PHP Books for Beginners

Up until about 12 months ago I hadn’t done anything website related at all other than surfing. Since then my company has asked me to create websites for our clients - but only basic websites, where readers can read basic details and download PDF files.

I would now like to try and learn PHP/MySql a bit more rather than relying on One Click installs or even trying to find scripts from the web. Can anybody recommend a good PHP beginner’s book?

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The best one to learn PHP is PHP’s documentation.

Start from Instructions, practice the examples. If you have programming knowledge, go to Functions area.

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When I teach my college students PHP, I start them off with “PHP 5: Your visual blueprint for creating open source, server-side content” because it is an excellent easy-to-follow starter book. After that, the PHP documentation is usually more than sufficient. Another book I like (mainly because of the fact that it integrates LAMP technologies very well) is “Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache.” There’s a pretty good primer for PHP on the DreamHost Wiki, along with an accompanying article on MySQL and PHP. The secret to getting the most out of a PHP/MySQL application is understanding what you can achieve with MySQL - a thorough grounding in SQL will serve you well.

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Doing a search on Amazon is a great place to start, especially if you do not have a book store in your area. Don’t laugh, I don’t. The closest is 30 miles away.
Anyways, I found the O’Reilly books really good. The Bible books are good as well.

My website

I bought a bunch of PHP books… which collected dust while I used the manual at Then I dusted them off and sold them for a loss on ebay. :stuck_out_tongue:

There are also forums like as well as others that have programming sections.

If you get an error, doing a Google search for the message (in quotes) will often bring up a fix.

I guess I don’t really care for programming books, unless you just want to read them cover-to-cover for something to do, since it’s much easier to find info online when you need it.

Plus, online info is more current. I just recently got rid of one book that was written around PHP3. Even though the basics are usually the same, you just feel like you’re reading outdated material.

The other nice thing about the PHP manual is that it’s easy to find the info you need. If you type something like - it will take you right to that page in the manual.

The user comments in the manual can also contain a lot of useful info & examples.

You can also download a copy of the manual for offline use.

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After having some space here for a while I decided it was time to teach myself PHP/MySQL as well. I bought a number of books but eventually found that I got pretty much all my useful information from just one book This one: PHP and MySQL Web Development

I highly recommend it to anyone who ever asks questions about PHP reference books. I realize that using bound books is somewhat antiquated, but I really like being able to flip through a book rather than only consulting websites.

My copy of this book is the 2nd edition but it’s got the same authors, so I imagine it’s just as good as mine or better.

Thanks for all these. I did take a look at the manual and that seemed a nice easy one to start with on the basis that it was free, and I can download onto my laptop and take it with me where I go.

Now all I need is to find the time to actually be able to get through it and start doing things on there.

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I would like to add the following book:

Beginning PHP and MySQL: From Novice to Professional