How to Run a PHP Script: Tips from Experts

Let’s begin this article with some very basic concepts. First of all, let’s define what a PHP script is. A script is a short program that consists of a few lines of code. The instructions in a script are interpreted at runtime. This way of executing a program differs from compiling. Because of this characteristic, PHP scripts are very common for website applications.

How to Run a PHP Script: Tips from Experts

A PHP script file uses the extension “.php” and is somehow embedded into a different software environment. In the case of a web page, the software environment is usually written in a programming language. Commonly, this language is HTML for web applications. A PHP script is commonly added to perform a specific function in the website.

To integrate a PHP script into a website (or any other software environment for that matter), you have to install it on a server. That’s the only way it can be interpreted. On the other hand, the clients connecting to the server need just web browsers. However, the script won’t be interpreted

by any web browser. As you can see, there are many particular details for the implementation of PHP scripts.

No wonder many students learning this scripting language often look for PHP homework help from experts. Even though learning the language is not difficult, running a PHP script may be tricky. So, in this article, you will find the necessary information to learn to run PHP scripts.

Why Use PHP Scripts?

Web developers usually add PHP scripts to a web page to perform some routines of a web application. Another reason is to enhance the website’s performance. PHP differs from JavaScript, another popular scripting language. In the case of JavaScript, the instructions are interpreted by the browser that the client uses to access the web page. But both scripting languages have in common their compatibility with HTML code.

As you surely noticed, we refer to PHP and JavaScript as scripting languages. On the other, we call HTML a programming language. What are the differences between these two concepts? Let’s review the most important ones:

  • A programming language has all the necessary features and capabilities to write complex programs. Contrastingly, a scripting language allows the creation of routine tasks only;
  • Commonly, you have to compile the code written in a programming language so you can execute it. Contrastingly, you can run a script without compilation;
  • A program written in a programming language can exist on its own. Scripts, on the other hand, are usually embedded in programs written in a programming language.

Besides HTML code, you can embed a PHP script into web templates and frameworks. PHP is also useful to applications in database management systems.

But then again, why do people choose to use PHP when there are several other scripting languages? There are several reasons, but one of the most important ones is that PHP is open source. This means that using PHP is free. Moreover, you can count on a large community of developers that are willing to give free support.

Moreover, support for PHP scripts is a default feature in most web hosting servers. Contrarily, other scripting languages need some specific supporting software to be installed first. What’s more, you can install PHP scripts on web servers that run different operating systems. PHP scripts will perform well in Linux, Windows, and even Mac OS. Hence, for most website owners, using PHP is rather inexpensive.

For you, as a developer, learning PHP won’t be difficult. It is a rather easy-to-learn language. You don’t need to know HTML to master PHP, although some knowledge of this programming language is recommended.

How to Run PHP Scripts

Now, we have come to the main topic of this article, how to run a PHP script. As you probably know, you don’t just click on a PHP file and that’s it. It won’t help to try to open it with your browser either. So, how do you run it? Well, you have two ways to do it.

Use a Server API

The first way is to use a server API, often referred to as a SAPI. This is the most common way and the one we have referred to in this article. To run a PHP script on a web server, you’ll need to install XAMPP.  This you have to do it on the computer in which you’ll write the script.

All the PHP scripts that you write should be put in the XAMPP/htdocs folder. Now, you need to start Apache. You do it through the XAMPP control panel. Then, you have to open your browser to access http://localhost/script.php. That’s all. That’s it, your script will be running.

Use the Command Line

This allows you to run a PHP script as an independent piece of code. You won’t need a web server or a client browser. First, you have to install PHP. As mentioned, it is free to download. Then, use the command line to launch the script.

Conclusion

Now you have learned everything that you need to run PHP scripts. You learned about the two possible ways to do it. PHP scripts are more commonly integrated into the code of websites. As such, the most common way to run a script is by installing it on a web server. This type of script can add more functionality to your website.


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