PHP is one of the most widely utilized programming languages currently in use today. An estimated 240 million websites have PHP installed. In 2014, work began developing a formal specification for the language, which it had lacked since its creation in 1995. And is used by 80% of the websites and has been installed on quarter-billion websites. One of the reasons for this is that PHP development has a relatively easy learning curve, and its widespread availability has long made it an early favorite of newbie programmers. It is popular because it is adopted by successive waves of CMS systems such as Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla – which have contributed substantially to its overall uniqueness.
When JSP and ASP were at their peak stage, PHP became a challenge in the industry. PHP has been on the scene for nearly 20 years and has been dominating the web application development landscape. Developers are always looking for ways to improve their skills, and taking advantage of PHP’s versatility is a great way to create more robust and efficient code. There are many things that you can do to make your next project more readable and maintainable.
Tips To Improve PHP Development Skills
Below are 10 tips to help you become a crisp and more dedicated PHP programmer:
- Frequently Use Comments- It can be frustrating when you look back at old code and cannot remember what it was. Using comments effectively will give your code a clearly defined purpose and help you to recall things. Comments can also help others that read your code and quickly ascertain its role. By writing direct comments and technical specs, it increases the readability of the code.
- Name The Variables Meaningfully- Your variable names should always be meaningful to you. If you are using a variable as an integer try beginning its name with an ‘i’. It will make the purpose of the variable obvious at first glance. Name variables such that other PHP developers can understand your code better.
- Use Constants- It is counter-productive to rewrite the same thing over and over again. Constants should be used to store data that is needed frequently throughout your code. Error messages, directory paths, and other recurring information could be called upon quickly and easily in this way.
- Replace Functions with Objects- Functions that have lots of parameters can make a project unnecessarily complex. When these get cumbersome and require you to change all your calls, it’s time to use an object instead. PHP object-oriented programming uses objects and classes to skip the repetition of code and perform the code in a much simpler way. And the code runs faster, is easier to debug, and utilizes fewer server resources. So as a developer, one should know the OOPS Concepts and how to use them.
- Don’t Repeat Code- The code repeated throughout the project can be put in an object or function. It seems like extra work but when your project gets more complex and elaborate, you will understand its value and save yourself some headaches. PHP developer should learn multiple programming paradigms such as object-oriented programming, functional programming, etc., to avoid repeating code.
- Use <?php and ?>- Avoid using in your scripts to ensure compatibility across all servers and PHP versions. It will make your code portable in case you decide to run it somewhere else.
- Use Separate Configuration Files- Configuration settings should not be placed in your script file. Always use a separate configuration document that is then included at the beginning of the script. You will avoid having to edit every page due to a small configuration change.
- Use Indentation and Spacing- You can dramatically improve the readability of your code by utilizing indentation and spacing effectively. It will allow you to quickly identify the ends of the loops in your code.
- Initialize Variables- PHP web development automatically creates a variable when a value gets assigned to it. Leaving things up to PHP like this is a bad idea. Always initialize your variables before using them. It is a good practice to initialize your variables, as it would avoid a potential headache in the future.
- Framework Understanding- The last few years have seen PHP getting back in the game with a new generation of frameworks that implement the best features in PHP. Though there are many frameworks in the market, hire a PHP developer who has a good grip on all the frameworks.
Future of PHP Development
Using these tips will help you write more cleaner and more organized scripts. These elementary examples will go a long way in providing a basis for making your code more readable and efficient, in addition to helping you become a better PHP developer. Having a deep knowledge of the PHP language will guide PHP developers to code sharp and spotless.