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PHP Introduction

PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a very popular and widely-used open source server-side scripting language to write dynamically generated web pages. PHP was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. It was initially known as Personal Home Page.

PHP scripts are executed on the server and the result is sent to the web browser as plain HTML. PHP can be integrated with the number of popular databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, and so on. The current major version of PHP is 7. All of the code in this tutorial has been tested and validated against the most recent release of PHP 7.

Why we need PHP?

PHP is useful for creating following things.

You can generate pages and files dynamically.
You can create, open, read, write and close files on the server.
You can collect data from a web form such as user information, email, phone no, etc.
You can send emails to the users of your website.
You can send and receive cookies to track the visitor of your website.
You can store, delete, and modify information in your database.
You can restrict unauthorized access to your website.
You can encrypt data for safe transmission over internet.

Advantages of PHP over Other Languages

Easy to learn: PHP is easy to learn and use. For beginner programmers who just started out in web development, PHP is often considered as the preferable choice of language to learn.
Open source: PHP is an open-source project. It is developed and maintained by a worldwide community of developers who make its source code freely available to download and use.
Portability: PHP runs on various platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS, etc. and it is compatible with almost all servers used today such Apache, IIS, etc.
Fast Performance: Scripts written in PHP usually execute or runs faster than those written in other scripting languages like ASP, Ruby, Python, Java, etc.