Understanding PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor)

Understanding PHP


Server-side scripting language

If you have spent the better part of the last few years on the Internet, you may have already chanced upon the term PHP. You may have even encountered the definition: “a server-side scripting language”. But what exactly does it mean? And more importantly, what use can it be to you as an aspiring Web developer or Web designer?

Going back to the definition for a little while, PHP is indeed a server-side scripting language that is typically used in the creation of dynamic Web pages. It is a relatively easy to learn a programming language that enables you to feature more dynamic content on your websites.

PHP is different from other types of programming languages in that it is designed to work in conjunction with HTML. This compatibility is a distinct advantage of PHP and allows you to easily integrate it into web pages that have already been extensively rendered with HTML. This integration is in fact so seamless that you can quite readily switch between the two languages even within the same web document.


How thing works is basically like this: websites are typically designed with a combination of PHP and HTML in varying proportions depending on the designer’s intended purpose. When a visitor points his browser to the web page in question, the server will “read” and subsequently process the PHP instructions and later send the results of the process to the browser of the visitor. This is pretty much similar to how other languages such as ASP or ColdFusion work. The main difference, however, is that PHP, unlike the aforementioned ASP or ColdFusion, PHP is both an Open Source and a cross-platform application. What this means is that PHP can be run on the Windows platform as well as many versions of the UNIX platform. In addition, PHP can be designed to function as an Apache module and even as a binary that can be run as a CGI.

PHP by its very nature is exceptionally light and fast to run but when designed to run as an Apache module it is even more so. The absence of any process creation overhead allows PHP to return results quickly compared with other programming languages plus it has the added benefit of not requiring the tuning of mod_perl in order to limit your server’s memory image to a manageably small size.

Beyond its usage as a means to control and alter the contents of your web pages, PHP can also serve to function as an HTTP header sender. It is typically used in this function to set cookies in web browsers, manage the site authentication processes, and to redirect users to other sites. PHP also works well with other programs and applications, enabling unparalleled connectivity with many different databases as well as ODBC, as well as offering seamless integration with many different external libraries; libraries that allow you to accomplish tasks such as publishing PDF documents and even parsing XML.

The way PHP fits within your web pages is extremely elegant in its simplicity; so simple in fact you will not need a special development environment or IDE at all. You merely have to place an at the end. PHP can also be configured to utilize ASP type tags as well as .). The PHP engine is charged with the task of processing everything that is contained within those tags.

If you have had an extensive or even only a little background in programming languages, you may have already noticed that PHP has a lot in common with the languages C and Perl, especially in its language syntax. Just like in C and Perl, you do not have to declare variables prior to you using them, and it is also quite easy to create arrays and hashes (associative arrays).

So much for its characteristics; now how can you use PHP?

One of the most often mentioned and widely used applications of PHP is for server-side scripting. This has traditionally been the area in which PHP has been focused. The three components of PHP in this particular application are a PHP parser (which can take the form of a CGI or server module), a web browser and a web server. The web server is run with a PHP installation connected and the program output of the PHP program is accessed with a web browser. The PHP page can then be viewed through the web server.

Command line scripting is another area where PHP is utilized and for this application, you only need a PHP parser. Typical uses include rudimentary text processing and running scripts such as Cron or Task Scheduler.

Finally, although not the ideal solution for this particular scenario, PHP is also used in writing desktop applications that feature a graphical user interface.

Clearly, the uses for PHP are both varied and endless and you should explore it in depth to find out how it can be of service to you.

PHP And MySQL Programming Security

PHP And MySQL Programming Security


PHP & MySQL development

Choosing PHP and MySQL as a programming language for a website is not enough. With open source coding being one of the inherent properties of PHP & MySQL development, securing your codes becomes essential. So when one allows the users to upload files on the website, then security is definitely at stake.

PHP Programming Protection

While it is not entirely possible to protect your site, yet there are few precautions that you can incorporate for better protection of PHP programming. Some of these are:

You should check the referrer, for being sure that the information sent is from your website and not an outside source. Since there are maximum chances of the information is fake.

Restriction of the type of extension files being uploaded on the website is yet another method of security check. Renaming files is another way in which the program can be secured. This procedure involves the checking of double-barrel extensions like yourfile.php.gif.

Changing the permission command for the upload folder so that files within it are not executable. All the alterations created by the user should be allowed only when they ‘Login’ into the database. On the other hand, the owner of the site should always keep a close watch on all files being uploaded and then make them live.

MySQL Programming Security

Another aspect in PHP and MySQL web development is the protection of the MySQL libraries. Therefore, the most important aspect involved in protecting the MySQL program is the security of the entire server host.

Securing MySQL is essential for the smooth running of the website. This is based on Access Control Lists and SSL-encrypted connections, for protecting the PHP & MySQL web development program from random users visiting the website.

