PHP Resources

PHP has become the most popular programming language on the web, for many reason which we don't need to go into here ;-). The following are links to resources, scripts and PHP tutorials from around the web.

A Few Tips for Writing Useful Libraries in PHP (#)

Easily one of the most important resources I have ever added to this website, more so if you work with PHP. Some of these are maybe not so evident but they are, for the most part, essential best practises.

Using curl to Query Remote Servers (#)

A nice little walk thru of the cURL functions in PHP, what they can do and how to use them. Compliments nicely the API series here on

IBM's Recommended PHP reading list (#)

Here's a huge list of links for the PHP developer, with links for the beginner and upwards level user, this should keep a person reading for a few weekends at least.

News, security, 3rd party services like e-bay and paypal and debugging and profiling among the topics in the list.

PHP UTF-8 cheatsheet (#)

Our CMS handles Iñtërnâtiônàlizætiøn out of the box, or so I thought. Lately on one server I've noticed some issues which I'll have to dig into, and this brought me to the PHP UTF-8 cheatsheet. This little guide provides some steps of common things to do to get utf-8 working in php. Be sure to scroll thru the comments as there are many good links and pieces of advice left by other readers of this post.

Php Mvc Frameworks (#)

No shortage of MVC based PHP frameworks out there, as this resource shows. If you're in the market, go take a few for a test drive...

The no-framework PHP MVC framework (#)

I can't say that I agree with everything in this article, but it is a good read - including some of the comments - if you want to keep your head open to new methods (no pun intended) and ideas.

This bit in particular caught my attention: Stay with procedural style unless something is truly an object. This is good advice, I find too many people (scripts?) using objects for everything and anything, resulting in unnecessary complexity.

Crouching Javascript, Hidden PHP - 1 (#)

An excellent piece by Harry Fuecks that looks at getting your PHP talking to the client with Javascript.

Written long before the Ajax hype, he touches on synchronous vs. asynchronous calls before getting into the mechanisms that can bridge the client/server gap, such as "Tricks with HTML src attributes", commonly iframes, and the XMLHttpRequest object.

He then covers data exchange methods, population, and touches on XML-RPC in PHP and Javascript. Worth a read, and dive into the comments for some decent feedback and links too.

Practical PHP Programming (#)

Paul Hudson has written a complete PHP programming book and published it online. 26 chapters, covering basic to advanced topics in addition to coding up some simple applications.

11 Cool Things You Can Do With PHP (#)

Covering ideas from image generation to url manipulation to caching and even xmlHTTPRequest and email handling, this 47 page slide show introduces some of the fun stuff that PHP can do.

User Errors in PHP (#)

An introduction to the trigger_error function in PHP, outlining how you can use this along with display_errors to avoid showing users embarrassing error messages on live sites, and instead pop the errors into a log with log_errors.

Eval is dead! Long live Eval! (#)

Lachlan Donald has a look at PHP's Eval, citing some dos and donts and provides some links to good usage examples. As usual with Sitepoint blog posts, the comments are useful as well.

Microsoft Access Database using Linux and PHP (#)

Here's a solution to a problem that many people have run into: getting MS Access databases into mySQL in a pain free way. There are commercial answers, but this method, using PHP and ODBC (and some other tools), is one of those solutions that, when you were googling for an answer, you just thought should have existed.

Model View Controller Pattern - PHP (#)

Harry Fuecks provides a look at the Model, View Controller (MVC) method for constructing web applications. I can't say that I've seen too many write-ups about MVC from a PHP point of view.

The article may be a bit complex for some, but the concepts are important and can (should?) be applied to more simple applications as well.

Mojavi Project (#)

Mojavi is an open-source MVC (model-view-controller) PHP framework, somplete with an FAQ, a wiki and a forum, and even development consulting services. It is licensed under the LGPL, and they are working on a PHP 5 version.

PHP Cheat Sheet (#)

A PHP cheat sheet that will help keep me from using my PHP bookmarklet when I forget common syntaxes, formats and function names.

Validate Your Input! (#)

An overview of data input validation that includes examples and links to some PHP libraries. Basic stuff that many people miss when building their first few PHP apps.

Check out the Resource categories for older content

The latest from my personal website,

SiteUptime Web Site Monitoring Service

Sitepoint's web devlopment books have helped me out on many occasions both for finding a quick solution to a problem but also to level out my knowlegde in weaker areas (JavaScript, I'm looking at you!). I am recommending the following titles from my bookshelf:

The Principles Of Successful Freelancing

I started freelancing by diving in head first and getting on with it. Many years and a lot of experience later I was still able to take away some gems from this book, and there are plenty I wish I had thought of beforehand. If you are new to freelancing and have a lot of questions (or maybe don't know what questions to ask!) do yourself a favor and at least check out the sample chapters.

The Art & Science Of JavaScript

The author line-up for this book says it all. 7 excellent developers show you how to get your JavaScript coding up to speed with 7 chapters of great theory, code and examples. Metaprogramming with JavaScript (chapter 5 from Dan Webb) really helped me iron out some things I was missing about JavaScript. That said each chapter really helped me to develop my JavaScript skills beyond simple Ajax calls and html insertion with libs like JQuery.

The PHP Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks

Like the other books listed here, this provides a great reference for the PHP developer looking to have the right answers from the right people at their fingertips. I tend to pull this off the shelf when I need to delve into new territory and usually find a workable solution to keep development moving. This only needs to happen once and you recoup the price of the book in time saved from having to develop the solution or find the right pattern for getting the job done..