Robert Johns | 08 Nov, 2023

Want To Learn PHP Web Development? Check Out These PHP Courses

In this article, we share the 10 best php courses in 2024.

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced dev who wants to boost your skills, we’ve included php courses for all levels, including free and paid options.

As one of the most established popular web development languages, PHP is an ideal choice for beginners and pros. And choosing one of the best php courses is a great way to master this language.

Plus, when you factor in that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports an average salary of more than $85K for web developers, taking the best php courses can be highly rewarding!

So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into the best php courses to help you learn the skills you need to explore the PHP job market.

Featured PHP Courses [Editor’s Picks]

The Best PHP Courses In 2024

1. [Coursera] Building Web Applications In PHP

Key Information[Coursera] Building Web Applications In PHP:

Instructor: Charles Severance

Duration: 30 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: +150K

Rating: 4.7/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

This introductory PHP course is ideal for beginners in web development and the PHP language.

Guided by Charles Severance from the University of Michigan, you’ll have the benefit of learning from a professor with more than 4 million previous students.

At nearly 30 hours in length, I like the blended approach this course takes by combining video, text content, and quizzes across the 8 modules. 

Expect to begin your journey into PHP by exploring basic syntax, keywords, expressions, and control structures, not to mention foundational skills in HTML and CSS.

You’ll then be ready to learn about arrays. along with the intricacies of PHP functions, including variable scope and modularity.

With these skills under your belt, you’ll then progress on the creation and processing of HTML forms with PHP.

This includes HTTP GET and POST methods, HTML input types, and the Model View Controller (MVC) pattern.

These skills are all essential for diving into the basic structure of a web application, including the interaction between a web browser and a web server.

I also like that there's no shortage of hands-on experience, from working with the request-response cycle to creating your first PHP application.

This emphasis on practical application is always a good sign, in my opinion. I’d also encourage combining this course with a PHP book to truly level up your knowledge.

It’s also nice to see a section on installing and using the integrated PHP/MySQL environment, XAMPP.

If you're keen to transition from a novice to a confident PHP developer while earning an industry-recognized certificate for your resume, this course is a great choice.

As an added bonus, I like the inclusion of challenges like reversing an MD5 hash to stretch your programming limits and deepen your understanding.

Pros

  • Comprehensive introduction to PHP, coupled with insights into web application structure
  • Engaging blend of videos, readings, and quizzes across eight modules
  • Anchored by the University of Michigan and the expertise of Charles Severance

Cons

  • None

2. [Udemy] PHP For Beginners - Become A PHP Master

Key Information:[Udemy] PHP For Beginners - Become A PHP Master

Instructor: Edwin Diaz

Duration: 37 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: HTML

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: +120K

Rating: 4.4/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

When it comes to learning PHP, this is one of the best options in 2024. 

Taught by top-rated instructor Edwin Diaz, you’ll be working with a well-respected educator with over 850K students on Udemy. That’s quite the track record!

This PHP course is designed to help you master PHP by learning the essential skills and putting them into practice with a portfolio-worthy CMS project.

I really like the emphasis on building a real-world PHP project that’s similar to popular platforms like WordPress, as it’s ideal for demonstrating your skills to potential employers.

It’s also commendable that the course covers beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics in PHP. You just need basic HTML to get started. 

Expect to start with PHP fundamentals like variables, loops, and arrays before delving into advanced topics like sessions, authentication, real-time notifications, and more.

I particularly like that this course covers tools and techniques relevant to the modern PHP developer

This includes MySQL, OOP, and how to launch your application online. These are all essential skills for any aspiring PHP developer.

Plus, there are sections on AJAX data submissions, the PHP dependency manager (Composer), and how to use jQuery and Bootstrap.

I’m also a big fan of this course’s emphasis on coding practice after every section, which is essential for reinforcing and refining your new skills.

At nearly 37 hours in length, this is a really comprehensive PHP course that aims to help you transition from a pure novice to a PHP developer.