Some of the vital things to be considered for online site protection are:

  • Accessing of the MySQL database should not be allowed for any and everyone.
  • Privileges to the users should always be accompanied with some restriction. If one can easily connect to the server without any ‘login’ then the security level code of the MySQL server should be rechecked.
  • The MySQL database should be void of plain-text passwords. Use programs like MD5 (), SHA1(), or some hashing function for complete protection.
  • Do not choose passwords from dictionaries, since they can be hacked easily. Use programs that break the passwords.

Therefore, the successful development of a website through PHP and MySQL web development is complete only when the site owner consults a professional programmer. They expertise in the optimization of the MySQL hosting database. This program is dynamic in nature and is an effective tool in the creation of browser-based applications.

Choosing the Perfect Agency for PHP And MySQL

Choosing the Perfect Agency for PHP And MySQL



PHP & MySQL development

Have you decided on a website that will cater to the interests of the targeted visitors? Well, you can use the PHP & MySQL development programming language. By using the PHP & MySQL development programs you can create dynamic database management system that uses the open source type of language.  There are so many utilities of the programming language that you can rely on experts, to make the right decision.

Make the Right Choice

There are in-numerous organizations that render PHP and MySQL web development services. But the final choice has to be made by you. Don’t get perplexed by the number of companies, claiming to be the best in the business. Consult for expert assistance before making the final choice.

There are various types of organizations, from big web designing firms to small freelancing companies. Both these types of organizations have their own advantages and disadvantages. It is for you to decide, which organization shall fulfill your criteria and requirement.

Does Company Infrastructure Matter?

The big web hosting companies have the large infrastructure and huge expertise manpower. Hence these companies usually charge a heavy amount for their services rendered. The main focus of the big web hosting organizations is to highlight the process and not delivering the final product. At times you might find your project not panning out as you desired because of the communication problems.

While small companies offering freelancing services, charge a lot less for PHP & MySQL web development than the big size organizations, they lack manpower and expertise. If you want to achieve something out of the ordinary then you might get frustrated, as people involved in the project might not have the vast expertise and knowledge that experts from big organizations usually have. An important benefit of working with the small firms is that you have the scope of personal interaction with the designer.

While making a selection of the organization, you need to access the magnitude of your work and time within which you want to finish the project. The small firms have limited resources, and also they might be overloaded with work. It may also happen that you might be required to wait. That is why if you are looking for quick completion of a large sized project than you can definitely opt for large organizations.

Making the best choice for PHP & MySQL development programs will make your website popular and make your work easy too.

How did PHP Become Popular?

How did PHP become Popular?


History of PHP

PHP (it originally was an abbreviation of for Personal Home Page) was first written by Rasmus Lerdorf. These were Perl scripts to track users of his Web pages. On communication and suggestions from other people he rewrote it as a scripting language and added support for forms. As its popularity grew, a core group of developers created an API for it and turned it into PHP3. Presently we have version 5. (PHP5) and its growth is likely to continue.

Plus Points of PHP

PHP will run on all platform, including most UNIX, Windows(95/98/NT/2000) and Macs. As this uses the same code base, all scripts will run identically on all the platforms.
PHP is similar to C. So anyone who has experience with a C-style language will easily learn PHP. In C-style languages, we can also include Javascript and Java.

PHP is extendible. This allows programmers two ways of extending PHP to do some special processing, either by writing an extension module and compiling it into the executable or by creating an executable that can be loaded using PHP’s dynamic loading mechanism.

PHP currently will load into Apache, IIS, AOLServer, Roxen, and THTTPD. Alternatively, it can be run as a CGI module. Lots of database interfaces. PHP currently will work with MySQL, MS SQL, Oracle, Informix, PostgreSQL and many others. These are binary level interfaces, and ODBC is also provided for those situations where the database is not supported.

If a PHP user wants to interface to the particular library, then it is easy to write an interface for it, and many have done so and contributed to the main PHP source repository. So you can find modules for graphics routines, PDF files, Flash movies, Cybercash, calendars, XML, IMAP, POP and a host of others. If the library you need is not supported, you can either write one yourself or employ your favorite programmer to do it.

The PHP Extension and Add-on Repository. Similar to the CPAN network for Perl, although still in its infancy, the idea of PEAR is to provide a set of PHP scripts that would be installed by default with the PHP installation Fast.

PHP has normally used an Apache module and this makes it very fast. It is entirely written in C and is quite small, so loads and executes quickly with small memory footprint. PHP is Open Source. Therefore programmers are not dependent on a particular manufacturer to fix things that don’t work.

What are the main disadvantages of PHP

A scripting language has advantages and disadvantages. PHP also has some disadvantages. Some are direct disadvantages and some are indirect regarding functionality. PHP’s main drawback is Error Handling. PHP has a very poor ability in this regard, but even this disadvantage can be overcome using a feasible advantage solution.