit tricky when you first learn, but you should try to crack object oriented coding as soon as you can because quite simply, it will make your life so much easier once you have done, and you might just wonder how you did without it.
Guest article written by: Nisha Sandhu – I am 26 years old and I am an Editor at whoishostingthis.com, whom I have been working with for 2 years now. I love to write and give online business advice to new and growing businesses, visit our site to check out the latest Host Gator reviews.