Innovate faster and cut risk with PHP experts from Zend Services.
Learn PHP from PHP experts with free, on-demand, and instructor led courses.
Submit support requests and browse self-service resources.
As a budding PHP developer, you might be wondering where to begin and how to hone your skills. This article has got you covered. In this article we dive into the qualities you should look for in PHP beginner projects, ensuring you have a well-rounded learning experience. Next, we cover a PHP beginner project skill checklist that helps you gauge what you need in order to take on new challenges.
To give you a solid foundation, we explore three simple PHP beginner projects that help you grasp different aspects of PHP development. These projects not only enhance your understanding of the language but also boost your confidence in tackling real-world applications. Finally, we discuss strategies and tips on how to transition from a beginner to an intermediate PHP developer, setting you on the path to a rewarding career in web development.
When choosing a PHP beginner project, it is essential to look for qualities that will help lay a strong foundation for your development journey. A good beginner project should be easy to understand, have a clear purpose, and offer a well-structured codebase to ensure readability. Additionally, the project should provide opportunities to learn essential PHP concepts like variables, functions, loops, and conditional statements.
Opt for projects that integrate with databases, such as MySQL, to grasp the fundamentals of data manipulation and storage. Finally, choose a project that encourages best practices like code organization, commenting, and security measures to foster a solid skill set for your future endeavors in PHP development.
It's important to review our PHP beginner skill checklist (featured below) before starting a project because it helps you to gauge your current skillset. During this review you can identify areas you need to improve upon, and ensure you have the necessary knowledge to successfully complete the project. A well-rounded understanding of the required skills contributes to a smoother learning curve as you transition to more complex PHP projects and become a proficient developer.
HTML / CSS
Allows you to build and style web pages, which are the foundation for any web application
Enables you to write server-side scripts, manipulate data, and create dynamic web content
Crucial if you need to store, retrieve, and manipulate data efficiently within web applications
Form Handling / Validation
Ensures you can collect user input securely and accurately, improving overall user experience and application security
Learning application security (AppSec) fundamentals is vital to protect web applications from common threats and vulnerabilities
Allows you to manage files, read from or write to you, and organize application data effectively
Session Management and Cookies
Important for you to maintain user-specific data across multiple web pages, providing a seamless and personalized experience
Debugging / Troubleshooting
Key for you to identify and fix errors or issues within their code, ensuring the smooth functioning of web applications
Not Quite Ready?Zend now offers three free and on-demand PHP training courses that are perfect for beginners. Explore options today by visiting our PHP training page.See Free Training Courses
Zend now offers three free and on-demand PHP training courses that are perfect for beginners. Explore options today by visiting our PHP training page.
See Free Training Courses
In this section, we explore three excellent example projects specifically designed for PHP beginners to explore and expand their skills. These projects not only provide a hands-on learning experience but also help solidify the PHP concepts you've acquired from the Beginner Skill Checklist. By working on these projects, you will gain valuable insights into real-world PHP applications while gaining the confidence to tackle more complex projects in the future. The three projects we will be discussing are:
Let’s now have a look at each of these beginner-friendly PHP projects and how they can contribute to your ongoing learning journey.
Tic Tac Toe is an excellent beginner PHP project as it doesn’t involve a database or the file system. It gives you great experience handling forms, user sessions, arrays, and other PHP basics, and is a lot of fun as well! This project would consist of the following components:
By implementing these components, you can create a simple Tic Tac Toe game using PHP. This project will help you familiarize yourself with PHP basics, form handling, and session management.
A simple email contact form project is another great PHP beginner project. This project might include an HTML form for collecting user input (name, email, subject, and message), a PHP script to filter, validate, and sanitize the input data, and the PHP mail() function to send the email.
Additionally, you would need to incorporate basic error handling, the use of conditional statements, and server-side validation to ensure a seamless and secure user experience. This project helps beginners learn how to process user input, interact with server-side code, and gain a basic understanding of PHP email functionality.
A PHP project that handles user login and registration is much more complex than a simple email contact form. However, this represents vital functionality that any e-commerce or social media-based website needs, and could also be combined with the Simple CMS project mentioned earlier. Pursuing this project is well worth your time if you are serious in building a career in web development.
Here are the primary aspects of this project:
By working on this project, you learn essential PHP concepts like form handling, input validation, database interaction, password hashing, and session management, helping you build a strong foundation in web development with PHP.
Transitioning from a beginner to an intermediate PHP developer requires a combination of practice, learning, and exposure to real-world projects. To begin, immerse yourself in the PHP community by participating in forums, attending workshops, and following PHP-focused blogs. This will help you stay updated on the latest trends, best practices, and emerging technologies in the PHP world. Additionally, work on personal projects or contribute to open-source projects to gain hands-on experience. When encountering challenges, seek out mentors or experienced developers who can provide guidance and support.
Trying to avoid a shameless plug, it’s worth mentioning that one of the fastest ways to advance your a career as a PHP developer is to attend a PHP training course. Most good courses take you through a progressive series of topics and labs that can quickly bring you up to speed. The best of all worlds is to sign up for a course with a live instructor as you’ll benefit from his or her experience and guidance.
On another note, there’s a classic joke often misattributed to the famous comedian Jack Benny. Referring to the famous New York City concert venue , the comedian is asked, “Hey, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Delivering the punchline, the comedian energetically proclaims, “practice, practice, practice!” And the same can be said to those looking to develop their PHP programming chops. Don’t be shy. Get your hands on the keyboard, try out one of our suggested projects, and start developing today. Nothing beats practice!
See Our Free PHP Training CoursesZend offers free, on-demand PHP Training courses that walk new users through everything from the PHP basics, to building interactive web forms.Explore Free Training Courses
Zend offers free, on-demand PHP Training courses that walk new users through everything from the PHP basics, to building interactive web forms.
Explore Free Training Courses
Senior Technical Trainer, Zend by Perforce
Doug Bierer has been hooked on computers since his first program, written on a DEC PDP-8 in 1971. In his wide-ranging career, Doug has been a professional contract programmer since 1978, having built applications in BASIC, PL/I, assembler, FORTH, C, C++, dBase/FoxBase/Clipper, Pascal, Prolog, Perl, Java, Python, and PHP. He deployed his first website in 1993 while living in San Francisco. Doug has been doing technical PHP training since 2009 and has written a number of technical books including PHP 8 Programming Tips, Tricks and Best Practices and the PHP 7 Programming Cookbook (Packt Publishing Ltd). He is fluent in three languages, has traveled extensively, and now resides in Thailand.