Ways to Enhance your PHP Development Skills

PHP is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML.

Developers are always looking for ways to improve their skills, and taking advantage of PHP’s versatility is a great way to create more robust and efficient code. There are many things that you can do to make your next project more readable and maintainable. Below are tips to help you in PHP development.

1. Use Comments

It can be frustrating when you look back at old code and cannot remember what it was for. Using comments effectively will give your code a clearly defined purpose and help you to recall things that would otherwise be forgotten. Comments can also help others that read your code to quickly ascertain what it is designed to accomplish.

2. Name Variables Meaningfully

Your variable names should always be meaningful to you. If you are using a variable as an integer try beginning its name with an i. This will make the purpose of the variable obvious at first glance.

3. Use Constants

It is counter-productive to repeatedly re-write the same thing over and over again. Constants can be used to store data that is needed frequently throughout your code. Error messages, directory paths, and other recurring information could be called upon quickly and easily in this way.

4. Replace Functions with Objects

Functions that have lots of parameters can make a project overly and unnecessarily complex. When functions get unwieldy, requiring you to change all of your calls, then it’s time to use an object instead.

5. Don’t Repeat Code

Any code that has to be repeated throughout your project should be contained in an object or function. It may seem like extra work at first, but when your project gets more complex you will save yourself some headaches.

6. Force type checking

7.Use Separate Configuration Files

Configuration settings should not be placed in you script file. Always use a separate configuration document that is then included in the beginning of the script. You will avoid having to edit every page due to a small configuration change.

8. Don’t check submit button value to check form submission

The above is mostly correct , except when your application is multi-lingual. Then the ‘Save’ can be many different things. How would you compare then. So do not rely on the value of submit button. Instead use this :

9. Initialize Variables

PHP automatically creates a variable when a value is assigned to it. Leaving things up to PHP like this is a bad idea. Always initialize your variables prior to using them.

10. Assume its False

When evaluating a Boolean expression, always begin by assuming it is false. It is always better to prevent something from running until properly validated.

11. Develop With Error Reporting On
The very first thing you do when starting a new project is to turn error reporting to E_ALL, and you should only turn it off ten seconds before going to production mode.

12. Use Indentation and Spacing

You can dramatically improve the readability of your code by utilizing indentation and spacing effectively. This will allow you to quickly identify the ends of loops in your code and will gain you respect as a PHP developer.

13. Avoid using globals

  • Use defines/constants
  • Get value using a function
  • Use Class and access via $this