Top 25 PHP Tutorials: Resources, Websites, Courses

Iryne Somera Developer Career Development, Developer Tips, Tricks & Resources

Selecting the best websites to learn PHP is a nice entrance to the programming world. If you are interested in learning this language, searching online provides tons of PHP tutorial results. Stay calm and don’t get discouraged. PHP skills, though highly technical in nature, can be acquired with the right resources. And by resources, we mean the vast amount of information from the web. To fully utilize this available information, it is best to use a combination of these references in order to learn PHP more effectively.

As we all know, PHP is a very flexible and powerful language. It has changed the way web pages work, and how users interact with it. PHP professionals are always in high demand and we would like you to join the bandwagon.

If you are already in the PHP world, use these resources to stay ahead of the rest. On the other hand, if you are a novice, this article showcases a list of recommended sites that will help you get started.

These are our top 25 websites to learn PHP, followed by a summary and references for more information.

  1. PHP Manual
  2. PHP Tutorial by Tizag
  3. PHP Tutorial by W3Schools
  4. PHP 101
  5. Killer PHP
  6. Learn PHP
  7. CodeCourse
  8. SitePoint PHP
  9. PHP 5 Power Programming
  10. Hacking with PHP
  11. PHP The Right Way
  12. PHP Academy
  13. Develop PHP
  14. PHP Jabbers
  15. Learn-PHP Interactive Tutorial
  16. 1Keydata
  17. PHP Cheatsheets
  18. Microsoft Azure PHP Tutorials and Documentation
  19. Lynda.com
  20. Udemy.com
  21. Stack Overflow
  22. PHP Buddy
  23. Bento PHP Resources
  24. Pluralsight
  25. Traversy Media

1. PHP Manual

This is the official online manual for the PHP language. It is an immense source of PHP documentation as it covers everything from the basics to the implementation of security and other PHP functions. For ease of use, all functions from each released version are compiled in a list. There are also user contribution notes in every specific function or page. The website design is mobile-friendly, making it handy while you’re on the go. Overall, it gives you a whole tour of PHP.

Key topics:

  • Getting Started
  • Installation and Configuration
  • Language Reference
  • Security
  • Features
  • Function Reference
  • PHP at the Core: A Hacker’s Guide
  • FAQ
  • Appendices

2. PHP Tutorial by Tizag

Aside from utilizing the PHP manual, it is best to combine with another source such as Tizag’s PHP tutorial. It is simple and easy to navigate with all the functions listed and can be viewed on one page. This is perfect for quick PHP function references. The presentation of each function is clear and understandable. There is also a quick access button for easy bookmarking and sharing.

Key topics:

  • Introduction
  • PHP Files
  • PHP Strings
  • PHP Advanced

3. PHP Tutorial by W3Schools


Another popular programming tutorial site for PHP is W3CSchools. All functions can be navigated and viewed on one page. The explanation is concise and simple, yet easy to understand. There is also an editor window where you can readily input the code and run samples. There is no need to switch windows with your PHP development environments.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • PHP Forms
  • PHP Advanced
  • MySQL Database
  • PHP-XML
  • PHP-AJAX
  • PHP Examples
  • PHP Reference

4. PHP 101


PHP 101 by Zend Developer Zone is a good place for starters. If you know little or even nothing about this language, then it is the place to be. It is absolutely designed for beginners. The tutorial is broken down into several parts from the basic to the core functions of PHP. Each part has a very thorough explanation, and code samples are readily available.

Key topics:

  • Variables and operators
  • Control structures, arrays and PHP array functions
  • External files
  • Functions, arguments, passing by reference, globals and scope
  • OOP in PHP4 and PHP5
  • MySQL database form PHP
  • SQLite
  • Sessions and Cookies
  • PHP’s easiest method with dealing with XML
  • Basic error handling and security
  • Web Application Implementation
  • Simple RSS news aggregator creation

5. Killer PHP


Killer PHP is a PHP tutorial for web designers. Keep in mind that learning PHP comes in two phases: procedural and object-oriented Programming (OOP). As a beginner, it is great to start with procedural since it purely involves scripting. Once you have the grasp of the technology, then it is time to level-up and learns OOP PHP. Killer PHP specializes in OOP PHP. It has hands-on tutorials with supplementary videos. Just learn the basics of OOP PHP, learn usable PHP skills and everything will follow. Aside from these tutorials, there are also hundreds of quizzes to validate your skill level and what you have learned so far.

