Even though I believe that the best way to learn something new is by diving deep into it, getting your hands dirty, making errors and finding solutions; if you are studying on your own, we all need help – especially if you’re new to PHP programming.
People who already have knowledge about PHP and HTML would agree that no matter how many new languages and enhancements we learn; when it comes to web development, the two languages you need to immerse yourself in are PHP and HTML. I am sure those who are just diving into the deep sea of web development would find it difficult to digest, but learning PHP is actually quite simple. All you need is your text editor, the motivation to create web pages, and the ability to learn from your mistakes. As a student, you must take care of the first two requirements to learn PHP, but to help you in your learning process we have found the best online courses, tutorials and blog posts around PHP learning. So, without wasting any more time, let’s have a look at the 16 best websites for learning PHP programming.
Formerly and more famously known as PHP Academy, Code course have gone beyond PHP and have included other web development and tools in their kitty, which might be the reason that prompted the change in name. However; regardless of the name, the PHP video tutorial by Codecourse are highly descriptive and contains details about each and every aspect of the language. If you are just starting with PHP, this might be the perfect match for you. Their videos are available on their official website and their YouTube channel.
2. Stone River eLearning
Even though Stone River eLearning is not a PHP specific website, but their online courses cover almost every section of the language. The best part about Stone River eLearning is their lifetime access to courses that you purchase, as well as their 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee. Their delivery platform relies heavily on video-based lectures, and they provide direct email and forum support for all of their courses.
3. PHP Manual
Arguably, the best of them all, the PHP Manual has everything that you need in your quest to achieve glory in PHP. The best thing about PHP Manual is the section in every page that allows users to post their comments and experience with the function, and unlike the random comments that you will usually find under videos, these comments are extremely helpful in the practical applications of PHP.
4. Killer PHP
The statement ‘Beginner PHP for Non Nerds’ is written in bold and capital at the homepage of this website and they surely abide by their words. Even though there is nothing killer about Killer PHP, but it might just be the right assistant you need to get started with PHP. There blogs are very well written and explain the concepts in a very basic way which makes it easier for students from non technical backgrounds to grasp and learn. Word of advice, don’t go to Killer PHP with the expectations that it will transform you into a PHP guru.
5. PHP 101
PHP 101 is another website that promises and delivers great content and learning with a pinch of entertainment for the absolute beginners. If you are just starting with PHP, PHP 101 might not be a bad start, however; you will need to move to websites that provide detailed content once you are past the beginner level.
6. Tutorials Point
Tutorials Point is not a PHP specific website but has an entire section dedicated to the language and thus has enough to make this list of the Top 20 websites for learning PHP. Their way of teaching and the short tabs for different concepts makes you believe that it is just another version of W3Schools, when actually it is an upgraded version with more content and more importantly, the right content.
Before I write about Tizag and then the readers throw darts at me for it, I would mention it before hand that Tizag would not be my choice for a tutorial or a step by step guide, however; if you are looking for reference in PHP, this is not a bad option. Identical to W3Schools in its designs and display, Tizag is better because its content is more specific and is actually helpful.
If you are one of those who prefer reading and learning instead of watching video tutorials, you might actually like site point for leaning PHP. However; I will not recommend you to start your journey in PHP with site points as most of the content will be beyond your understanding and therefore finding the right content might prove a little frustrating.
9. Hacking with PHP
Even though the name suggests that it will give you lessons on performing SQL injections and getting through the loop holes in PHP, but actually Hacking with PHP is a pretty decent website for learning PHP and its content is to the point and specific.
If you are looking for a tool kit to assist you with your web application, codeigniter could be the one you are looking for. Not essentially a PHP tutorial or learning website, but its powerful framework make codeigniter a good choice for those who have already crossed the beginners level and are itching to have more.
Lynda.com is not actually a tutorial website or a website that has blogs on PHP, but Lynda is actually a website that provides platform for tutors and experts to publish their courses in their specific area of expertise and then students can make use of the knowledge and experience of the experts. Wait, this easy? Must be a catch? Yes, there is one. It is not a website that offers free courses and you will need to shell out a few bucks from your pocket to get the experts by your side.
Another one on similar lines, Udemy also offers courses by experts on their area of expertise and students can purchase those courses and benefit from them. Again, it is not free, and if you are not willing to pay for learning PHP, this is probably not the option that you are looking for.
13. W3 Schools
Okay, before I start, this probably will be the last website among all the ones listed here that I would want you to take up as your PHP learning guide, because, it is not a guide. Use it as a reference for verifying syntax, or small concepts but do not go beyond that. The only reason W3Schools has made this list is because of its exceptional SEO technique that makes it the first link on Google on any search that involves a web designing language. So, since you will end up at this website anyways, I thought I would just mention it here.
14. Derek Banas Video Tutorial on YouTube
Before you guys go crazy about how a video that says “Learn PHP in 30 minutes” could actually be good. It has to be crap. Well, I thought the same until one day I needed to brush up the little concepts of the language and it was at that time I realized that these videos are actually not that bad if you are in a hurry and just need a quick recap. Again, it is not a tutorial, not a guide, not a reference material, just a quick recap of what you have learned, so use it for that only.
And here it comes, my personal favourite, I call it the ‘Demi-God’, StackOverflow is, according to me, the best website for enthusiasts who are trying to learn new language and making errors and getting their hands dirty in the process. I do not remember a time when I tried searching something on this website and could not get an answer to my query. Experts, other beginners, people who have faced similar issues and the right answer, this website has it all. I would recommend it all the beginners. The best part is, it will only help if you actually work yourself.
16. Code Academy
Even though Code Academy is again not a PHP specific website, but their tutorials cover almost every section of the language. The best part about Code Academy is their personalized tool that allows students to get their hands dirty and get practical understanding of the language. You might want to bear with the teaching style of the tutors which gets a little over the top at times.
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