PHP is considered the most prominent and versatile web development language across the world right now. At least 20 million domains use PHP and almost all major sites such as Facebook and Wikipedia as well as other popular open-source content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal have made PHP their base for development.
These facts are sufficient for you to imagine the demand and scope of the PHP programming language. As a PHP developer, you can have a bright future ahead. But then, it is necessary to master PHP web development skills to become a PHP developer.
Keeping this fact in mind, here we are going to show some essential skills of a PHP developer, which will help you stand out from the crowd as a good PHP developer.
Top 10 Skills a PHP Web Developer Need to Have
1. PHP core functions and classes
What makes PHP an excellent language is a fact that core PHP functions and classes can be reused when the same task needs to be done again. When you decide to develop new functions, you can check the PHP manual and proceed.
For example, the Trim () function can be used when a developer wants to get rid of white spaces at the beginning and end of a string. You can use a PHP XML parser to build an XML parser for RSS feeds.
2. Configuration file creation
PHP developers can use a single master file that contains all the necessary settings and is associated with PHP scripts instead of broadcasting the database connection everywhere. It helps you make a few changes in just one file when needed, instead of accessing multiple files.
Moreover, this tip is beneficial when new constants or functions need to use across multiple files. A configuration file is useful for making your code popular and easy to maintain.
It can save your time and effort whenever customization is necessary.
3. Avoid over-commenting your code
Properly documenting your code via comments in your scripts is certainly a good practice, but is it really necessary to comment on every single line?
You can comment out complex parts of your source code so that when you revisit it later you can quickly remember what’s going on, but it is unnecessary to comment on simple things like your MySQL connection code. Good code is mostly self-explanatory, and every good PHP developer needs to write such code.
4. Source editor role
The editor is where the developer spends more time and hence the right choice is necessary to save time. Syntax highlighting is mandatory and in the same way code navigation, hinting, and inbuilt debugging tools are important.
Useful Read: Front End Development Best Practices To Follow
5. Error report-related skill
During web application development, error_reporting and display_errors can be turned on. With this method, run time errors can be observed and the source of errors can be identified.
The advantage of turning on error reporting is that errors are known in advance and are corrected quickly.
6. Data sanitization for the database
All the PHP developers should be aware of the SQL injection, and the only way to stay away from this issue is to clean up the database input. The developer should know about SQL injection attacks.
To deal with the major problem, PHP developers can use the function, MySQL_real_escape_string. The main function of the code is that it sanitizes all the data.
The main advantage of this function is the protection of the database and app against cross-site scripting attacks that occur when representing user-submitted HTML.
7. In-built functions
PHP is a robust, general-purpose scripting language and it has an advantage of a thriving developer community worldwide. As a result, there are many PHP in-built functions available, PHP developers must be sure about the various built-in functions and use them as and when necessary.
8. Meaningful names for variables
When a variable is used in PHP, it is mandatory to use the name associated with it. It is considered important because the type of the variable is not declared in PHP. There may be details about the type of data being stored, for instance, if a variable uses an integer, then it can be used at the beginning.
9. Make use of indentation and spacing
A title to be a good PHP programmer is denoted by the way the code is written with correct indentation and spacing. Anyone else reading the code should be able to identify the end and beginning of the loop.
It’s really annoying when you need to modify other code when it’s not indented properly. Therefore, indentation and spacing are essential PHP web developer skills.
10. Knowledge of PHP-based framework
People take a long time to accept the fact that using web application development / rapid application development framework can help them. If you want to become a PHP developer, you have a small learning curve in the beginning, and a lot of reading to learn how the framework’s API works, but you get amazing productivity and efficiency gains later on.
Using a framework forces you to use better web development patterns that you are not using right now. The main advantage of the PHP framework is that it provides a standard PHP platform for developing web applications. Some popular frameworks are Symphony, CakePHP, Zend, and CodeIgniter.
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