Key topic:

  • OOP PHP

6. Learn PHP


Learn PHP by Tutorials Point is a section dedicated entirely for PHP programming. It is ideal for beginners and intermediate programmers. The PHP list of functions can be easily navigated and is shown in a single page. They also provide an e-book which you can download for free.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • Advanced PHP
  • PHP Form Examples
  • PHP Login Examples
  • PHP Ajax Examples
  • PHP XML Example
  • PHP Frameworks
  • PHP Design Patterns
  • PHP Function Reference
  • PHP Useful Resources

7. CodeCourse


Formerly known as PHP Academy, Codecourse now offers not only PHP, but also other web development tools and languages. They have highly descriptive tutorial contents. Their tutorial videos are available on their official website, as well as on their YouTube channel.

Key Topic:

  • Advanced PHP Topics

8. SitePoint PHP


SitePoint takes a more modern approach with their guides and tutorials, which are offered in an article-like format. It is best if you have already a bit of working PHP knowledge before diving into SitePoint PHP tutorial. This is a good resource to move to once you’ve got a good grasp of the basics.

Key topics:

  • APIs
  • Database
  • Debugging and Deployment
  • Frameworks
  • Laravel
  • Patterns and Practices
  • Performance and Scaling
  • Security
  • Drupal

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9. PHP 5 Power Programming


Although the latest version is PHP 7, learning PHP 5 is not an issue. The fundamentals are the same. PHP 5 Power Programming is actually an ebook guide for PHP intermediate and advanced programmers. Having this ebook requires prior knowledge of coding in PHP. It can be downloaded for free unless you want the print version.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • Advanced OOP and Design Patterns
  • Web Application
  • Databases
  • Error Handling
  • XML
  • Mainstream Extensions
  • PEAR
  • PHP Shell Scripting

10. Hacking With PHP


Hacking With PHP is one of the best PHP tutorials for beginners. It is presented like a book as it starts with a table of contents. The topics are broken down into several different chapters and subtopics. It has practical exercises with added links to resources. This is a great reference for learners who prefer lessons that adopt a more practical approach.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • Files and Databases
  • Multimedia
  • Security and Performance
  • Practical PHP
  • The Future of PHP

11. PHP The Right Way


This site emphasizes good PHP practices. The site consists of extensive tutorials on a variety of PHP topics, and multiple references to other good practice tutorials and sites. This online tutorial may consist of old and outdated information and mark it accordingly.

Key topics:

  • Getting Started
  • Language Highlights
  • Dependency Management
  • Coding Practices
  • Dependency Injection
  • Databases
  • Templates
  • Error and Exceptions
  • Security
  • Servers and Deployment
  • Virtualization
  • Caching
  • Documenting your Code

12. PHP Academy


PHP Academy is basically the YouTube channel of CodeCourse mentioned above. This is a perfect reference for visual learners to see the coding and result at the same time. The best part is that this channel is frequently updated with newer PHP tutorials.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • PHP Practical Projects

13. Develop PHP


Develop PHP is another video-style tutorial. The videos are actually hosted via YouTube and for ease of use, embedded on the website. The website provides an easier way, more organized, and easy to pull different courses.

Key topics:

  • Fundamentals
  • Functions
  • Video Tutorials

14. PHP Jabbers

PHP Jabbers is for intermediate to advanced coders. It contains a lot of specialized guides. You can find a large virtual library of high-standard commercial PHP scripts, software solutions with individual industry specification, as well as a whole bunch of free web tools and other webmaster resources.

Key topic:

  • Customized PHP Scripts

15. Learn-PHP Interactive Tutorial


It is designed for beginners with an introduction and very basic code of PHP programming. The site is interactive with step-by-step coding so you can type and run sample code without installing any software.

Key topics:

  • Learn the basics
  • Contributing Tutorials

16. 1Keydata


1Keydata offers a series of guided tutorials that cover almost every PHP topic you can think of. These are text-only tutorials and guides that cover topics like syntax and string functions.

Key topics:

  • PHP Tutorial
  • PHP Commands
  • PHP Strings Functions
  • PHP Syntax
  • PHP Sitemap
  • PHP Resources

17. PHP Cheatsheets


PHP Cheatsheets as the name suggest is a quick reference guide for intermediate to advanced programmers who may need help with variable comparisons and variable testing throughout various versions of PHP.

Key topics:

  • Variable Comparison Cheat sheet
  • Variable Arithmetic Cheat sheet
  • Variable Testing Cheat sheet

18. Microsoft Azure PHP Tutorials and Documentation


Microsoft Azure PHP Tutorial contains PHP tutorial and documentation related to Azure cloud computing services. If you’re working with PHP with Azure, then this is the complete reference for you.

