Home Technology 10 Simple Tips to Become a Good PHP Developer

10 Simple Tips to Become a Good PHP Developer

Best PHP Vs NodeJS Competitors in the Development Game 2020
Best PHP Vs NodeJS Competitors in the Development Game 2020

PHP is one of the most popular and widely used programming languages for web development in India. More than 20 million websites use this language including major companies like Facebook, Wikipedia, and big open-source projects like Drupal and WordPress.

In this article, we are going to discuss top tips that will make you good PHP developers in India to create unique PHP CMS and PHP Apps. So, if you are new to this arena then I hope that you get to learn a thing or two PHP programming while reading this article.

Top 10 PHP developer Tips

Creating a single useful file

PHP developers in India should have one master file that contains all the settings necessary for PHP web development. They prefer to relate to these PHP scripts instead of having their connections spread out all around. So when the time comes to make some changes, they have to make those changes in just a single file instead of doing it over and over again for multiple files. This tip can prove to be beneficial if you are using the same PHP functions or constants in various files. You can also use the config file to make your code modular as well as easy to maintain. We would learn about creating a Config file later in this blog.

Use PHP Core Functions and Classes

If you are working on something that you think might be very common then there are high chances that a PHP function or a class might be already available of which you can take advantage. A PHP developer must always check the PHP manual before they go working on the project to create new functions for them.

For example, if you want to clear or remove the white space present at the beginning and the end of the string then you don’t have to create a new function for this task, you can use the existing trim() function to achieve that. And you can use XML Parser functions like xml_parse_into_struct rather than building an XML Parser for your RSS feeds.

Sanitizing data for database

If there is something that every PHP developer should be aware of is SQL injections and the only tip I can give you to stay away from this problem is to always sanitize the database inputs. Apart from that, a developer must also acquire advanced knowledge about SQL injections and their attacks. This will help you prepare a cheat sheet against SQL injection.

Developers can use the MySQL_real_escape_string PHP function to overcome SQL injections which have become something of a major issue here. The primary function of your code should be to sanitize the regular string. Use htmlspecialchars functions to convert your reserved HTML characters. Apart from many other benefits of using this function, the most important one is that it secures your app and database against any type of cross-site scripting attacks which generally happens whenever the user-submitted HTML is represented.

Create a Configuration File

Didn’t we discuss this before about creating a master file that would contain all necessary settings instead of having different connections to the database scattered around everywhere? And then you can also add your PHP scripts to it, right?

And if you have to make any changes then you can do it later but you have to do it in just one file rather than repairing the process over and over again for several files. You can also leverage this function to add a single constant or function to multiple files or scripts. Creating a configuration file will allow you to make your code easily maintainable and more modular. Config file function is a popular web app pattern.

Getting associated with other PHP developers

Another tip to be a good PHP developer is to keep in touch with other PHP developers from the PHP community. Interacting with colleagues and experts will help you gain more knowledge and insights about PHP development. You will also stay updated on new ideas and technology trends. It is one of the best ways to learn about PHP development best practices.

Don’t Over-Comment Your Code

A PHP web developer must code proper documentation by commenting on their scripts. It is one of the best practices. But don’t overdo it by commenting on every single line of code if you want to make a better PHP developer out of yourself. Just focus on commenting on some parts of your source code that are complex so that it will help you when you will visit it again later sometime.

Because commenting helps you in quickly remembering what is going on around that part. So there is no need to comment on simple code snippets or scripts like your MySQL database connection code. A good piece of code is always self-explanatory, it’s just the complicated one that needs commenting.

Bad Example of Commenting

<?php /* DEFINE THE CONNECTION VARIABLES */ $hostname = “localhost”; // Hostname $username

Good Example of 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 */ ?>

Leave Error Reporting Turned On in Development Stage

You have to check your PHP code for whether something is wrong or not. Many PHP developers tend to make the mistake of not turning on their error reporting or display errors functions when they are building web applications.  Instead, if you have turned it on while working on your PHP project then you would get to see the run-time errors that would help you track from where the errors are coming.

If you need then you can set these run-time configurations in the php.ini file of your server. But if you don’t have the access to override the directives in your server’s file, then you should use the ini_set function to set it up at the top of your PHP scripts and set them to display_errors to 1. While it is another considerable way to display errors, it has some limitations too.

The simple logic behind turning your error reporting is very effective too – the sooner you get to know about your errors, the faster you can fix them up. You may didn’t care about the warning messages flashing on the PHP white screen but even that can lead you to the memory-related issue that needs to be taken care of. And when you are done with the entire project development, just turn off the error reporting and display errors function or you can also set their values on a production-ready level.

Use <? php and?>:

One of the major differences between a good PHP developer and other developers is those good web developers try to avoid using <??> at the time of initiating their scripts. The reason for you to consider this is that your code would be mostly running on a PHP web server. Similarly, you should also avoid using shortcut tags. These things are not supported everywhere.

Use a Good Source Editor to Save You Time

Developers spend most of their time with their editor to make better code. So you should consider using an editor that will help you save your time and speed up the coding process.  Developer needs syntax highlighting so it is something that you should look for as a software feature. You might also want to add bonuses like in-built debugging tools, code navigation, and good code hinting.

All these features will help you save a significant amount of your time.  An example of a good source code editor or an IDE for PHP is none other than phpDesigner. A developer should know about various features of their source code editor. You can accomplish this by reading the documentation or watching the tutorials online.

I highly recommend you invest your time in executing this tip. Doing so can streamline your coding workflow. You can also check out some source code editors before using them just by checking their features or can also use some free text editors for coding to discover some popular code-editing apps.

Understand the project before you start coding

Many developers tend to start using PHP frameworks in their projects without even having complete knowledge about the project specifications or scope of work. A good developer cultivates a habit of understanding a project completely before they initiate their work. A  good quality code can only be created when the developer knows exactly what they are looking for.

Conclusion

If you are new at learning PHP then fret not. PHP has a lower learning curve which means it is very simple to learn and easy to imply. Here, in this blog, we discussed a few tips that any web developer can follow to become a better PHP developer. Although there are a large number of tricks and tips available online that you can use to become more comfortable with coding. But the most important thing about codes is that they need to be practiced, the more you practice, the more comfortable you get.

So, reading won’t be enough, you need to execute this theoretical knowledge in order to gain practical knowledge and real coding experience. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here