PHP logo.

After working with HTML and CSS as a (very junior) front-end developer, the next step was to learn to connect to and use a database, databases being a particular passion of mine. Initially fooled into thinking some kind of Microsoft solution (IIS and Access anyone?) might be a solution I realised that the way to go would be PHP/MySQL. I purchased a copy of PHP5 for Dummies (which I still have) and started slaving away. Free, open-source software with a massive online community are probably the main reasons so much of the web is created with PHP.

Setting up

My experience many years ago with one of the WAMP package installers (XAMPP) was that it was slow and buggy. Additionally, I felt it wise to learn to set the stack up manually as this is what is required for a production environment server.

  1. Installing Apache on a Windows dev box
  2. Installing PHP on a Windows dev box


Each time I think I might use PHP scripts I end up using a batch file.

PHP in the browser

Working with PHP is instantly rewarding and I enjoyed learning to program this way.

The PHP project was started in 1994 [1] (Perl was started in 1986). Possibly more than 75% of websites using server-side scripting worldwide are run using PHP. There are many well-known PHP frameworks (Laravel, Zend, Symfony, CodeIgniter, CakePHP), and both WordPress and Wikipedia use PHP — even Facebook is largely a PHP platform ( the original code was all PHP)!

CakePHP logo.
WordPress logo
Wikipedia logo



  1. php (no date) History of PHP. Available at: (Accessed: 18 July 2024).