What Is a PHP Program? 

So let’s say you’re looking online and you come across the term ‘PHP program?’ when it comes to coding, there are a lot of abbreviations to learn, and this is one you haven’t seen yet.

Perhaps it was brought up in conversation and you had to nod along as if you knew what it meant even though you didn’t. If you find yourself in a situation like this – don’t panic! We’ve got you covered!

In this article we’re going to take you through everything there is to know about PHP programs.

We’ll cover the basics, history, and common uses of the PHP scripting language, including what it’s best at and why you should consider using it.

What is a PHP Programm

If you’re into coding or computer sciences, it’s likely that you’ll come across a PHP program some time or another, so it’s important that you get to grips with it.

We’ve also made sure to add an extensive Frequently Asked Questions section at the end of this article, with the purpose of defining and exploring some of the more specialized terms within this article. 

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So What Is PHP?

Let’s start with its basic definition. PHP is a commonly used open-source (meaning free to access) general-purpose scripting language.

It is primarily used for web development and has great compatibility with other languages such as HTML. It was created by Danish-Canadian developer Rasmus Lerdorf and was first released in 1994.

Originally, the abbreviation stood for Personal Home Page, but the modern name of the language is PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

PHP is what we call an interpreted language. This is a more complex way of saying that when you write code statements (otherwise known as classic lines of code), the PHP interpreter is going to interpret your code and then execute it.

You might be wondering why this is an important distinction? Well, in other coding languages – such as C# or Java, the code is first compiled before it is executed. 

To understand what PHP does within a webpage, we need to look at the other layers first. Let’s start with HTML. HTML code is the presentation segment of a web page – meaning styling, reading, and defining what an image is within a page. 

The other layer you’re likely to come across is CSS, which styles certain parts of a website. Another common language you might see used within a website is Java, though it’s somewhat external and used to create more complex parts of user interfaces – think moving buttons and animations. 

And when we get to the third layer we come to PHP. PHP can be thought of as the deeper, calculating, part of a web page.

PHP is used to generate HTML, CSS, or anything else you might want on the server. So in many ways, you can think of PHP as the brain of your code. 

There are lots of different uses for PHP, but in short, it is a script running in the background of a web page that will decide what data will be sent to you. This is a vital part of your experience within a website so the code has to be right!

So What Is A PHP Program?

With what we just covered in mind, it isn’t too difficult to work out what a PHP program is. A ‘program’ here, usually refers to a specific set of operations that have been ordered and arranged for a computer to perform. When we write code, we are creating a program.

After this, the code is usually interpreted, compiled, and then executed. 

So a PHP program is simply a program that has been written in the PHP language. PHP programs are typically used to generate web content.

Let’s say you have a website and you’re looking to recover some old posts you wrote a few years ago and then display them on your home page. PHP is going to be the mechanism you can utilize to dothis. That’s just one of its many uses, and there 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PHP Hard To Learn?

When it comes to answering whether or not a specific language is hard to learn, one of the things that you need to keep in mind is that it is different for everyone.

That’s why programmers have different preferences, and often specialize throughout their whole career in one or two different languages.

With that in mind, PHP is generally seen as one of the easier programming languages to learn. Because of its history and a wide variety of different resources for beginners to pick up, it can be very easy to get into.

As well as this, it also has a syntax that is forgiving for junior programmers who might not be used to dealing with more complex ones.

What Does Syntax Mean In Programming?

Syntax refers to a set of rule that is used to define a certain combination of symbols within a line of code. Think of it as the rule set that allows a programing language to work.

In order to be good at writing a certain programming language, you’ll need to learn the syntax.

You can also think of it as the grammar of a language, just as you might learn with any commonly spoken language on planet earth. 

Final Thoughts

A PHP program is something you’re bound to run into, especially if you are involved with any type of web development.

Learning to write in PHP can be a vital skill for a junior programmer to learn, and is often touted as one of the best early programming languages to get familiar with.

We hope that you’re now a lot more familiar with PHP and that you can now discuss it openly within a conversation, or recognize what it means when you see it online.

If you’re new to computer science, you might want to check out our FAQ section below that has been written to help you understand some of the more specialized terminology used in this article. 

Happy coding! 

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