Lesson Weekend

Welcome to PHP! In this class we'll move our development from the 'sandbox' of our own browser window to the 'wide world' of... well... the world wide web!


PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdford in 1994. Originally PHP was an acronym that stood for 'Personal Home Page,' as a result of Rasmus creating the language primarily to communicate between his personal web page and a server. Today PHP is a versatile language that can be used for general web development much like JavaScript. Commercially it remains in use, just like Lerdford originally intended, as a server-side scripting language. We'll get into what server-side means in a second.

Who Uses PHP?

PHP is particularly well suited for organizing and transporting huge sets of information. For that reason PHP is the server-side language for 82.5% of all websites whose server-side language is known. That list includes big names like:

  • Facebook
  • The New Yorker
  • Sony
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia

It will require some work before you are able to create sophisticated web applications like the ones used at the companies above, but if you work hard and stick with it, you will get there.


In this course, we'll focus on the fundamentals of programming web applications using PHP and the web framework Silex. Working with PHP and Silex, we'll use the MVC pattern of web development, where a program's core logic is written in its models (PHP classes). The user interface is coded in views (HTML/CSS/JavaScript). And controllers (Silex) will handle web requests, defining what model code to run and which views (Twig templates) to return back in the HTTP response.


Your PHP adventure will begin with the foundational tools of the PHP language:

  • First in Developing with a Server you'll take a quick look at how exactly non-static sites receive and send information.
  • Then you'll practice by using a server to integrate PHP into one of your Intro projects.
  • After creating a PHP hello world, you'll learn how to store data with PHP variables.
  • After that, you'll learn about PHP specific syntax for operators, functions, branching, and looping.
  • Lastly, you'll learn about PHP classes and how we use them to create instances of PHP objects.

Exciting, right!? Let's get started!