Learning PHP from Scratch for Free: A Beginner’s Guide

PHP is a popular server-side scripting language used by web developers to build dynamic and interactive web pages. If you’re interested in learning PHP but don’t want to spend money on expensive courses, this article is for you. In this guide, we’ll show you how to learn PHP from scratch for free.

Introduction to PHP

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor and is an open-source server-side scripting language. It’s widely used for creating dynamic web pages, web applications and content management systems. With PHP, you can interact with databases, manipulate files, and create dynamic content on the fly.

Setting Up Your Environment

Before you start coding, you’ll need to set up your PHP environment. The good news is that you don’t need to purchase any software to get started. You can install PHP and a web server on your local machine for free. One popular option is XAMPP, which includes PHP, Apache, and MySQL.

Learning PHP Syntax

Once you have your environment set up, it’s time to start learning PHP syntax. PHP syntax is similar to C and Perl, so if you’re familiar with those languages, you’ll have a head start. PHP uses semicolons to end statements and curly braces to define blocks of code.

Variables and Data Types

Variables are used to store data in PHP. In PHP, variables start with a dollar sign ($) followed by the variable name. PHP has several data types, including strings, integers, floats and booleans. You’ll need to learn how to declare and use variables in PHP.

Control Structures

Control structures allow you to control the flow of your PHP code. PHP has several control structures, including if / else statements, loops and switch statements. You’ll need to understand how these control structures work and when to use them.


Functions allow you to group code into reusable blocks. You can define your own functions or use built-in functions . You’ll need to learn how to create and call functions in PHP.

Working with Forms

Forms are a common way to collect user input on a website. PHP can handle form data by using the $_POST and $_GET variables. You’ll need to learn how to retrieve form data and validate it.

Working with Databases

PHP is often used to interact with databases, such as MySQL. You’ll need to learn how to connect to a database, perform queries and handle errors.

Debugging Your Code

Debugging is an important part of any programming language. PHP has several built-in function that you can use to debug your code. You will need to learn how to use these functions to find and fix errors in your code.

Online Resources

There are many free online resources available to help you learn PHP. The PHP manual is an excellent resource that provides detailed documentation for every PHP function. Other resources include online tutorials, forums and blogs.


Learning PHP from scratch can seem intimidating, but with the right resources, it’s easier than you might think. By following the steps outlined in this article and taking advantage of online resources, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a proficient PHP developer.

Remember, you will need to practice your skills by building projects and experimenting with new techniques.

With time and effort, you’ll be able to create powerful, dynamic websites using PHP.

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