Is PHP Right For You?
Since its development in the mid-90‚Äôs PHP has become an increasingly popular scripting language. If you‚Äôre involved in webpage design, it is nearly impossible to avoid discussion of PHP. You may be wondering if learning PHP is the right thing for you and your website.
Just what can PHP do? PHP can do just about whatever you want it to do because it is a server side technology and can accomplish just about everything a CGI program does such as collect data, send and receive cookies, generate dynamic pages and more. Dynamic web pages are web pages that return custom content to a user based on the results of a query, search or other request.
PHP is not limited to merely outputting HTML either. It can output images, PDF files, flash movies, text, XML and more. PHP supports numerous databases and offers extensions and ODBC connectivity to any other database not currently supported. PHP also offers functions useful for e-commerce and various online payment programs such as Cybercash and Verisign. With a little imagination and a few PHP programming skills, you‚Äôll be surprised at how versatile PHP is.
So let‚Äôs answer the question, is PHP right for you? If you want to add dynamic content to your web site or incorporate a complex database and are willing to learn a fairly easy to learn scripting language, then the answer is yes, PHP is right for you. Using PHP gives you the ability to create an interactive and dynamic page without the need of purchasing expensive software. But of course, you will need to learn how to format and enter the PHP codes and scripts into your HTML.
The good news is, if you already are comfortable with other languages such as C, java, or Perl, PHP is easy to understand and learn. It uses many of the same conventions and structures as these other programming languages. It is an open source language so it is free and it comes with a ton of resources and a vibrant PHP community on the internet to help you ease your way into it.