PHP Development: 7 Best Practices You Will Find Befitting

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Useful Resources | 0 comments

If you’ve just started working as a web developer, then you will apparently want to use a programming language that is learnable and can make the development process faster. PHP is one such great programming language that is widely-used for developing websites as well as web applications. Over the last few years, PHP has matured to a great extent and keeps on adding several new and exciting features. However, there are some ground rules of PHP (i.e. best practices) that as developers you should be aware of.

This post will help you learn about some of the most important PHP best practices that are worth considering.

1. Go Through the PHP Manual

If you’re a novice PHP designer or developer, then it’s imperative for you to become familiar with the PHP manual. Getting acquainted with the manual will help you gain resourceful insight into PHP and related topics. The manual mainly comprises of several articles containing helpful comments. So, rather than visiting forums and community to seek answers to any PHP related issue, you can save some time and refer to the PHP manual directly for getting the needed help.

2. Don’t Forget to Experiment With PHP Frameworks

PHP without a doubt is a great language, you can use for web development. In fact, it offers a wide number of libraries and tools to help you meet your varied web development needs. But, the problem is that as soon as you’ll begin working on a project using PHP only, you’ll probably need to look for third-party resources (ideally code or libraries). And nothing can be worse than writing code on your own. This is where PHP frameworks come in handy.

There are several PHP frameworks available over the Internet, using which you can easily create PHP based websites and web apps without having to become a PHP expert. Have a look at the below given image to know about some of the best PHP frameworks:

3. Adopt an Integrated Development Environments (IDEs)

IDE’s provide developer with powerful and highly useful tools, helping them to write code in a quick and efficient manner. Additionally, the tools come loaded with rich set of features including syntax highlighting, error warnings, and shortcuts more. And thereby, helps developers (especially beginners) to make less mistakes, at the time of writing code. Some of the IDE’s, you can use are PHPEclipse, Aptana Studio etc.

4. Utilize the DRY Approach

DRY (also referred to as Don’t Repeat Yourself) is a popular approach that is used for curtailing redundancy in the code. This is not a PHP-specific programming concept, and can be used for many different languages like C#, Java, etc. Let’s have a quick look at an example to understand more about this approach:

$mysql = mysql_connect(‘localhost’, ‘admin’, ‘admin_pass’);

In case we use the aforementioned code in multiple places, and somewhere we have added the wrong parameters, correcting them will probably take a lot of your time. Now let us make use of the DRY approach:

$db_host = ‘localhost’;
$db_user = ‘admin’;
$db_pass = ‘admin_pass’;
$db_name = ‘WordPress’;
$mysql = mysql($db_host, $db_user, $db_pass);

Using the DRY approach as explained above will also prove useful – in changing the database configuration – when we transfer our project from one server to the other.

5. Preventing SQL Injection Occurrence in Scripts

When a user input some details on a web page, an SQL attack (also called as an SQL Injection) occurs if the data that the user entered is not validated. And because of poor input validation, the attacker (ideally one having access to your database) may create a fake superuser in your database. There are solutions that help to overcome this issue, such as:

• Make use of mysqli_real_escape_string().
• Execute a prepared statement using “PDOStatement::execute”. Following this technique won’t add user input directly into the SQL query. And will rather make a call to the “PDOStatement::bindParam()” method to bind variables to the query.

6. Assign Relevant Names to Variables and Functions

If you’re working on a project as a part of a team, then it is important that the variables and functions you’re using in your code are meaningful and are assigned relevant names. If not, understanding your code can give other programmers a really hard time. And thus, you should avoid using generic and insensible names for your variables and functions.

7. Avoid Placing phpinfo() in your Webroot

When writing a PHP file, you’ll come across Phpinfo that looks something like:

Placing it anywhere on the server will make you learn everything about the server environment instantly. But placing a file that contains phpinfo() in your server’s webroot can make your server susceptible to attacks. And so, it is advisable that you should put phpinfo() at a secure place in your file. And delete it once your work is being completed.


Although, this post doesn’t provide resourceful insight into PHP best practices, but will definitely help you know about the most important practices that you shouldn’t ignore.

About the Author
As a certified programmer at Xicom Technologies Ltd., Amanda Cline has an impressive expertise as PHP programmer. If you need to hire PHP developer then simply get in touch with Amanda via Twitter and Google+. She has also written interesting and informative articles on Custom Software Development, Web Application Development etc.

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