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 will 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. Next, let's review the user interface. In 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 are 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:
- PHP IntelliSense by Felix Becker
- PHP Intelephense by Ben Mewburn
I use PHP Intelephense but both extensions are more or less solving similar workflow actions so either will work. I recommend researching more and choosing according to your use case.
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 and check
MySQL. 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/dahboard automatically, which is the intended behavior.
Next, 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 case.
Open Folder in VS Code
Now we can get started and open your newly created
php-dev folder in Visual Studio Code.
To get started, create an
index.php file in this 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 BTW. 🦄
If you're interested in learning more about web development, check out one of the Treehouse Memberships or Techdegrees for free with a 7-day trial:
That's it for this short tutorial, thanks for reading and happy coding! 🙌
Follow me on Twitter @_jonathan_codes