Starting PHP


I started looking at PHP a couple of weeks back and have been reading tutorials as well as looking at videos on YouTube. I’m looking at trying to create a site using WAMP to try and expand my learning and as a challenge. I’ve made several ‘stand alone’ pages using PHP and MySQL that have worked and I understand but I’m stuggling with understanding how to intergrate all the ‘modules’. I downloaded PHP Fusion to try and understand how this is done but it’s code is quite daunting.

From my understanding a CMS has the index file and modules and it’s what goes in between these that I’m missing.

Any pointers or assistance would be much appreciated.

Thank you

Hi Daneel7,

Welcome to Sitepoint!

It really depends on what you want in the end? Are you planning on developing a CMS for a commercial project or customer, or are you doing it to extend your learning.

If you are trying to do it for your learning, then concentrate on your database design and handling so you have a good understanding of how your users, posts, comments and any feeds are stored. Consider Foreign Keys for better management on updates and deletes.

Start out simple, just do simple posts first. Once you get this working try implementing comments and next implement users and finally feeds or APIs.

Most the things that you’ll find online either are very simple or almost finished products which are hard to study. I think it would be easy for you to continue to build on what you have initially learned and create small steps towards having a simple CMS.



Thank you for the reply.

I’m looking to learn how a CMS is made and the ‘best practises’ to use when creating one. Can you suggest a good book that will demonstrate creating one from beginning to end?

Thanks again


Yes Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site, 4th Edition by Kevin Yank does exactly what you need. I saw SpacePhoenix in another thread say that the publication date for Amazon UK is May 22, you could likely download the pdf version today?


Kevin’s book (already mentioned) would be a great place to start. When you’ve gotten some of the PHP/MySQL basics under your belt, the CMS Design Using PHP and jQuery book is another good read.

Another book that might be relevant is PHP and MySQL Web Development, by Welling and Thomas (Sams Publishing). It has a 30-page section which specifically shows how to create a CMS, and the source code is on the CD that accompanies the book.

The resulting CMS will not be particularly sophisticated, but the book does explain what the code does and how it all works. I think you’ll find it a useful learning resource.


Yank’s book is ok. It is far too surface level for my taste. Anybody who goes through it will instantly have to find another book to fill in what was missed in Yank’s book. To me it’s on the level of a “Build a CMS System in 24 Hours” type book. I find Matt Doyle’s “Beginning PHP 5.3” as being a better stating point. The author has a generic CMS up at Elated where he posts web development stuff.

Fair enough,However one thing to consider is some people are starting from the basics so too deep to quick can sometimes not be as helpful as getting started. The other thing is that the mentor/advisors here can answer direct questions regarding the book and more specifically what Daneel7 faces and needs help, so it may still be a good option. I recommend downloading the review chapters to see the style and depth.Good recommendation though spufi!Regards,Steve

Heh. My former recommendation for a book to learn from. It’s by no means a bad book as it covers a lot. It just fails in teaching how one should be coding in a more contemporary manner, ie it uses a heavy amount of tables, inline CSS, no mention of PDO, etc…

Elated has forums and Matt posts there as well. Any article he writes he responds to comments, etc… I’m not saying “Jump ship” or anything. If nothing else, Elated’s forums aren’t as busy. I’m just saying there is equal support from the author if need be.