What is PHP ?
PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP is now installed on more than 244 million websites and 2.1 million web servers. With the growing use of PHP it is a plus point to learn this easy programming language.
What do I need ?
To execute PHP files you need to setup a Apache web server. There are various tools available which can help you setup apache web server up and running within minutes. One such tool is AMPPS. Download ampps and install it on your Windows or Mac desktop and you have apache server running to start off with learning PHP.
Where can I find tutorials ?
There are thousands of tutorials available over the internet but it is best to use the PHP manuals or learn over w3schools. You can access the PHP manuals at http://www.php.net/manual/en/. For new learners it is good to start with w3schools as it provides chapter-wise tutorials, you can start with the basics and then go on with the advanced functions.
How long does it take ?
PHP is a easy programming language to learn as compared to other languages. It does not require prior programming knowledge, however if you have a programming background it is a piece of a cake to master PHP. It usually does not take long if you are determined to learn it, you can learn PHP even in a weeks time. Practicing contributes much towards the speedy learning, only referring to the theories does not benefit you. You will need to practice PHP thoroughly to get the hang of it.
What else do I need to know ?
Learning PHP can help you code but you need to know MySQL, html and little bit of CSS to create a website. MySQL helps you to create a database connectivity required in case you want to make a dynamic website. Html and CSS are required to make you webpage look attractive.
Once you are done with these technologies you are ready to make your own website. There are also hundreds of PHP scripts available which you can simply install it on your web server to create your website AMPPS comes with Softaculous auto installer which is an addon to install such scripts with a click of a button.