July 19th, 2003, 10:48 AM
Stupid newbie question on PHP
Hi, well I would like to think that I'm pretty good at HTML coding...but I see alot of sites using PHP now can someone answer my stupid newbie question - What's the difference between PHP and HTML??
Because I've played with 'ASP' and it seems pretty similar to HTML. Is PHP just a stlighty different variety of HTML or a whole different language??
July 19th, 2003, 12:23 PM
What is PHP ?
PHP is a server side scripting language that can be imbedded into HTML. It does not need compiling. It gets compiled on the fly once a request to a PHP enabled page is made.
This means whenever the server runs into PHP tags within a webpage the PHP gets processed into HTML and the HTML is then sent to the browser.
What does PHP mean ?
PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor although I have heard the term Personal Homepage Preprocessor on several occasions.
What do I need to start using PHP ?
To use PHP in your website the server that host your website must have PHP installed. PHP is completly open-source and can be downloaded in the form of source-code or in the form of binaries (executables). If you don't have your own webserver you need to find out if your host has PHP installed. Usually this information can be found in the documentation but if you are lazy like I am you could use netcraft.net to find out if the server has PHP enabled.
Typical output from netcraft.net looks like this:
The site php.net is running Apache/1.3.26 (Unix) mod_gzip/126.96.36.199a PHP/4.3.3-dev on Linux.
As you can see the site php.net has PHP enabled (duh).
The site php.net is also the main developers site for PHP. If you want to install the packages on your server, that site is where you get it.
I will not try and explain the installation of PHP on your server. Look at the mentioned site for complete documentation.
Syntacticly PHP is very similar to C(++) and PERL. If you have prior experience in any of these languages you will have great advantage in picking up PHP.
(something that perhaps will end up a tutorial one of these days)
I hope this clears it a bit up for you.
you can visit the site :
They have a good introductionary tutorial to get you started writing.
July 20th, 2003, 06:42 AM
Thanks tons noODle, that's exactly what I wanted to know.