8 Important PHP Development Tips That Every Developer Must Know

PHP Development Tips
PHP is one of the popular and open-source web development languages right now. It is a reliable and most widely-used scripting language and developers can easily acquire the language and find tips on using it to create websites. More than 15 million domains use the PHP programming language and it is used on major sites such as Facebook and Wikipedia. When it comes to web development, many developers want ideas to improve the site. Hypertext Preprocessor is a server-side language that has been around for more than 25 years and tends to evoke some strong opinions among developers today. It is used by more than 70% of all websites. So, it has become one of the most loved platforms by developers to build their websites from.

The most effective part of PHP development is that developers can discover Guides for PHP programmers and ideal PHP ideas and tricks on the main website of PHP. Learning PHP is so easy for beginners that in inexperienced hands it is really dangerous when you want to build a project that grows with time. The code written in PHP runs much faster than ASP because PHP has its own memory space whereas ASP uses an overhead server. It is flexible for database connectivity that can connect to several databases; the most commonly used is MySQL. MySQL can be used for free.

In this article, we’re going to list 5 important tips that PHP developers should learn and become successful PHP developers. These tips will make the code much more responsive, cleaner, and more optimized for performance. So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

8 Important PHP Development Tips that every Developer Must Know

1. Create a Configuration File

Rather than having your database connection settings diverged everywhere, why not just design one master file that includes its settings, and then include it in your PHP scripts? If you need to change specifications, later on, you can do it in one file preferably of several files. This is also very useful when you need to use other constants and functions throughout multiple scripts.

/**
* The language code is used when no language is explicitly assigned.
*
* Defined by ISO639-2 for “Undetermined”.
*/
define(‘LANGUAGE_NONE’, ‘und’);
/**
* The type of language used to define the content language.
*/
define(‘LANGUAGE_TYPE_CONTENT’, ‘language_content’);
/**
* The type of language used to select the user interfaces.
*/
define(‘LANGUAGE_TYPE_INTERFACE’, ‘language);
/**
* The type of language used for URLs.


Using a config file is a popular web application pattern that makes your code more modular and easier to maintain.

2. Know the Difference Between Comparison Operators

This is one of the best PHP tips for developers to know before starting the development process, but it is missing a practical example that demonstrates when a non-strict comparison can cause problems.

If you’re using strpos() method to define whether a substring exists within a string (it returns FALSE if the substring is not found), the results can be misleading:

<?php

$authors = 'Bella & Sean';

if (strpos($authors, 'Chris')) {

            echo 'Chris is an author.';

} else {

            echo 'Chris is not an author.';

}

?>

Here the substring Chris occurs at the initial stage of Bella & Sean, strpos() method accurately returns 0, symbolizing the first position in the string. Because the conditional statement treats this as a Boolean, it estimates to FALSE, and the condition fails. In other words, it looks like Chris is not an author, but he is!

This can be corrected with a strict comparison:

<?php

if (strpos($authors, 'Chris') !== FALSE) {

            echo 'Chris is an author.';

} else {

            echo 'Chris is not an author.';

}

?>

Code source

3. Before coding go for replication

Before you start working on any real platform, invest a few minutes and make a rough sketch of your entire coding required for the development process. It will give you proper understanding and give clarity to your thoughts for establishing the website. Additionally, you will find out the significant troubles that may be challenging in the future journey of coding. So make sure to invest some good time and do good practice for getting the very best product.

A PHP development company develops various types of websites and software to accommodate the requirements of its customers. Developers work very hard to match the customer requirements and give their best to supply some unexceptional technology concepts on the platform.

4. Drop those Brackets

Curly brackets may mean braces to some, but “brackets” universally mean “square brackets.” This tip is one of the most important tips for PHP development that developers must know. Without braces, readability and maintainability are damaged.

Here is a simple example:

<?php

if (date('d M') == '29 Feb')

            $birthdays = array('Al Franken',

                          'Chris Shiflett',

                          'Chris Wallace',

                          'Edward Bella');

?>

If you’re smart and good enough, secure enough, you might want to party on the 29th of Feb:

<?php

if (date('d M') == '29 Feb')

            $birthdays = array('Al Franken',

                          'Chris Shiflett',

                          'Chris Wallace',

                          'Lawrence Tureaud');

                          party(TRUE);

?>


To promote the practice of dropping braces here is a simple example given below:

<?php

if ($gollum == 'halfling') $height --; 

else $height ++;

?>

Here every condition is constrained to a single line, such mistakes might be less likely, but this leads to another problem that developers often abide by a coding standard even if they dislike the coding standard itself. So, it is always recommended to use braces:

<?php

if (date('d M') == '21 May') {

            $birthdays = array('Al Franken',

                          'Chris Shiflett',

                          'Chris Wallace',

                          'Lawrence Tureaud');

            party(TRUE);

}

?>

Code Source

5. Use Modern Technologies

To become a successful PHP web developer, it is important that you are aware of various advanced and modern technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and JQuery to develop enterprise common web solutions for the next-gen apps. It is a crucial part of any kind of modern-day web application which is supposed to operate on different web development platforms like a desktop, mobile, computer, laptop, and tablets. So, you need to apply these advanced modern technologies in your application.

6. Don’t Over-Comment Your Code

Proper documentation of your code through comments in your scripts is definitely a good practice, but do you think commenting on each line is really necessary? Probably not. Just comment on the complicated parts of your code so that when you revisit it later you can quickly connect what’s going. Make sure to eliminate commenting on unnecessary and simple parts such as MySQL connection code. Good code is self-explanatory most of the time.

Example of Good Commenting:

<?php  

            /* CONNECT TO THE DATABASE */

            $hostname = "localhost";

            $username = "";

            $password = "";

            $dbname = "";

            $connectionStatus = mysql_connect($hostname, $username, $password) or die(mysql_error());

            $selectionStatus = mysql_select_db($dbname) or die(mysql_error());

            /* END DATABASE CONNECTION */

?>

Example of Good Commenting:

<?php

            /* DEFINE THE CONNECTION VARIABLES */

            $hostname = "localhost"; // Hostname

            $username = ""; // Username

            $password = ""; // Password

            $dbname = ""; // Database name// Connect to the database or display an error

            $connectionStatus = mysql_connect($hostname, $username, $password) or die(mysql_error());

 // Select our database here

$selectionStatus = mysql_select_db($dbname) or die(mysql_error());

?>

Code source

7. Use PHP Core Functions and Classes

If you’re trying to do something that looks somewhat familiar, possibilities are, there’s already a PHP function or class that you can take advantage of. Always check out the PHP manual for designing your own functions. There’s no need to perform a function to eliminate the white space at the beginning and the end of a string when you can just use the trim() function. Why build an XML parser for RSS feeds when you can take advantage of PHP’s XML Parser functions.

8. Consider using a Simple URL

It is always a good idea to use a simple URL rather than a complicated one as it helps the viewers to find it quickly even in the masses. So, to make your URL simple, you have to use the file.htaccess, as this is the best way to make the URL more simplistic for the users and it is even advantageous for SEO. This file will help you get excess Apache directives.

The Verdict

PHP is one of the best programming languages to develop websites, which is open-source, easy to learn, and easy error reporting. Follow the advanced PHP tips and tricks to improve the performance of your site and speed up the development process. Use PHP-based frameworks and CMSs, use it over Core PHP for developing a lightweight website.

Here was the list of some important tips that a PHP developer must know before starting the development process. Do you like any of them? Or do you think we missed out on any better tips than these? If so, then do let us know in the comment section below.
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