Getting Started with PHP

The other day I worked on putting together a PHP CMS from scratch, and I learned a little bit about how to set up my environment for running the application locally. So for anyone who is looking for a bit of a reference, below is more information outlining the steps for setting up the environment.

Mac Installation

  • The web server (Apache) involved with PHP applications is built-in with a Mac
  • httpd -v (on command line to see what version of apache is installed on machine)
  • ps aux | grep httpd (to find out if apache is running on machine)
  • Apache commands:
    • sudo apachectl start
    • sudo apachectl stop
    • sudo apachectl restart
  • Create Sites folder within same area as Desktop folder
  • navigate cd /etc/apache2/users
  • sudo atom username.conf
  • sudo chmod 644 username.conf
  • sudo apachectl restart

Enable PHP

  • php -v (returns version of php)
  • cd /etc/apache2
  • sudo atom httpd.conf (opens config file, search for php, remove # before LoadModule for php to enable php5)
  • phpinfo() helpful method that tells you all the configurations for the version of php you’re using
  • Database (MySQL 5.x)
  • download from
  • which mysql (command to find location of mysql)

Additional Info

  • echo is used to print text
  • For comments, // and # are used for single line

How PHP Communicates with the Browser

The browser sends a request to server (Apache). Apache finds the file, processes it if it requires processing (sometimes it might need to go back and forth between the database), then it assembles the html and ships it back to the browser.

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