If you want to follow along by writing code, start by downloading a code editor. I recommend
Visual Studio Code or Sublime Text.
Next, create a new file in your editor called
basics.php and save it anywhere on your computer, like a folder
in your documents called
phpapprentice. Now, we can write some PHP.
All PHP files must start with a
<?php tag unless it is for a html template.
(We will learn about html templates later.)
<?php echo "Hello World!\n";
There is a lot going on in the above code so let’s work through it.
First, the echo keyword tells PHP to output some text.
echo "I am some text\n";
Second, PHP stores text in strings. To write a string, you surround letters with single or double quotes.
Double quoted strings can hold special characters like
\n which tells PHP to start a new line.
echo "I am a string on a new line\n";
Third, all lines of code in PHP must end in a semi-colon.
echo "No semi-colon is a no-no\n";
Using semi-colons means we can write multiple statements on one line.
echo "PHP"; echo " Apprentice\n";
To execute the code you have written, make sure you have PHP installed.
Then, open a terminal app, either Terminal on MacOS or Powershell on Windows. In the terminal,
open the folder where you created the
basics.php file using
cd. For example, on Windows run
cd C:\%userprofile%\Documents\phpapprentice and on Mac run
cd ~/Documents/phpapprentice. Finally, you can execute the file by running
In your terminal, you should see:
Hello World! I am some text I am a string on a new line. No semi-colon is a no-no PHP Apprentice
With any code in future chapters, I recommend writing a PHP file for it. It is a great way to get some practice with the language.