What you need to get started with PHP


Before you can write and test your PHP scripts, there's one thing you'll need - a server! Fortunately, you don't need to go out and buy one. In fact, you won't be spending any extra money. That's why PHP is so popular! But because PHP is a server-sided scripting language, you either have to get some web space with a hosting company that supports PHP, or make your computer pretend that it has a server installed. This is because PHP is not run on your PC - it's executed on the server. The results are then sent back to the client PC (your computer).

Don't worry if this all sounds a little daunting - we've come across an easier way to get you up and running. We're going to be using some software called Wampserver. This allows you to test your PHP scripts on your own computer. (The WAMP of Wampserver stands for Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP.) It installs everything you need, if you have a Windows PC. We'll explain how to get it installed in a moment, and where to get it from. But just a word for non-windows users.

Apple Users

For Apple use, MAMP is quite good. Like Wampserver, it installs everything you need for this course. You can download it from here:


What you're doing here is getting the apache server up and running so that you can run PHP scripts offline. Pay particular attention to where files are stored, and to the "localhost" address.


Linux Users

There are quite a few sites out there to help Linux users get up and running with the Apache server and PHP. Unfortunately, there's no easy way like there is for Windows and Mac users. You best bet is to Google your distro with the following:

Lamp +Ubuntu


Lamp +Debian

There's also quite a few YouTube videos that will help you instal everything you need.


Windows Users

OK, back to Wampserver and Windows. First, you need to download the software. You can get it from here (this site is nothing to do with ours, by the way):

Download Wampserver

In the next part below, you'll see how to make sure eveything is set and running with Wampserver.