Php book recommendations?

I’m new to PHP & am not a programmer (I have some basic knowlegde of ASP/ASP.NET). I went to the bookstore but looks like most of the PHP 5 books came out in 2004 or 2005. Does the group have any recommendations on the best book on PHP out there for the almost-n00b?

something a little above the level of “hello world” but not written for the seasoned programmer either… :slight_smile:


If you want a quick introduction to PHP’s syntax, I’ve written an article on the DreamHost Wiki:

Otherwise, I would recommend Teach Yourself PHP in 10 minutes.

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I would highly recommend

PHP 5 Unleashed
Author: Coggeshall, John

Probably one of the best books for learning and writing in PHP

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Do you know how I pick up PHP? I just read PHP’s documentation.

If you already have programming knowledge (, it should be easy for you to pick up PHP. Open the documentation and go to functions. All the PHP functions are listed there.

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I highly recommend PHP Bible, Learning php 5, php cookbook, php developer’s cookbook, programming php.
The cookbooks are great for copy and pasting to see what they do. However the rest explain the why things works.
I agree the php manual is indispensable, there are things in the manual I could not find elsewhere.
I wish the DH wiki was as detailed back then as it is now, great resource(thanks Simon and anybody else that worked on it).
I purchased all of my books through amazon, the search tool is great for finding php related books.

My website

my thanks to all!

I’ve yet to find anything in a PHP book that I couldn’t find online for free.

My favorite place for PHP info is Once you know the basic function names, you can jump right to their section by going to Ex: will take you right to the page for the explode() function.

Also, don’t just read the main entries. There is a lot of good info in the user comments as well.

You can also download the whole manual, so you can access it on your computer if you’re not online. I’d stick with the online version when connected, though–since it will always have the most recent comments.

Other good sources of PHP info:

Digital Point PHP Forum
DevShed PHP Forum
Sitepoint PHP Forum

And if you run into an error, doing a Google search for it in quotes will likely bring up a discussion where someone has already had/solved the same problem.

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