Getting Started With PHP

3 min read

How to check if PHP is installed on a server computer or not?, you need a PHP file (phpinfo.php) with the following content:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

You can insert this code in a text editor, e.g., Notepad. Then you click save, and select Save as type All Files (*.*) and name it phpinfo.php. Please make sure that Notepad does not save this file as a .txt text file, but has the file extension .php. Then you copy the file into the folder htdocs of your xampp installation (e.g., C:\xampp\htdocs).

Instead of using Notepad, you can also use any other editor. For starters, I recommend the free Notepad ++.

If you call this page now ( http://localhost/phpinfo.php ), you will see if PHP is installed on your server or not. If PHP is installed, several tables are displayed listing what is installed and what is not, including which version of PHP is installed on the server (top of the page).

If no PHP is installed, either nothing will be displayed, or an error message will be displayed, maybe the file will also be offered for download. How to install PHP was in the first part of the tutorial: Installing PHP.

Embeding PHP code in HTML

A PHP file can contain both HTML and PHP commands. Just write HTML commands as usual in the .php file, they'll run as well.

If you want to include PHP commands in the file, you must first start a scripting environment. This is done by using <?php. Then comes your PHP code. This script environment is terminated using ?>. Look at example below:


<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8" />
<title>Your first PHP script</title>
</head>

<body>
<h1>Welcome</h1>

<p>This is your first PHP file. You can start a scripting environment as follows:
<?php
echo "Data can be output as string via echo";
?></p>

<p>Next You can create a dynamic content in PHP. A simple example is to print the current date:
<?php
echo date("d.m.Y H:i:s");
?></p>

</body>
</html>

In the script above, you have a common HTML5 framework. Between the HTML commands, there's php code embedded. The first section outputs defined words. The second one outputs the current date and time.

When a user calls this file through your web server (e.g., http://localhost/yourfile.php), the PHP interpreter becomes active and evaluates all PHP scripting environments. The result of the PHP code is then inserted into the page. The visitor does not have access to the actual PHP code.

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