Pros

  • Comprehensive PHP course that emphasizes hands-on coding
  • Create a portfolio-worthy CMS project to impress future employers
  • Focuses on in-demand skills for modern PHP developers

Cons

  • Some complaints that the instructor can be improvisational

3. [Educative] PHP For The Web: Learn PHP Without A Framework

Key Information:[Educative] PHP For The Web: Learn PHP Without A Framework

Instructor: Educative

Duration: 17.25 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Basic PHP

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: N/a

Rating: N/A

 

Why we chose this PHP course

When it comes to interactively learning PHP, I think this is one of the top choices in 2024. 

If you’re unfamiliar with educative, they’ve opted for a unique approach to teaching PHP by favoring interactive coding playgrounds and text lessons versus video.

This might seem odd initially, but the idea is to get you coding right away rather than watching someone else code in videos.

Plus, with more than 90 coding playgrounds, you will be coding a lot!

The premise is simple: learn PHP by doing rather than passively watching someone else code!

I also like this PHP course emphasizes raw PHP without relying on PHP frameworks like Laravel or Symfony. 

Don’t get me wrong, these can be great!

But by focusing on raw PHP, you’ll learn fundamental concepts without depending on framework-specific methods. 

This is also a great way to prepare for PHP certifications, where you really need strong core PHP skills.

Designed as an intermediate PHP course, you won’t be learning foundational topics like variables, conditions, loops, and functions.

Instead, you’ll learn about serving HTML files, dynamic resource handling, page linking, and security measures in PHP.

You’ll also be covering forms, security, and how to handle POST requests.

Plus, being a web-related course, you’ll be diving into cookies, sessions, and authentication. Not to mention the sections on file uploads and error handling.

Perhaps the best feature of this course is the CRUD application you’ll be building.

By doing this with raw PHP, you’ll learn how to create dynamic PHP web applications with authentication systems.

Another nice bonus is the section on automated testing, which includes how to set up environments and create browser tests.

Finally, You also get the added benefit of regular assessments to gauge your understanding at each stage.

Plus, educative also offers the option to complete the course within your browser

This is thanks to a comprehensive cloud coding environment, eliminating the need for an external PHP IDE.

Pros

  • Learn PHP for beginners without relying on frameworks
  • Comprehensive blend of assessments, coding playgrounds, quizzes, and challenges
  • Interactive PHP course for total beginners
  • Learn to build a CRUD application with raw PHP

Cons

  • Text-based approach might not resonate with those who prefer video lectures

4. [Coursera] Building Database Applications In PHP

Key Information:[Coursera] Building Database Applications In PHP

Instructor: Charles Severance

Duration: 24 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Intermediate

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: +45K

Rating: 4.9/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

This is the second course on our list from Coursera that’s taught by Charles Severance, a renowned professor from the University of Michigan.

In this course, you’ll be diving into the expansive world of PHP database applications, making it an ideal follow-on from the first course on our list.

Expect to learn about PHP's object-oriented patterns, including how PHP interfaces with MySQL via the Portable Data Objects (PDO) library, not to mention security considerations.

Divided into 5 modules and close to 24 hours long, I also appreciate that this PHP course takes a blended approach with video, text content, and quizzes

Perhaps the biggest highlight in this course is the emphasis on practical application by building a complete application with CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) functionalities.

This is, after all, at the heart of any database application!

Plus, this project is ideal for boosting your portfolio and impressing potential employers. 

I also like the fact that it recognizes the close link between databases and web applications.

So it’s nice to see sections on web application development, including how PHP uses cookies, manages session data, avoids double posting, and even creates flash messages.

You’ll also learn about advanced features like routing, redirecting, and authentication in PHP.

I also appreciate the sections dedicated to the installation and usage of environments like MAMP and XAMPP. These are essential skills for real-world developers.

