Before you can write and test your PHP scripts, there's one thing you'll need - a server! Fortunately, you don't need to go out and buy one. In fact, you won't be spending any extra money. That's why PHP is so popular! But because PHP is a server-sided scripting language, you either have to get some web space with a hosting company that supports PHP, or make your computer pretend that it has a server installed. This is because PHP is not run on your PC - it's executed on the server. The results are then sent back to the client PC (your computer).
Don't worry if this all sounds a little daunting - we've come across an easier way to get you up and running. We're going to be using some software called Wampserver. This allows you to test your PHP scripts on your own computer. It installs everything you need, if you have a Windows PC. We'll explain how to get it installed in a moment, and where to get it from. But just a word for non-windows users.
If you have OS X, then try these sites to get up and running with PHP:
What you're doing here is getting the apache server up and running, so that you can run PHP scripts offline. Pay particular attention to where files are stored, and to the "localhost" address.
There are quite a few sites out there to help Linux users get up and running with the Apache server and PHP. Here are three sites that are worth checking out:
If you know any better ones, we'd be interested in hearing from you!
OK, back to Wampserver and Windows. First, you need to download the software. You can get it from here (this site is nothing to do with ours, by the way):
Be sure to click the link for Presentation, as well as the link for Downloads. The Presentation page shows you how to install the file.