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PHP is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages in existence today. The language has the ability to communicate back and forth with a server and create a dynamic web page for the user. If you have a web hosting account to run your personal blog or website, I can guarantee that PHP is already installed. Even the page you are looking at right now was created by PHP. If you have ambitions of becoming a web developer, PHP is a must for you and will allow you to create dynamic web pages based on external input, usually from the user. It is also important to note that PHP is an object-oriented programming language, and O.O.P. is one of the things we will cover in the series.

PHP is not the language to jump straight into if you have had no experience at all. Getting a grasp of the basic programming concepts might be easier in a language such as Visual Basic as the syntax and concepts in PHP might be quite confusing for a beginner. If you have no experience in scripting, I might also suggest taking a look at JavaScript which is a client-side scripting language, making it limited when compared to PHP. But dont let that scare you, PHP teaches some great coding habits and if you are capable of picking things up quickly then you should be just fine. Lets take a little look at the syntax first, here how you would tell PHP to output the text Welcome to my website to a browser.