Pros

  • In-depth coverage of PHP's object-oriented patterns for database applications
  • Ideal for extending your knowledge of modern PHP applications
  • A rich blend of videos, readings, quizzes, and real-world exercises
  • Backed by the University of Michigan

Cons

  • Assumes some prior knowledge of the Building Web Applications course

5. [Udemy] PHP For Beginners

Key Information:[Udemy] PHP For Beginners

Instructor: Dave Hollingworth

Duration: 14 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: +18K

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

Aimed at beginners, I like the way that this course offers a thorough immersion into the world of PHP and dynamic web application development.

Plus, at only 14 hours in length, it doesn’t take long to make the leap from total novice to functional PHP developer.

This PHP course was designed by seasoned web developer and highly-regarded instructor, Dave Hollingworth.

With more than to 25 years of experience in teaching, you’re definitely in good hands!

One of the highlights of this PHP course is its holistic approach.

But what does this mean? 

Well, not only will you cover the theory of PHP, but you’ll be using that knowledge to build a complete Content Management System (CMS) from the ground up.

It also covers how to set up and install XAMPP on multiple platforms, which I appreciated.

Here at hackr.io, we’re really keen on the idea of learning by doing. After all, there really is no substitute for building something you can see and use.

Plus, I like the fact that you can learn while also creating a marketable portfolio project to showcase to potential employers. 

Expect to start with foundational topics like variables, loops, and control structures before diving into more advanced topics. 

This includes object-oriented programming in PHP, SQL Injection prevention, and mastering sessions and cookies.

If you have plans to become a PHP pro, these are the skills you need to master.

I also like the fact that this course recognizes the need for a modern web developer to use multiple languages.

Yep, no need to consider PHP vs JavaScript because they can work together!

That said, be ready to use the Bootstrap CSS framework to style your applications, manage data with MySQL, and leverage JavaScript.

It’s also nice to see an emphasis on creating secure and maintainable code.

Adding to its comprehensiveness, this course also covers essential skills like reading and utilizing documentation effectively, which is a crucial skill that’s often overlooked.

Overall, I think this course is engaging and immensely practical.

Pros

  • Comprehensive PHP course, blending theory and practical learning
  • Led by an experienced instructor with more than 25 years of experience
  • Hands-on experience with building a CMS from scratch
  • Emphasizes secure and maintainable coding practices

Cons

  • Some complaints that the instructor could offer more interactive coding

6. [Codeacademy] Learn PHP

Key Information:[Codeacademy] Learn PHP

Instructor: Codeacademy

Duration: 3 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: HTML

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: +16K

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

This super short PHP course is ideal for total beginners who want to test the waters with a new web development language after learning HTML.

I also like that this PHP course is free to audit, which is ideal if you’re not ready to make a financial commitment to a PHP course.

As part of the wider PHP skill path on Codeacademy, it’s also a great entry point before progressing to the more advanced concepts on the full learning path.

At only 3 hours long, it’s ideal for beginners who want to learn new skills in a single day.

Expect to start by learning about the general structure of a functional PHP application before covering basic PHP syntax.

You’ll then progress on to variables and data types, with an emphasis on strings and numbers, before tackling a mini-project.

I really like the inclusion of a small PHP project, as I firmly believe that building is one of the best ways to cement new skills in a practical way. 

I also appreciate the natural flow of this short course, especially for programming beginners.

Plus, being a strong advocate for practical application, I appreciate the range of coding challenges and quizzes to reinforce your learning.

Codeacademy also has a great interactive coding platform that provides real-time feedback and AI-driven recommendations.

To round things off, it doesn’t hurt to know that Codeacademy students have a strong track record for landing jobs at major tech companies.

Pros

  • Short but informative PHP course for beginners
  • Free course auditing option without a certificate
  • Alumni of Codeacademy have secured positions at leading tech enterprises

Cons

  • None

7. [Great Learning] PHP For Beginners

Key Information:[Great Learning] PHP For Beginners

Instructor: Codeacademy

Duration: 1.5 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Free

Enrolled Students: +25K

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

This is another really short PHP course that’s great for beginners who want to learn the basics of PHP for web development.

It’s also totally free to take this course, which is great if you want to try out PHP without making a financial commitment just yet.

