What is PHP & MySQL?

Considering a career in web development? PHP and MySQL, powerful open-source coding languages, are vital tools in the developer's toolkit. Learn how mastering these languages can level up your career.

Key Insights

  • PHP and MySQL, two server-side coding languages, power over 80% of the web, making them essential skills for aspiring developers.
  • These languages are open-source and free to use, but developers should consider the cost of hosting websites, which can range from $5 to $40 a month.
  • Despite a dip in popularity, PHP and MySQL skills are highly sought after in the job market, offering career opportunities as Web Developers, Full Stack Developers, Back End Developers, Software Engineers, and WordPress Developers.
  • Learning PHP and MySQL is a stepping stone to mastering complex coding languages. They are beginner-friendly with a forgiving syntax and helpful community.
  • Web developers can expect a wide range of salaries, depending on their role and proficiency in PHP and MySQL.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive in-person and online programs for learning PHP and MySQL, as well as other vital web development languages like JavaScript and Python.

PHP is an open-source, server-side coding language first developed in 1994. Commonly it is used with MySQL, an open-source database management system first developed in 1995. PHP and MySQL help power over 80% of the websites on the web today. Developers still value these back end languages for their simple and compatible syntax. This overview will teach you more about PHP and MySQL, what you can do with it, who uses it, and how to learn this language to add this skill to your developer toolbelt. 

What Can You Do with PHP & MySQL?

When thinking about what you can do with various programming languages, you'll probably think of the countless websites and web applications you could create; however, with PHP and MySQL, you can do much more. 

You can create dynamic page content by working with a server-side programming language. Many programmers working with PHP and MySQL work with e-commerce and WordPress themes. You can write the script for and create desktop applications. However, these are things that other programming languages can accomplish as well. PHP is great for web security as you can easily set up user authentication and two-step verification with PHP. This security trick will allow your websites to use the cornerstones of web security with a few simple steps. You have easy database connectivity, which is why you often see PHP paired with MySQL. 

With PHP, you can implement real-time applications like chats, bots, social networks, and games into your website. To do this, you need to create the application using a different language, then use local PHP back end code to implement it into the website. However, these are just a few things you can accomplish with PHP; the more familiar you become with the language, the more you will be able to accomplish.

How Do You Download PHP & MySQL? How Much Does it Cost?

When you are starting to learn various coding languages, you will find that the majority of languages are open source. Both PHP and MySQL are open-source languages. Open-source languages mean that the languages are free to use for anyone. You can take the source code and alter it to fit the needs of your programming goals. Both are free to download from the PHP and MySQL websites.

While the language is free to use, there are still hidden costs. When designing a website from scratch, you need to consider the cost of hosting the site. Depending on where you host the site, you can find prices between $5 and $40 a month.

What Are the Benefits of Learning PHP & MySQL?

You may wonder why you should take the time to learn PHP and MySQL. Over the years, PHP has declined in popularity, with new coding languages coming onto the scene. Despite the decline in popularity, it is still used in about 80% of websites today. It is still an easy-to-learn language accompanied by a large community that willingly shares information and tips. You can find many jobs requiring proficiency in PHP and MySQL. 

PHP is a great language to learn if you start with web development. It can be a great stepping stone to other coding languages. Starting with PHP and MySQL gives you a user-friendly experience that gives you more control over the language. The syntax is forgivable, making it perfect for those who have never coded. Beginners can take their time to work out the hiccups with simple language before jumping into a more complex language. PHP and MySQL are for more than just beginners. The more you work with the language, the more advanced coding you can do with it. 

Read more about why you should learn PHP and MySQL.

PHP & MySQL Careers

Before you begin your training in PHP and MySQL, you may wonder what type of careers await you once you finish that training, especially if the language is not as popular as others. While PHP and MySQL are still used on 80% of websites today, several companies still require employees to be proficient in the language. Here are a few viable areas to consider when you enter the workforce. 

  • Web Developer: Those in this position primarily build different web pages with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You can choose to work in front end development, back end development, or full stack development. However, no matter which area you choose to enter in this career, you will mostly be looking at program functionality and troubleshooting errors in code.
  • Full Stack Developer: These developers will work on building web applications for both the front end and back end powers of the application. Those who choose to go this route will need to spend time learning front end languages as well as back end.
  • Back End Developer: Those in this position will work on the server side of websites and web applications. They will need to integrate front end development components. Users do not see the majority of this work.
  • Software Engineer: In this position, you will use your knowledge of programming languages to develop different software. Those in this position can create software ranging from games to operating systems.
  • WordPress Developer: More often than not, you will see those with expertise in PHP and MySQL working in this position. Those in this position can create full WordPress sites or new themes for existing ones. 

