Why Learn PHP and MySQL?

PHP today is the most widely used back-end programming language used on the Web. PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is an open source language, which effectively means it is free to use, it’s very well supported with tons of books and online resources and it is the choice language of literally tens of thousands of Web developers around the World.

When would a Web Developer use PHP?

Initially websites were developed solely in HTML. HTML is the acronym for Hyper Text Markup Language. Having all the content written in HTML meant that all the content for the website resides on the actual HTML pages. So for example if your company had a 1000 products you would create a separate HTML Web page for each product. This sort of website is sometimes also referred to as a static website.

The major problem with this scenario is that the design and the content reside in the same place so, for example, if you wanted to update all the product prices you would need to edit and update all 1000 Web pages. Not only was this very time consuming but allowing non-Web designers access to the HTML could potentially have very serious consequences if the HTML code was compromised in any way.

The solution was to create a database driven website where all the content resides in an external database. You would then only need to create one product page and depending which parameters were passed from the database, the website would display only the relevant product/s. Obviously this creates a much more controlled environment and a simple task like changing product prices could be achieved in seconds.

As HTML is a static language, it can not communicate directly with a database and therefore Web developers use a programming language such as PHP to feed information to and from the Database. Other benefits of using database driven websites include accumulating information from your users via HTML form submission (new client enquires, mailing lists etc), login authentication (for security purposes), e-commerce (buying and selling goods and services), and managing large volumes of data and more.

MySQL is the World’s most popular database, which over a 100 million copies of it downloaded and distributed. MySQL with its superior speed, reliability, and ease of use is the preferred database used by PHP developers.

PHP and MySQL are a powerful team of tools for any Web Developer.

This article has been written by Billy Gee, Director of Training for Training Connection – for more information on PHP training (Chicago and Los Angeles) please visit http://www.trainingconnection.com