How to Learn PHP and MySQL

Phpmysqladmin-with-multiple-server-selectorEver see a webpage with “.php” as it’s file type at the end? Ever wonder how to make an actual DECENT website, that DOESN’T stink? Well, I’m here to help teach you learn how to program PHP (not a tutorial itself, but rather a tutorial on finding your first resources and stuff). So, let’s begin!




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Get Inspired! Before anything, a good step is always to get inspired. Think of all the things you can do with PHP and MySQL; you can create online games, you can create business websites, you can create personal websites, you can make all kinds of websites! PHP and MySQL are used all around the world for numerous purposes, from making websites to making games. Get inspired to learn!


Learn HTML! As much as you may want to ignore it, learning HTML is a key part in learning PHP. PHP is transmitted (sent) to web browsers as just plain ol’ HTML, which is used to create millions of websites. You can learn HTML using tutorials that are available all over the internet. A great place to start is W3Schools, a free source for tutorials on how to program various languages, including HTML, PHP, and MySQL.


Start Learning PHP! Obviously, it’s time to start learning PHP. As previously mentioned, W3Schools is a great place to start. Or, you can try using Tizag, which is very similar to W3Schools. In order to script in PHP, an IDE is highly recommended. Free IDE/editor choices include Komodo Edit (which uses the same addon-engine as Mozilla Firefox, an awesome free web browser), Netbeans (which has several plugins), Eclipse (which is slow but SUPER extensive), and Notepad++. Also, you can try the personal edition of PHPEdit. (In order to register it, you have to personally request a license from the creator.)


Find platforms to use. Some commercial IDES (which can be quite expensive) include Zend Studio (an ultra popular IDE, from some of the creators of PHP, other than Rasmus Lerdorf, the former creator of PHP; based on Eclipse), Komodo IDE (which Komodo Edit is based on), and Adobe Dreamweaver (a classic IDE, about the same price as Zend Studio (a.k.a EXPENSIVE), supports many other programming languages).


Get started with MySQL! After reading some of W3Schools’ PHP tutorial, continue on to the MySQL chapters of it. If you weren’t using it before, I recommend using it to learn MySQL. If for some reason you are uncomfortable with W3Schools, then try finding some MySQL tutorials on a search engine like Google or Yahoo.


Apply Your Skills! Last but definitely not least, apply your new PHP and MySQL skills to some websites, or maybe even online games. You’ve earned it! Or should I say, IT? You might even earn some cash now, if you choose to create websites for a living (being a professional web designer) or creating a game that might cost money (hopefully not, I hate those!).


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  1. Make sure that you’re making the right choice when buying a PHP IDE. Most commercial PHP IDES aren’t much better than the free ones, and sometimes they’re even worse.
  2. It’s a good idea not to buy a PHP IDE.



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