PHP is one of the most popular programming languages, designed to create websites and web applications. Thanks to its popularity, it has great support from the community where developers are eager to describe the issues and provide ready-made code examples. With so many projects available, we can find a lot of knowledge sources or inspiration for our own projects.
Why is it worth doing PHP projects?
The PHP language is quite simple to understand, and thanks to the connection with HTML and CSS, we can immediately see the results of our work. This programming language, used to create web applications, has a number of advantages.
- Open source. Thanks to the open source nature of the PHP language, the community gathered around it has a great influence on its shape and proposed solutions. We also have access to many free and ready-to-use frameworks (such as PHP-based Symfony and Laravel) and solutions that speed up and facilitate work on a project (Drupal is the ready-made system).
- Ease of running in an environment. PHP is supported on macOS, Windows, and Linux. In addition, it supports many versions of servers, and introducing new changes or code is easy to execute.
- Security and speed. Thanks to new versions of the language, any security bugs are fixed on an ongoing basis, increasing the security of the language itself. In addition, new PHP releases have good ratings in speed and performance tests.
- Community support and sample code availability. The popularity of PHP directly translates into the number of active users and the amount of code and tutorials they share. Such code is an ideal source of knowledge or inspiration for new projects.
Types of PHP projects
The PHP language offers many possibilities and functionalities. It provides easy communication with many types of databases, which is often used when creating web applications. In addition, it enables the processing of text, graphics, XML documents and many other types of data. Despite the wide range of applications, the ways of using PHP can be divided into 3 sections:
- Server-side scripts. At the time of execution, they return the result of the operation data, usually displayed to the user through a browser.
- Terminal scripts. In the case of a command line, no PHP server is required, only a PHP interpreter that'll process the given code.
- Desktop applications. PHP also supports the creation of graphic applications through the PHP-GTK extension, although this isn't a solution this language was created for.
Dynamic vs. static PHP websites
PHP supports the creation of both static and dynamic websites. What's the difference? A static web page presents one type of unchanging content, every user sees exactly the same. On a dynamic website, on the other hand, the content is downloaded as the web page loads, which allows for changing the content depending on the user's actions. Dynamic types of websites provide more options and are usually more complex than static ones.
Examples of PHP projects for beginners
The best way to learn a new programming language is to practice and try to create more and more complex projects. The same goes for PHP. At the very beginning, it's worth learning about the basic possibilities of the language and what it offers to the user.
System for competition applications
We can create a simple website that allows competition participants to fill out an application and provide their data. These should be saved in a database so that they can be displayed in the admin panel, where all applications should be shown.
It's a simple project that allows us to get acquainted with the basics of MySQL and the communication between PHP and a database. The knowledge related to HTML and CSS, which go hand in hand with web applications, may prove to be useful here.
Chat between users
PHP MYSQL AJAX
Nowadays, instant messengers are popular and widely used. When creating one of these, it's worth providing the option of registering and logging in for users. Logged-in users should be able to send and receive messages from others. It's also good to use AJAX, which will allow us to receive information from the server without refreshing the web page on the client side.
When working on a chat, we'll need to know the basics of PHP and MySQL and expand our knowledge with new concepts such as AJAX.
Storm alert system
Many weather platforms share their data with others. By using the appropriate API that'll allow us to determine the storm risk, we can create a new task for Cron. It may be responsible for sending alert emails to users if the weather platform detects a storm risk.
The use of tasks in Cron and the API concept will allow us to acquire new knowledge and learn about the issues that may be useful to us in the future.
Examples of PHP projects – applications from various industries
There are also many interesting projects on the Internet, the source code of which is available (usually on GitHub). It's a good source of knowledge on the language itself, as well as on the approach to various problems.
Firefly III is a home budget management system. It allows you to add costs, revenues, and automate repetitive situations. Thanks to analyzing the expenses, Firefly helps us save money, and the presentation of data in the form of charts makes it easier to visualize our finances.
YOURLS is a ready-made solution that allows us to shorten the length of any link to a minimum. Thanks to the option of adding the code on our server, we have full control over the stored data and statistics of individual activities.
Mobile Detect is an interesting solution thanks to which we can learn more about the users of our website. Most solutions offer browser-side analysis that is easy for the web page's user to disable. Mobile Detect provides server-based analytics. For this purpose, it uses the User Agent data saved in the browser after entering the website.
Matomo is the answer to large websites dealing with the statistics and analysis of web page visitors. It's free software, an alternative to Google Analytics, used by over one and a half million websites. Matomo is a fully operational PHP project that you can download and install on your own server.
Source: Matomo website
Symfony example project
Symfony is one of the two leading frameworks making working with PHP easier. Symfony stands out due to putting a greater emphasis on approaching the project as separate components. A great example of using this framework is the Symfony Demo Application project.
Laravel sample project
Laravel is built on the Symfony framework but gives us more options right from the start. It has many packages which, unlike Symfony, are ready to use out-of-the-box. In the case of Laravel, a good project example is RealWorld, which includes many solutions useful in everyday work with this framework.
PHP projects - summary
PHP is an easy-to-use language that helps save a lot of time during the development process. This is due to its huge popularity and a high number of users. The active PHP community provides ready-made solutions that can become an inspiration or part of your future project.
Are you interested in the abilities of PHP? Check out what we do as part of PHP development.