First PHP Programming
Create a file named hello.php and put it in your web server’s root directory (DOCUMENT_ROOT) with the following content:
Example #1 Our first PHP script: hello.php
<html> <head> <title>PHP Test</title> </head> <body> <?php echo '<p>Hello World</p>'; ?> </body> </html>
Use your browser to access the file with your web server’s URL, ending with the /hello.php file reference. When developing locally this URL will be something like http://localhost/hello.php or http://127.0.0.1/hello.php but this depends on the web server’s configuration. If everything is configured correctly, this file will be parsed by PHP and the following output will be sent to your browser:
<html> <head> <title>PHP Test</title> </head> <body> <p>Hello World</p> </body> </html>
This program is extremely simple and you really did not need to use PHP to create a page like this. All it does is display: Hello World using the PHP echo statement. Note that the file does not need to be executable or special in any way. The server finds out that this file needs to be interpreted by PHP because you used the “.php” extension, which the server is configured to pass on to PHP. Think of this as a normal HTML file which happens to have a set of special tags available to you that do a lot of interesting things.
Note: A Note on Line Feeds
Line feeds have little meaning in HTML, however it is still a good idea to make your HTML look nice and clean by putting line feeds in. A linefeed that follows immediately after a closing ?> will be removed by PHP. This can be extremely useful when you are putting in many blocks of PHP or include files containing PHP that aren’t supposed to output anything. At the same time it can be a bit confusing. You can put a space after the closing ?> to force a space and a line feed to be output, or you can put an explicit line feed in the last echo/print from within your PHP block.
Note: A Note on Word Processors
Word processors such as StarOffice Writer, Microsoft Word and Abiword are not optimal for editing PHP files. If you wish to use one for this test script, you must ensure that you save the file as plain text or PHP will not be able to read and execute the script.