During my time as a PHP developer, I’ve been asked many times the same question.
What can I make with PHP?
So, what exactly is it that we can do with PHP and NOT use any other languages? PHP is a back end programming language for creating interactive web applications that can store and manipulate data as well as other things. Without using at least HTML, you really limit yourself as to what you can do. You can create PHP files that can output information using “echo” or “printf” but that is about what you’re going to be left with at least when it comes to what your users are going to be able to do with your application. You’ll need to be able to at least input some sort of data, which can be done by either accessing a SQL database or through HTML forms. So long story short, you’re going to want to have some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS to really do anything major.
On to our real question and giving you some ideas. What can you really do with PHP today? So you’re scouring the web trying to find an idea to create an application to test your PHP skills. Here’s a couple ideas to get you started on your way.
- Simple redirect script. Very simple redirect script, however what is the point of this? Use this as an idea for the future. You may come to a point in your life where you’ll be working with a client and they’ll have a pre-existing site. They may want to change folders, or eliminate pages. Taking the pages that show up in Google and putting redirect scripts on them can send them to the proper pages without losing potential customers. Learn a bit more about SEO as you look into this.
- E-Mail form. Again, this is some where you’ll want to double check on your SQL Injection prevention, but make a simple HTML form, use the provided mail() function that PHP has, or take it a step further and learn SMTP. Take a look at things such as the PEAR Mailer PAckage and Swift Mail package to get started with this.
- Check out some sites that have an API and learn to interact. You’ll learn about things such as cURL when going into this. A great place to start is with Twitter. They have a decent API and you’ll learn how to interact with another site. Take a look at things such as REST API(twitter). There are over 15,000 sites with active APIs. Search around.
- Build your OWN API. I’m not going to go into much detail here, but learn about the htaccess file.
- Create a config file. Make your site easy to update by creating a config file and learning about GLOBAL variables. These can make your site so much easier to update.