At only 90 minutes long, this is truly a crash course in PHP, but that doesn’t mean it lacks depth.

Expect to take a detailed look into PHP’s core concepts, with a strong emphasis on hands-on examples to help you gain a practical grasp of each concept. 

This includes sections on variable types and scopes, data presentation, data types, control statements and logic, looping constructs, operators, and string manipulation.

You’ll also tackle PHP functions and PHP arrays, both of which are essential components of most PHP applications.

I also appreciate that this course includes a certificate to show off your newfound PHP skills on your resume.

If you’re brand new to PHP and want to try it, this is an ideal starting point.

Pros

  • Crash course on PHP course for beginners
  • Free course with a completion certificate
  • Great for beginners to try out PHP for the first time

Cons

  • None

8. [Educative] Learn PHP From Scratch

Key Information:[Educative] Learn PHP From Scratch

Instructor: Educative

Duration: 9 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Free

Enrolled Students: N/a

Rating: N/A

 

Why we chose this PHP course

This is the second entry on our list from educative, and it’s another great choice for interactively learning PHP in 2024. It’s also totally free, which is nice.

If you’re new to educative, you should know that they’ve opted for a unique approach to teaching PHP by favoring interactive coding playgrounds and text lessons versus videos.

This might seem different, but the idea is to get you coding rather than watching someone else.

Plus, with more than 100 coding playgrounds, you will be doing a lot of coding!

The premise is to learn PHP by doing! We really like this!

Aimed at total beginners, this course is ideal for learning PHP from scratch (the clue is in the name!). You’ll even start with the classic “Hello, World!” program.

Expect to learn the foundational aspects of PHP programming, including strings and other data types, operators, iteration, and conditional logic.

You’ll also dive into PHP arrays, PHP functions, and recursion. These are all essential skills for any professional web developer.

Plus, as you make progress, you’ll be ready for advanced topics like OOP, with sections on classes and inheritance, and also an exploration of exception handling.

I also appreciate that this course includes two comprehensive PHP assessments for testing your understanding of your newly acquired knowledge and skills.

You also get the added benefit of regular quizzes to gauge your understanding at each stage.

To wrap things up, educative also offers the option to complete this course in your browser

This is thanks to a comprehensive cloud coding environment, eliminating the need for an external PHP IDE.

Pros

  • Learn PHP for beginners without relying on frameworks
  • Comprehensive blend of assessments, coding playgrounds, quizzes, and challenges
  • Interactive PHP course for total beginners
  • Learn to build a CRUD application with raw PHP

Cons

  • Text-based approach might not resonate with those who prefer video lectures

9. [LinkedIn Learning] Level-Up: PHP

Key Information:[LinkedIn Learning] Level-Up: PHP

Instructor: Joe Casabona

Duration: 1.75 hours

Certificate: Yes

Difficulty: Intermediate

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Paid

Enrolled Students: N/A

Rating: 4.8/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

When it comes to learning PHP, building projects might arguably be the best way to take your skills to the next level.

That’s why we’ve chosen Level-Up: PHP, as it’s probably one of the most hands-on and practical PHP courses around in 2024.

Plus, it’s incredibly short, at only 90 minutes long.

Designed as an intermediate course for PHP improvers, the idea here is to tackle a range of bite-sized project tasks to level up your PHP skills.

I guess the clue is in the name of this course!

Each of the PHP challenges in this course is designed to progressively increase in complexity.

This means you’ll start with basic number comparisons and then move on to advanced topics like object sorting, class extensions, and design patterns. 

By the end of this short course, you'll have honed a variety of PHP skills while also boosting your PHP proficiency.

This can also be a great way to prepare for PHP interviews, as they’re bound to include coding challenges.

Overall, I think my favorite aspect of this course is that it’s purely practical and designed to test and build your PHP skills with various challenges.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re big fans of practical coding here at hackr.io!

Another nice aspect of this course is the GitHub Codespaces integration. This is ideal if you’re super new to coding and would prefer a cloud-based dev environment versus a local IDE.

