So, you’ve decided to try using PHP, but you don’t know where to start?

Here’s a list of things you’ll need before you even get cracking on writing your first PHP program.

  1. Hosting your PHP programs – You need to find yourself a place which will allow your PHP program to run. There are a few options – you can either signup with a web hosting provider that supports the PHP technology, or you can turn your PC/Notebook into an environment suitable for running PHP programs.> Learn how you can install XAMPP Lite on a portable storage device.
  2. Editor for PHP programming – The next thing you need is to get yourself a text editor you can use to write the PHP codes with. Your standard Microsoft Windows on your PC/Notebook includes Notepad which is suitable, but if you’re looking for something a bit more user friendly, there are plenty of freewares available. I personally use Crimson Editor which is free, it has a small filesize, and definately way better than Notepad.
  3. Transfering your PHP files – If you have chosen to use a web hosting option, chances are, you will need an application to help you move the PHP files from your PC/Notebook to the web hosting provider. In this case, you’ll need an FTP program of some sorts. I recommend using a freeware called Filezilla which is available for download at http://filezilla-project.org/.
  4. Storing Data in a Database – Lastly, you need to get yourself a database. PHP programs are not going to be very useful, if they are not able to store and retrieve date. Luckily, most web hosting providers also includes MySQL database in their packages. If not, MySQL database is also free to download from www.mysql.com.

So, once you have all these done, you’ll be ready to write your first PHP program. Good Luck!