Here we would like to show the very basics of PHP in a short, simple
tutorial. This text only deals with dynamic webpage creation with
PHP, though PHP is not only capable of creating webpages. See
the section titled What can PHP
do for more information.
PHP-enabled web pages are treated just like regular HTML pages and
you can create and edit them the same way you normally create
regular HTML pages.
In this tutorial we assume that your server has activated support
for PHP and that all files ending in .php
are handled by PHP. On most servers, this is the default extension
for PHP files, but ask your server administrator to be sure. If
your server supports PHP, then you do not need to do anything. Just
create your .php files, put them in your
web directory and the server will automatically parse them for you.
There is no need to compile anything nor do you need to install
any extra tools. Think of these PHP-enabled files as simple HTML
files with a whole new family of magical tags that let you do all
sorts of things. Most web hosts offer PHP support, but if your
host does not, consider reading the
PHP Links section for resources on finding PHP enabled
Let us say you want to save precious bandwidth and develop locally.
In this case, you will want to install a web server, such as
Apache, and of course
PHP. You will most likely
want to install a database as well, such as
You can either install these individually or choose a simpler way. Our
manual has installation instructions for
PHP (assuming you already have some webserver set up). In case
you have problems with installing PHP yourself, we would suggest you ask
your questions on our installation
mailing list. If you choose to go on the simpler route, then
locate a pre-configured package
for your operating system, which automatically installs all of these
with just a few mouse clicks. It is easy to setup a web server with PHP
support on any operating system, including MacOSX, Linux and Windows.
On Linux, you may find rpmfind and
PBone helpful for
locating RPMs. You may also want to visit apt-get to find packages for Debian.