PHP is a powerful server-side scripting language for creating dynamic and interactive websites.
PHP is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP. PHP is perfectly suited for Web development and can be embedded directly into the HTML code.
The PHP syntax is very similar to Perl and C. PHP is often used together with Apache (web server) on various operating systems. It also supports ISAPI and can be used with Microsoft's IIS on Windows.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How to Install PHP on Windows

Why PHP?
PHP remains the most widespread and popular server-side programming language on the web. It is installed by most web hosts, has a simple learning curve, close ties with the MySQL database, and an excellent collection of libraries to cut your development time. PHP may not be perfect, but it should certainly be considered for your next web application. Both Yahoo and Facebook use it with great success.

Why Install PHP Locally?
Installing PHP on your development PC allows you to safely create and test a web application without affecting the data or systems on your live website. This article describes PHP installation as a module within the Windows version of Apache 2.2. Mac and Linux users will probably have it installed already.

All-in-One packages
There are some excellent all-in-one Windows distributions that contain Apache, PHP, MySQL and other applications in a single installation file, e.g. XAMPP (including a Mac version), WampServer and Web.Developer. There is nothing wrong with using these packages, although manually installing Apache and PHP will help you learn more about the system and its configuration options.

The PHP Installer
Although an installer is available from, I would recommend the manual installation if you already have a web server configured and running.