How to run PHP Program for the first time? use XAMPP.

Easiest way to start PHP: Run PHP program in XAMPP

How to run PHP Program in XAMPP

To begin Programming in PHP, almost everyone is faced with this simple but obvious question:

How to run PHP Program for the first time? What's the easiest way?

Answer: The easiest way to run a PHP Program for the first time is using the software bundle named XAMPP:

XAMPP works well in all the major platforms: Windows, Mac and Linux.

You don't have to install Apache, PHP and MySQL separately, in fact, it is often difficult for beginners to install these bundles separately and combine them to run PHP CODE. XAMPP does that for you with just a few clicks.

Before you install XAMPP, you may have to uninstall existing Apache and MySQL installations, especially if they were installed as a service.

After you install XAMPP,

  1. Open any Text Editor.
    Install new if you don't already have any good Text Editor installed. (My Favorite is Sublime Text & Notepad++)
  2. Write the following PHP Program / CODE in the Text Editor:
    echo 'I know how to run a PHP Program in XAMPP! <br />';
    This is test.php File.
  3. Save the file in XAMPP Installation Directory \ Web Root Directory
    Note-1: Default XAMPP Installation Directory in Windows is C:\xampp
    Note-2: Default Web Root Directory in XAMPP is htdocs. All your php files will have to be in this htdocs folder.
    That means, for a typical installation of XAMPP in Windows, you will have to save the PHP CODE in C:\xampp\htdocs folder.
  4. When you save the file, name it test.php (just as an example, any valid file name with .php in the end will work).
    Note: when you save this file, make sure it has no .txt extension at the end. Some text editors place .txt at the end of file name, so it becomes test.php.txt instead of test.php. To avoid this, when you save the file using any text editor, place double quote around the file name: e.g. "test.php"
  5. Then, go to XAMPP installation folder (typically, C:\xampp) and run xampp-control.exe by double clicking it.
  6. In the xampp-control window, click the start button beside Apache. Later, if you need other options like MySQL, you'll also have to start MySQL by clicking the start button beside MySQL in the XAMPP control Panel.
    Note: if your OS hides common file extensions, then you'll see xampp-control, instead of xampp-control.exe
  7. Now, in your web browser's address bar, type the address: http://localhost/test.php

If your test PHP file is working properly, then you should see the following two lines in your browser:

I know how to run a PHP Program in XAMPP!
This is test.php File.

If PHP is NOT working (but the web server Apache is working), in that case only the following one line result will appear:

This is test.php File.

If none of the above is happening, then you are doing something wrong somewhere else.

So now you know how to run PHP Program in XAMPP. Happy Coding 🙂

Further Reading:

  1. PHP Manual
  2. PHP Tutorial for Beginners

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