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Introduction to PHP

This document is a brief introduction to PHP, one of the most useful features of people.emich.edu.

According to php.net, "PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML." Simply put, it is software that runs on the web server, and allows you to embed code into your web pages to make them more dynamic.

PHP stands for "PHP Hypertext Preprocessor".

It is important to understand that PHP is a server-side technology. Unlike Javascript and other client-side technologies that execute the code in the browser, PHP code is executed on the server. To test a PHP script, it needs to be copied to the server and run there.

While PHP can be used to construct elaborate web applications, even non-programmers can utilize PHP to enhance their web pages. This document is written with casual web masters in mind, and only scratches the surface of PHP's capabilities.

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