PHP programming: fundamentals course

PHP has become the de-facto standard server side programming language for web applications, especially because of its good understanding with Apache, the popular web server, but also because of its versatility and its simplicity to implement relatively complex tasks, like e.g. user authentication, possibly with the help of MySQL. During this course, the basic syntax of PHP is treated in a detailed and structured manner, though examples and also with the possibility to try out everything in practice.


No public sessions are currently scheduled. We will be pleased to set up an on-site course or to schedule an extra public session (in case of a sufficient number of candidates). Interested? Please let us know.

Intended for

Web designers, developers, and administrators who would like to make their website dynamic through PHP, or who maintain a PHP-based website. But also application developers who want to use PHP as a programming language for applications outside of websites.


Participants should on the one hand have a basic programming experience (see course Programming fundamentals) and should on the other hand be sufficiently familiar with HTML and the webserver business. During the course, students have the possibility to practice on both an MS-Windows and a Linux platform.

Main topics

  • Installation and configuration:
  • Installing and customising Apache; httpd.conf
  • Installing PHP; configuring for MySQL; configuration choices in php.ini
  • UNIX specific setup: MS-windows specific setup
  • Introduction to PHP:
  • What is PHP? Why using PHP?
  • Examples of dynamic functionality on a website
  • Some basic concepts of HTML
  • Basic structures in PHP:
  • Interaction with HTML; variables; expressions; general syntax aspects
  • Datatypes; program flow through conditionals and loops
  • Built-in variables and their meaning
  • input/output
  • The use of lists (arrays and associative arrays):
  • structuring, searching, iterating, sorting, merging, ... of data in lists
  • Functions
  • Creating your own functions
  • Passing arguments to functions; specifying default arguments
  • Manipulation and comparison of data
  • interpolation; text manipulation; cut, paste, concatenate, trim, ...
  • pattern matching with regular expressions
  • Web forms
  • Creating fill-in forms with PHP
  • Validating user input; interaction with JavaScript
  • GET and POST
  • More advanced topics:
  • Working with external files
  • Calling external (system) commands from PHP
  • Executing a PHP program outside the context of a web server
  • Webserver-specific possibilities
  • HTTP authentication through PHP; login administration and password administration
  • Access to networking services like email, DNS, databases
  • HTTP session management, navigating between pages, and the use of cookies
  • File upload

Training method

Classroom instruction; theory, examples and exercises.


3 days.

Course leader

Peter Vanroose.