Key topic:

  • Create your PHP Web application on Azure

19. Lynda.com


This website does not offer simple tutorials or step-by-step instructions; instead, Lynda provides a platform for teachers that are at the top of their fields to showcase their expertise. In the PHP course, this website offers a knowledge base in one place with the aim of providing excellent training for students. However, it does not come for free. A student must shell out a small amount of money to learn from the experts.

Key topics:

  • Basic PHP
  • PHP Tips, Tricks and Techniques
  • Advanced PHP
  • PHP: Object Oriented Programming
  • PHP: Design Patterns
  • And many more…

20. Udemy.com


Udemy is a widely-visited education platform because of its wide selection of educational content and lectures. The explosion of digital media jobs led to a thriving industry in the likes of PHP programming. Udemy offers PHP programming courses from experts wherein students can learn and expand their learning capabilities through research and a small amount of money.

Key topics:

  • PHP for Beginners
  • Object Oriented PHP and MVC
  • And many more…

21. Stack Overflow


Learning how to program is synonymous with learning how to speak a new language. Programming is a complicated process, and the web offers a wide choice of resources to get started. The learning stage includes getting a grasp of the new language, making errors, and getting yourself energized in the debugging process. The good thing about this website is it caters to both beginners and experts. Similar errors encountered by the people inside this community are readily available and will truly help to achieve the right answer. This led to a resolution of a bug or a prevention of a system crash.

Key topics:

  • Basic PHP lessons
  • Intermediate PHP lessons
  • Advanced PHP lessons

22. PHP Buddy


PHP Buddy as the name itself implies a friendly environment that contains tutorials, lessons, scripts, and articles on PHP programming. Though the environment is purely textual with limited videos and code snippets, it is still a worthy reference. The site also allows its visitors and subscribers to submit articles and PHP code.

Key topics:

  • PHP Quick Start
  • PHP Installation
  • PHP Articles
  • PHP Scripts

23. Bento PHP Resources


When we learn how to code, we get mentors for guidance. Nowadays, mentors are not solely physical but mostly virtual. Since we have different personal learning patterns, we need references that can cater to our needs. Bento PHP Resources offers a platform to excel in beating the beginner stage of coding. This website offers the generics of learning PHP, wherein you have a skills checklist following their curriculum as you move up to the ladder.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • Learn PHP

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24. Pluralsight


What do you want to learn? This website offers a wide array of technologies encouraging you to be an expert. Yes, you heard it right, an expert! Expertise in data, development, security and IT operations are well-crafted to suit your needs. You can start a 10-day trial and be sure to get your Skill IQ first. This will help you assess your skills and let you customize your skills checklists.

Key topics:

  • PHP Get Started
  • Building Dynamic Websites with PHP and MySQL
  • PHP Fundamentals
  • Laravel
  • Nginx and PHP Fundamentals
  • Object-Oriented PHP: Essentials and Constructs
  • RESTful Web Services with PHP and Laravel
  • High Performance PHP

25. Traversy Media


The author of this website is Brad Traversy who specializes in teaching web development and programming. Traversy Media is also one of the top web development and programming tutorial channels on Youtube. Brad offers a finely-tuned channel focusing on core technological trends, but making it easy to understand. Brad is very passionate about teaching different technologies such as PHP via his YouTube channel. His full playlist of PHP Front to Back is a must-watch for beginners.

Key topics:

  • PHP Basics
  • PHP OOP
  • Laravel
  • REST API
  • PDO Crash Course
  • CodeIgniter

Summary

We presented the best website resources to learn PHP online. We hope that you are able to pick a good site from the recommended list. Please do not limit yourself to just one. A combination of resources provides greater results. Keep in mind to choose what suits your preference to get you started with PHP programming. You can also expand your research and proceed to frameworks.

Becoming a PHP professional is a journey; learn the basics and keep a keen eye on up-to-date PHP development trends. Once you have acquired enough knowledge, jump start and create your own website. Yes, we presented a list of websites but the best website to learn PHP is your own website. In case you think we missed any other great resources, let us know in the comments.

More Information

PHP programming language is a very broad topic. Here are additional resources that might help you get started.

About Iryne Somera

Iryne Somera is a professor in the Department of Computer Engineering. She loves to research and write articles related to computing technology such as Computer Hardware Fundamentals, Management Information Systems, Software Development and Project Management. In her spare time, she loves to experiment in her kitchen with her healthy breakfast ideas.
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