How to Learn PHP & MySQL

Learning any coding language can be challenging for beginners, so you may need to take structured classes to help you succeed in web development. Noble Desktop provides different ways to help you find the program right for your needs. You can use the school's Classes Near Me tool to locate in-person web development classes near you in you prefer a face-to-face environment. For students who want the flexibility of a virtual environment, you can use the tool to find live online web development courses or check out Nobles web development virtual courses. 

Enrolling in a class is a significant time commitment, which can be challenging to fit into a busy schedule. You should continue learning even if you cannot commit to a lengthy course. You can find several on-demand web development courses that will fit your busy schedule. On-demand courses are available in all skill levels and several different programming languages. You may find some free introductory courses, but the majority of the courses will require some upfront fee ranging from $100 to about $1000. The more expensive a program is, the more resources are available. These courses may also be asynchronous: you can take the course when you have the time to devote, but it is still an entire course. Other courses will require you to purchase a platform subscription. 

Another great way to begin working with programming languages is to watch video demonstrations. Noble Desktop provides several YouTube playlists on different programming languages, including Python and JavaScript. For an overview of web development, watch the Web Design and Development playlist that discusses multiple topics. You may also browse through Noble Desktop's free seminars to find several courses covering various programming languages. To learn the basics of PHP, consider taking the Intro to WordPress for Developers course. 

Read the full guide on how to learn web development.

A Brief History of PHP & MySQL

Ramus Lerdorf first developed PHP in 1994. The first version of this language was a simple set of Common Gateway Interfaces (CGI) written in the C programming language. Lerdorf created PHP to track hits on online resumes. Because of this, it was named Personal Homepage Tools or PHP for short. 

However, as with most languages, it develops over time. The next version of the language became capable of database interaction. In 1995 the language was released to the public as open-source. Four versions were released from 1996 to 2004, each changing various aspects of the code. The last one was in 2004 and is the current version used today. 

At the same time as PHP, in 1995, a Swedish company began to develop MySQL. Micheal Widenius, David Axmark, and Allan Larsson created MySQL to provide one efficient and reliable data management system. The system went open source in 2000. 

Comparable Applications/Programming Languages/Fields

Deciding to enter the world of web development, you will find that you will need to learn various programming languages. While PHP is one of the simplest languages to learn, there are other simple languages you may consider learning alongside or instead of PHP. 

One of those languages is JavaScript. JavaScript is an all-purpose programming language. No matter what career path you choose, as a programmer, JavaScript is a must-know language. You will find it used on all sides of web development and web design. Just like PHP, JavaScript creates dynamic, interactive websites. While front end developers usually use JavaScript, back end developers need to be fluent in the language to effectively communicate with their fellow front end developers to help troubleshoot issues that arise. 

JavaScript is the most popular programming language globally, making it a lucrative skill to include on your programming toolbelt. Typically you will find JavaScript used in front end development; however, JavaScript continues to grow and expand with different frameworks and libraries. Several of these frameworks and libraries work on the back end of development, making JavaScript compatible with all sides of web development. Commonly, you will find Back End Developers working with Node.js or React to enhance their side of the website. Check out Noble Desktop's JavaScript Development Certificate to learn more about these frameworks. 

Learn Web Development with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop provides various web development classes that meet various scheduling needs and learning styles. No matter which class you enroll in, you’ll learn from expert instructors in small intimate classes. Any students can attend in-person training at Noble's Manhattan campus or remotely from anywhere worldwide. In addition to the courses, students can retake the course within of year of completion for no additional charge, giving them more time to hone their skills.

For those interested in beginning their web development journey, Noble offers a short Intro to WordPress for Developers course that covers the basics of PHP. This course covers how WordPress Themes work and how to develop and upload them onto a live site. For a more in-depth look into web development through WordPress, consider the WordPress Bootcamp. This course goes more in-depth on how to use HTML, CSS, and PHP to develop websites for WordPress. 

If you want a general overview of PHP and MySQL, you can take the PHP and MySQL bootcamp course. In this course, you learn the fundamentals of both PHP and MySQL. Before taking this course, you should have basic HTML and CSS knowledge. 

Those interested in learning other back end web development languages to start their web development career should consider enrolling in the JavaScript Development Certificate course or the Python Developer Certificate course. Both courses go in-depth into each language. After learning PHP and MySQL, you should consider learning JavaScript and Python, as you will encounter them throughout your programming career. Having each of these languages on your programming toolbelt with help jumpstart your web development career!

Key Insights

  • PHP and MySQL are open-source.
  • They are simple and easy to learn.
  • PHP and MySQL are free to use and manipulate as you wish; however, the cost comes from hosting your website. 
  • You will commonly find the two working together in back end development. 
  • To enter into web development, you must learn multiple programming languages. 
  • JavaScript is a simple and easy-to-learn language. It is similar to PHP in several ways, although it is primarily used in front end development. 
  • You can receive comprehensive Web Development training at Noble Desktop with in-person and live online classes. 
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