Top 10 websites and courses to learn PHP online free in 2021

PHP is the most widely used server-side scripting language in the world. So, it is a good thing if you are considering learning it for free online.

Featuring a simple but powerful syntax, PHP is easy to learn, forgiving to program with, and there is a huge amount of documentation, forum, and blog posts to help you through every problem.

Our list of the top 10 websites and courses to learn PHP below includes only free resources that we’ve selected from among the best.

Top PHP websites and courses

NameType
1.Official PHP manualWebsite
2.UdemyCourses
3.CourseraCourses
4.W3Schools TutorialInteractive
5.CodeacademyCourses
6.PHP ApprenticeBook
7. PHP The Right WayWebsite
8.Tutorials PointTutorials
9.SoloLearn Free PHP TutorialInteractive
10.Learn PHP in MinutesReference

1. The Official PHP Manual

Php.net is the official home of PHP on the internet and the PHP Manual is a major part of it. Here you’ll find every single bit of information concerning PHP, from the Getting Started guide to the language reference.

All the features, installation and build problems are also listed, including database issues and lots and lots of examples to help you learn better.

However, it’s not the most user-friendly introduction, as it’s more geared towards programmers than those who have never written code before. But if you already know a C-family language and need a solid understanding of PHP, then this is a good address.

2. Udemy

The Udemy website boasts a massive collection of tutorials and courses provided by tutors from all over the world. It also features lots of PHP learning materials and many of them are free.

Simply browse through the listings to choose a particular course, as they are all slightly different. This course, for instance, offers beginners an introduction to PHP and MySQL. This is great because you will also need to learn MySQL alongside PHP.

Other courses deal with the more recent PHP 7 version, WordPress, which is based on PHP, and CRUD applications development using PHP.

3. Coursera

Coursera also offers free PHP courses, although you don’t get the variety that’s available on Udemy.com, for instance.

Their courses are, however, authored by notable universities from around the world. These include the University of Michigan and Stanford University.

The site also offers an interactive and proven teaching method that’s guaranteed to help you learn faster and better. So, if you prefer interactive learning, then Coursera might be worth a try.

4. W3Schools Tutorial

This site offers a simple but also interactive approach to learn PHP and other web development languages. It features a nice layout with all the necessary topics on the side pane for easy selection.

Its main page then lists the selected tutorial and it often includes example codes. Every aspect of the language gets explained, beginning from the language basics like syntax, variables, and arrays to advanced topics like XML, Ajax, and object-oriented programming.

Finally, you can try out example codes for each section, as well as modify it to fit your needs. Simply click the “Try it Yourself” button and a new interactive page opens. W3Schools also includes a detailed reference to help you out with all of PHP’s function calls.

5. Codeacademy

You also get a free PHP course on Codeacademy, another website that offers interactive learning methods, as well as a certificate for a price.

This course has 10 parts and will need about 25 hours to complete. Its only prerequisite is that you know HTML, which by the way, is typical with most PHP courses.

The course starts with the introduction, then goes into variables, functions, arrays, form handling, loops, logic, and conditionals, before finishing with classes and object-oriented programming.

6. PHP Apprentice

PHP apprentice is an online PHP learning resource that’s focused on teaching programming to newbies in a simple and easy to understand way.

It’s also designed in an easy-to-read book format. With navigation to the “next” and “previous” pages, as well as to the “Table of Contents”. There’s syntax highlighting as well and a checkbox to select “Dark Mode” for easier reading.

PHP Apprentice is created and maintained by Andre Davies, who also aims to teach you good and secure programming practices from the outset, so you can learn the right way to do things from the very beginning.

7. PHP: The Right Way

PHP began in 1994 as a personal project for Rasmus Lerdorf, and although it quickly grew in popularity, it still wasn’t a properly designed language.

This meant lots of bad practices and security issues out there because of its flexibility. PHP: The Right Way aims to help you avoid learning those bad coding practices, by presenting an easy-to-read tutorial with the best practices.

You can also get the tutorial in ebook format for free, plus the website is available in more than 20 languages.

8. Tutorials Point

Tutorials Point started offering online web development tutorials in 2006 and has since expanded into a wide range of subjects. The site’s focus is to make it easy to learn your topic of choice at your own pace.

The PHP tutorial here is well structured and very detailed. It touches on all parts of the language, including strings, loops, file I/O, and email, as well as advanced topics such as regex, predefined variables, and XML.

There are lots of code examples along the way as well, to make the subject easier to grasp and they’re all free. But if you prefer videos, then they also offer affordable premium subscriptions that come with video tutorials.

9. SoloLearn Free Interactive PHP tutorial

Another website is SoloLearn, a completely free interactive learning online platform. SoloLearn offers a free PHP course with 51 lessons divided into 9 modules.

Each module contains a set of quizzes, with the entire course totaling 117 quizzes. All parts of the language are also touched on, from the basic syntax to server variables, OOP, and file I/O.

Another reason to join SoloLearn is that they offer many other free programming courses, such as C++, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and machine learning.

10. Learn PHP in Minutes

This tutorial comes from the Learn X in Y minutes website, which has the peculiar design of offering a very quick overview of the subject matter and allowing fast readers thereby to pick out important information quickly.

You should note that this site isn’t for everyone. Some will love it and some won’t. But if you’re an experienced coder, who’s looking for a lightning-fast PHP reference, then it’s hard to beat. You can also use it for other languages from COBOL to Matlab and JavaScript.

Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of our list of the top 10 sites and courses to learn PHP for free. And as you’ve seen, they are available in books, web tutorials, and video courses.

We all have our preferences, so there’s no single best option here. Rather, you’ll have to select which learning medium and method is best for you.

Nnamdi Okeke

Nnamdi Okeke is a computer enthusiast who loves to read a wide range of books. He has a preference for Linux over Windows/Mac and has been using Ubuntu since its early days. You can catch him on twitter via @bongotrax

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