PHP Development Quickstart
by jonathan barrios / September 20th, 2019
Is PHP dead?
No. PHP is NOT dead and in fact, it's actually worth learning.
👇 PHP cannot die if 79% of the web is still using it
✅ According to W3Techs’ data, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. That translates to 8 out of every 10 websites on the Internet.
✅ Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey shows us that VS Code is, by far, the most popular code editor in 2019.
PHP ❤️ VS Code
In this short tutorial, we'll set-up a PHP development environment using VS Code, a few extensions, and XAMPP. Visual Studio Code extensions are available within your development environment, which is truly amazing. Let's do this! 🔥🔥🔥
First, download and install Visual Studio Code from code.visualstudio.com. Let's review the user interface, Iin the top-left we have the main navigation icons which are, from top to bottom:
- Explorer ⇧ ⌘ E or Shift + Command + E
- Search ⇧ ⌘ F or Shift + Command + F
- Source Control ⌃ ⇧ G or Control + Shift + G
- Debug ⇧ ⌘ D or Shift + Command + D
- Extensions ⇧ ⌘ X or Shift + Command + X
If you're on Windows, hover your mouse over each icon to display the shortcut.
Top Three Themes
First, I recommend installing a theme from the extensions tab. To install extensions, navigate to the Extensions tab(⇧ ⌘ X) and type the name of the theme in the search bar, select it then install it. These are my top three themes, so try them all:
- VS Code Icons Theme by VS Code Icons Team
- Night Owl by Sara Drasner @sarah_edo
- Cobalt2 by Wes Bos @wesbos
To activate a theme:
- access the command palette(⇧ ⌘ P)
- type the name of the theme
- Select the theme to activate
Next, we have a choice of IntelliSense extensions:
I use PHP Intelephense but both extensions are great abd more or less offer similar workflow actions so either will work. I recommend researching more on your own and choosing according to your preference.
Install and Run XAMPP
Next, download and install XAMPP, which is available on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Once you open the XAMPP application, click start. Next, head over to the
Services tab to check and start
MySQL. Next, head over to the
Network tab and enable port
443. Finally, open a browser and enter
localhost:8080 which will reroute you to
localhost:8080/dashboard automatically, which is the intended behavior.
Finally, head over to the
Volumes tab and click on the mount button. Once mounted, open the volume and open the
htdocs folder. In this folder, create a new working directory such as
php-dev or a naming convention that suits your preference.
Open Folder in VS Code
Now we can get started by opening your newly created
php-dev folder in Visual Studio Code.
Next, create an
index.php file in the newly created directory and add the following code:
<?php echo "FTW";
Save your document and open a browser using this address:
localhost:8080/php-dev and you should see
FTW in the browser indicating that we are victorious!
FTW is For The Win
If you're interested in learning more about web development, check out Treehouse's PHP TechDegree.