Pros

  • Short but challenging PHP course for improvers
  • Purely hands-on course with various challenges
  • Integrated with GitHub Codespaces for practice

Cons

  • None

10. [Egghead] A Complete Introduction To PHP

Key Information:[Egghead] A Complete Introduction To PHP

Instructor: Mark Shust

Duration: 2 hours

Certificate: No

Difficulty: Beginner

Prerequisites: None

Free or Paid: Free

Enrolled Students: N/A

Rating: 4.7/5

 

Why we chose this PHP course

The final entry on our list, this short PHP course is also entirely free, making it another solid option for newcomers to PHP.

And while it’s only 2 hours long, this PHP course offers a deep dive into the foundational elements of PHP.

Expect to start with an an introduction to PHP and its continued importance in modern web development before learning how to install and to initiate a web server.

You’ll then be ready to focus on basic syntax, variables and constants, type coercion, string operations, and conditional logic.

With those fundamentals, you’ll move on to iteration, PHP arrays, PHP functions, and how to leverage PHP8 with OOP.

Like I said, it’s a short course, but it packs a punch!

I also like the fact that each module is coupled with practical examples and exercises. These are ideal for helping you to cement your understanding via practical application.

You’ve probably heard me mention this a thousand times by now, but nothing beats getting stuck in with practical coding!

By the end of this PHP course, you should have a solid understanding of PHP, making it a great platform for more detailed courses and tackling PHP projects.

Pros

  • Free and in-depth learning for PHP beginners
  • Includes practical examples and exercises

Cons

  • None

How To Choose the Best PHP Courses in 2024?

When looking for the best online courses for PHP, we considered a range of factors to help us compile this list with the help of the hackr.io community.

  • Course Duration and Flexibility: We understand that our readers have diverse backgrounds, including working professionals who want to upskill in their spare time, students who want to kick-start their PHP careers, and more. That's why we've prioritized various courses with self-paced learning and flexibility in course duration.
  • Instructor Expertise: The ability of the instructor to explain complex concepts in an understandable manner can make or break your learning experience. Our top PHP courses feature instructors with a proven track record in PHP.
  • Course Reviews: We've paid close attention to feedback from past students, ensuring our selected courses have garnered positive reviews for their content, instruction, and overall learning experience.
  • Industry-Recognized Certificates: A certificate from a renowned institution or organization can make your resume stand out. Our list aims to prioritize the best PHP online courses with certificates.
  • Hands-On Projects and Tools: Applying your learning is crucial. Each course in our list includes hands-on PHP projects that can reinforce your learning and enhance your portfolio, which is essential for landing a job with your PHP skills. 

Wrapping Up

And there you have it, the 10 best php courses in 2024, including php courses for beginners and experienced pros.

Our evaluation also considered free and paid php courses, so whether you’re testing the waters or ready to enroll on a paid course, there’s something for you on our list.

Plus, whatever your career aspirations, whether that’s web development or full-stack development, I hope these php courses can help you achieve your goals.

Happy learning!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Learn PHP In 3 months?

This depends on your experience level with programming and web development in general, but you can learn the fundamentals of PHP in 3 months or less if you dedicate consistent time and effort and take one of the recommended courses in our list.

2. What Is The Best Way To Learn PHP?

This depends on your preferred learning style, but in general, the best way to learn PHP is by taking a PHP course. I recommend combining your course studies with a PHP book and building practical PHP projects.

3. Is PHP Worth Learning In 2024?

PHP remains an essential language for web development in 2024, with over 75% of websites still powered by PHP. This means there are numerous web development career opportunities for developers who know how to code in PHP in 2024.

By Robert Johns

Technical Editor for Hackr.io | 15+ Years in Python, Java, SQL, C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, .NET, MATLAB, HTML & CSS, and more... 10+ Years in Networking, Cloud, APIs, Linux | 5+ Years in Data Science | 2x PhDs in Structural & Blast Engineering

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