The days of static web pages have almost gone, every one who has built their own site in basic HTML and CSS will have at some point wondered how to make their site into a dynamic site. By Dynamic I mean the site seems to have elements that update from databases like forums, comments box and news updates page.
Well if you want to add such qualities to your site and don’t want to become a programming wizard the good news is that PHP server side language has everything your looking for Its free, very easy to use, and works great with MYSQL which is a Database that is also free.
I have been working with PHP now for a couple of years and have only scratched the surface of its uses. But that doesn’t mean you will be learning PHP for years before you get a use out of it. I remember when I started with PHP in my first week I had built a website that connected to MYSQL database and also built an online calculator It’s really so easy you wont believe it.
New and old technologies that utilize PHP are spread across the web. Such as WordPress and CakePHP, are perfect examples of what can be achieved with PHP.
The only drawback that Is worth mentioning about PHP is that, as a programmer you can easily slip into bad habits, like mixing all your PHP with your HTML you may feel its the way to program in the early days but you’ll soon realize that scripts become unreadable and debugging will prove to be an absolute nightmare. So it is important to program with an organised system such as MVC which is basically a structured way of doing things that makes debugging your scripts a much more pleasant experience.
Oh! and good luck if you decide to learn PHP your going to enjoy it so much that you’ll probably find the hours flying past just make sure you make time for the other half.