According to W3Tech’s usage statistics, WordPress powers over 37% of all websites on the internet. So, it’s not surprising that new web developers are keen on learning WordPress development.
WordPress is developed in PHP, a popular back-end scripting language for the web. To work with WordPress code, you’ll also need to be familiar with PHP at least at a basic level.
While PHP is relatively easy to learn, if you are new to it, you may get overwhelmed with the number of tutorials available online.
So in this post, we have collected the best PHP tutorials for beginners — both free and paid.
While some of these tutorials let you get started quickly, others require you to invest more time in getting a deeper understanding of the PHP programming language.
13 Best Free PHP Tutorials for Beginners
1. PHP Manual
When learning a new programming language, many developers prefer starting with the official documentation. The website of PHP offers a simple tutorial to help you get started with your first PHP program and deal with basic form data.
While it barely scratches the capabilities of PHP, it’s a good guide to write your first PHP program.
The Laracasts website has a huge repository of PHP tutorials, and the beginner course called The PHP Practitioner is available free.
All Laracasts courses consist of detailed video tutorials demonstrating various concepts. Plus, there’s a discussion thread on each video that enables users to share common learnings, further reading resources, and concerns.
The premium content of Laracasts is available at $15 per month.
Practical PHP is a free PHP course on Udemy by Brad Hussey. It assumes that you have no knowledge of PHP and helps you build a dynamic website by the end of the course.
It consists of over six hours of video content, and you can expect the associated work to keep you busy for a longer time.
You complete small exercises throughout the course, with a final project of building a dynamic website for a fictional restaurant.
PHP The Right Way is a tutorial site that is focused on teaching you how to code well in PHP.
The content is divided into carefully designed sections. You don’t build an example project here. Instead, each tutorial explores a separate topic and can be read as a standalone piece.
While it’s not impossible to start learning PHP using this course, it’s not the best choice for complete beginners. However, if you have been working with PHP for a while, it does provide you a chance to polish different aspects of your PHP skills.
If you prefer an instructor who talks to you while explaining a topic, you may want to go with this PHP Language Programming Tutorial by FreeCodeCamp.org on YouTube.
It contains about 4.5 hours of video content where the instructor demonstrates each concept in detail.
The videos cover a wide variety of topics, from the installation of PHP on your local development machine to intermediate concepts such as classes and inheritance.
Overall, this tutorial is a good start to PHP if you want to code along with the instructor while watching the videos.
If you prefer getting directly into the code, you should have a look at Learn PHP by Codecademy. It doesn’t have tutorials but teaches you concepts used in PHP through interactive exercises.
You write and execute code while learning about a certain concept.
The Learn PHP course is a great opportunity for beginners to learn by actively doing coding exercises within the platform.
The GeeksforGeeks PHP Tutorials are a fairly exhaustive list of PHP tutorials. Just like PHP The Right Way, it provides tutorials on a wide variety of PHP topics, but they are not necessarily taught in a linear manner.
As these tutorials are structured to be informative rather than hands-on, you will find them more useful once you have some knowledge and experience in PHP programming.
GeeksforGeeks PHP Tutorials are some of the most detailed PHP tutorials available on the web.
The PHP Tutorial for Beginners by The Net Ninja is a set of over 40 video tutorials on how to progressively build a dynamic website in PHP with a MySQL data storage.
The videos are divided into shorter topics, which are much easier to grasp for beginners. The best way to go about this tutorial is to code along the way.
Overall, it’s a good starting point for beginners who like to learn while working on a project.
PHP Apprentice is a tutorial in the form of a free online book that is still a work in progress. At present, it contains a good variety of content, with the aim of covering each topic concisely and exhaustively.
Although it looks like technical documentation at first glance, the content is presented clearly and in an easy-to-grasp structure. The examples in the book also cover a wide range of functionality.
PHP Apprentice could be a nice addition to other beginner tutorials on this list.
PHP Basics by Codecourse is another series of beginner-friendly video tutorials. It includes short videos, each of 5-10 minutes, that can help you get started with certain PHP features.
This tutorial series consists of about five hours of video. It should serve as a stepping stone for beginners, encouraging them to explore PHP further.
PHP Front to Back by Traversy Media is a YouTube playlist of 22 parts that explores a variety of topics in PHP.
It’s a beginner-focused tutorial that starts with basic topics such as installation, but later also explores more advanced techniques such as cookie management.
Each video is result-oriented to encourage you to keep on with learning.
Learn-PHP is an interactive tutorial that teaches you common PHP features through exercises. It consists of only ten parts, and the exercises at the end of each part are fairly easy to solve.
It makes a good tutorial for beginners to practice basic PHP concepts through coding exercises.
SoloLearn PHP Tutorial is a set of PHP lessons that comprises short lessons, regular quizzes, and interactive exercises.
The regular quizzes between lessons ensure retention of content, which makes this tutorial a good choice to start your journey in PHP.
SoloLearn PHP Tutorial is also available as mobile apps for iOS and Android to enable you to learn on the move.
5 Best Paid PHP Tutorials/Courses
The PHP for Beginners – Become a PHP Master – CMS Project course on Udemy gives you a chance to learn PHP from scratch, but still explore the topic in depth during the learning process. While it’s aimed at PHP beginners, some basic HTML knowledge is needed for the course.
The final objective is to create a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress, working with a server and database in the background.
PHP for Beginners contains 37.5 hours of content and multiple practical exercises related to the project.
The list of PHP courses on Treehouse covers a wide range of PHP-related topics. The content ranges from five-minute quick techniques such as exception handling to detailed courses on advanced topics such as user authentication.
Each course has quizzes and exercises to reinforce your learning. Treehouse’s basic plan starts at $25 with a 7-day risk-free trial.
Creating a working copy of a commonly used tool is generally a great way to build an understanding of the underlying technologies.
The complex project in this course requires you to have a good knowledge of back-end and front-end web technologies. If you have completed the basics of PHP, this is a good step forward to use your skills to create a hands-on end product.
Similar to the previous social network project, Making a Spotify Clone from Scratch requires close coordination of front-end web technologies, PHP, and databases.
Just like the previous courses, How to Build an E-Commerce Store is also an activity-oriented course, with the end goal of creating an e-commerce store.
It can be ideal for you if you have already covered the basics of PHP and would like to explore PHP’s capabilities further.
Given the range of materials and tutorials available today, it may often be overwhelming for a beginner to learn a new technology.
It’s generally a good idea to pick a tutorial or course and stick to it until completion. I hope this collection can help you find the best PHP tutorial for you.
Do you have any questions or suggestions about the best PHP tutorials for beginners? Let us know in the comments section below!