PHP – Best Practices and Coding Guidelines

PHP is being used by 81.7% of internet, in websites that have known server side programming. Again, 98.7% of these PHP websites use the 5th version of the language. This shows that PHP 5.0 is arguable the top coding language today and the best examples lie in the form of Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Pinterest.com, WordPress.com, Wikipedia.com, Baidu.com and more.

For someone looking into a career in PHP, the future seems bright. However, it is also important to understand you are able to maintain the high code quality, PHP’s naming conventions, visual styles, and other technical settings allows developers to come up with homogeneous codes that both easy to read and maintain. The experience and personality of the coder also comes into play when differentiating a code that is “okay” and a code that is “awesome”.

Naming

Naming conventions have always been undervalued by software developers. While no one denies that having a nice name makes things easy, many opt for cryptic abbreviations, juts to save some typing. It is generally advisable to have English names for class names, comments, method names, database tables field names and variable names. It is common consensus that English is always easier to remember than special characters.

Vendor namespaces

Vendor namespaces are the base for namespaces and package keys. This provides two advantages. Firstly, there isn’t an extra requirement for a central package key registry and secondly, it allows the coder to easily integrate third party packages like Zend framework components, Symfony2 components or for that matter, any PHP 5.3+ based library.

PHP – Best Practices and Coding Guidelines

Turn on Error Reporting

Error Reporting can be a highly useful function and enabled all throughout the development phase. Among the commonly used feature here would be E_ALL, spotting all critical errors with warnings. It is mandatory that we turn on this feature before putting our code to production.

Using the DRY Approach

DRY or ‘Do not Repeat Yourself’ ensures that there is no redundant code in our scripts. Codes that violate DRY are referred to as WET solutions and are common to programmers who enjoy unnecessary typing!

WET code:

$mysql  = mysql_connect ( ‘localhost’,  ‘mysqladmin_uid’, ‘mysqladmin_pwd’ );

mysql_select_db( ‘DB_NAME’ ) or die( “Sorry !! No database selected!”);

 

DRY version:

$db_host = ' localhost ';
$db_user = ' mysqladmin_uid ';
$db_password = ' mysqladmin_pwd ';
$db_database = ' DB_NAME ';
$mysql = mysql_connect($db_host, $db_user, $db_password);
mysql_select_db($db_database);

 

Indentation / use of white space

Not just in PHP, but whatever language you may be working upon, it is necessary that the coding is properly indented and there is sufficient amount of white space wherever necessary. This helps in maintenance and enhancing the readability.

Don’t trust the user, ever!

If the application you are working on requires user inputs, make sure that it is designed to handle all kinds of possible inputs. Initializing your variables with some initial value can also be a tool against hackers, though it might not seem relevant to the business flow.

Lastly, use Cache whenever required and never resort to copying extra variables. These should keep your script sane and your application efficient.

Reasons why PHP development is becoming so popular

According to statistics by w3techs, PHP is being used in 81.3% of all websites developed in server side programming language. It holds a market share comfortably above ASP.NET, Java, Static Files or ColdFusion. The use of PHP has been growing at a fast rate and it can unquestionably said to be the most popular programming language across the globe. But what makes PHP so intriguing? Here are some simple reasons:

6-Reasons why PHP development is becoming so popular

Simplicity

PHP programming is just like composing an English article for the computer. Aside from the fact that the language is bits and bytes, PHP is compatible to be run on any system productively. Writing a PHP script is pretty straightforward and as opposed to other language, PHP doesn’t assemble difficult coding propensities. Thus programmers can write profoundly customized scripts.

Zero cost

PHP is an open source framework, meaning that it is free, handy and supported by loads of documentation. All of it makes PHP one of the savviest systems that have found its way into popular applications like Facebook, twitter, Wikipedia, WordPress and more. Being open source also means that PHP is ready available for new developers who want to test their aptitude in coding.

Great CMS

When the technology and internet is drifting towards dynamic content, PHP has met the need for high end CMS customization. PHP makes scripting amoebic, allowing developers to change codes as and when they will. Every site developed with PHP is highly adjustable and this opens the grounds for updates and changes that are a part and parcel of the modern market. Content management systems like Joomla, Drupal and WordPress have thus been made from PHP.

Versatile

Any PHP code can be run on all significant platforms, allowing designers to coordinate the sites in its different stages. For businesses, this would mean cost effective utilization of the current framework and working on platforms like UNIX, Linux and Windows and further an extra support to integrate Apace and MySQL.

Elastic, measurable and effective

This is clearly understood from the fact that the biggest social network, Facebook, runs on PHP. The usefulness of PHP for such a dynamic platform has also led to the creation of “Hack”, a subordinate language, to meet the changing development needs. PHP doesn’t require a server reboot to be updates as opposed to other competing languages.

Extensions and other ad-ons

PHP is the most adaptable language in the field of web development. It allows designers to create and add more updated functionalities that keep the end users hooked. Further, extensions and plugins helps new developers cope up with the programming challenges.

Highly supported

PHP is backed up by a huge library of resources and tutorials. Being open source, developers get to learn from users across the globe and this has been a defining reason why PHP is being adapted by every web developer today.

PHP has the capacity to support fast turnaround times and efficient but highly secure web platforms and applications. Let us know if your application and IT solutions too is driven by PHP.

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