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What Is Involved in PHP Website Development?

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  • Written By: Benjamin Arie
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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There are over 20 million websites that use the Hypertext Processor (PHP) computer language. PHP website development focuses on server-side scripts. This means that the commands are not executed on a website visitor’s actual computer, but rather on the hosting server where the website files are stored. The analysis and specification of website requirements are the first steps in development. A site design is then created, and the actual code is written and tested.

PHP is usually combined with HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code. In general terms, the PHP code is used for accessing and modifying data, while the HTML defines the look and structure of a site. Both components of a PHP-powered website must be built correctly, or the site will malfunction.

A site proposal must be analyzed before PHP website development can move forward. For a large-scale project, this step can involve formal meetings between the developer and the client. The specifications of a new site can influence the development process. A site that will store customer data, for instance, would require a database as well as special code to save and retrieve this information. It is usually preferred to plan ahead instead of trying to re-engineer a website in the future.

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Once the scope of a PHP website development project has been defined, the appearance of the site must be designed. During this stage, design experts create the layout and graphics of various site elements. Navigational menus, text areas, and images must all be positioned. The design serves as the blueprint of a website, and helps developers to visualize how the site will function when it is complete.

Code must be written before a PHP website development project will work properly. Writing PHP code is similar to composing a text document, except that special commands and structures are required. This language enables variables such as customer’s name to be pulled from a separate location and inserted where needed. PHP code can also modify or calculate information, in order to build useful applications.

A PHP website development project rarely works flawlessly the first time it is written, and testing plays an important role in the creation process. Developers preview a website as it is being constructed, and check that each new aspect is functioning properly. Even after every section of a website has been built, the project is be viewed and tested on different web browsers. A developer must check that every detail of a site is working properly, and modify the PHP code if a problem is found.

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