PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is used in creating Web pages, and can be embedded in HTML code. (PHP stands for "Hypertext Preprocessor," even though the acronym doesn't match up exactly.) PHP is an open-source program, which means it's available for free on the Web. PHP can also be used across many platforms, such as Linux, many variations of the Unix system, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. PHP is a complete programming language and can be used for functions such as server-side scripting (using a web server to fulfill a user's request by running a script directly on the web server to generate dynamic HTML pages) or writing desktop applications.
However, PHP's true strength lies in its ability to access databases. PHP can access more than 20 different databases (including MySQL), and can manipulate the information within those databases based on input from an online user. PHP can also be used to output images, PDF files and even Flash movies from your website.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of sources online to obtain PHP script, discuss PHP's merits, and even go through free tutorials on how to use PHP.
When you sign up for a Value Plus web hosting package from Freeservers.com, your service will include CGI access, including PHP. PHP is a type of CGI (Common Gateway Interface) that allows you to create dynamic applications on your website such as blogs, forums and calendars.
Generally speaking, PHP is used to add a functionality to your site that HTML alone can't achieve. But what does this really mean? Give me some examples!!
PHP can preform calculations - PHP can preform all types of calculations. From figuring out what day it is, or what day of the week March 18, 2046 is, to preforming all different types of mathematical equations.
PHP can collect user information - By this I mean, you can let your user directly interact with the script. This can be something really simple, like collecting the temperature from the user that they want to convert from degrees to another format, or it can be more extensive information, like adding their information to an address book, or letting them post on a forum.
PHP can interact with MySQL databases - And in doing this, the possibilities are endless. You can write users information to the database and you can retrieve information from the database. This allows you to create pages on the fly using the contents of the database. You can even do more complex things like setting up a login system, creating a website search feature, or keep your store's product catalogue and inventory online.
PHP and GD Library can create graphics - You can use PHP to create simple graphics on the fly. You can also use it to edit existing graphics. You might want to do this to resize images, rotate them, or greyscale them. Some practical applications for this are allowing users to edit their avatars or creating CAPTCHA verifications. You can also create dynamic graphics that are always changing, my favorite example being dynamic twitter signatures.
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