Robert Johns | 26 Jan, 2024
Fact checked by Jim Markus

Want To Level-Up Your PHP? Get Building With These PHP Projects

In this article, we share the 13 best php projects in 2024 with source code.

Yes, despite JavaScript being everywhere, PHP still powers the server side of more than 75% of websites, including tech giants like WordPress, Facebook, and Wikipedia.

That might surprise you! But trust me, PHP is still popular among professional web developers thanks to its mature ecosystem and massive community.

And if you’re looking to learn PHP or broaden your skillset, one of the best methods is to learn by building php projects.

Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in web development or improve your portfolio, we’ve included php projects for beginners and experienced developers. alike

And when you consider that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual salary in excess of $85,000 for web developers, building php projects can be rewarding for your career.

So, if you’re ready, let’s check out the best php projects to help you take your web development career to the next level.

What Is PHP?

Simply put, PHP is an open-source and general-purpose scripting language that’s used to develop web apps and websites.

Initially created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994 to monitor traffic on his Personal Home Page (PHP), it was released in 1995.

It's since garnered a long-standing reputation as an easy-to-learn and open-source language.

And yes, there are many PHP alternatives, but PHP maintains a massively loyal community of developers.

Plus, think about this for a moment. Without all those PHP devs, PHP-based CMS options like WordPress might not exist!

For website creators who don't want code, WordPress has revolutionized website creation, and I don't think they'd be super happy if it suddenly disappeared!

PHP Features

Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of PHP programming is that the code is executed on the back-end server before returning the result to the client browser.

This means the client will only be able to see the result of the PHP code after it executes, not the actual PHP source code. Try it out for yourself; use your browser dev tools to look at the source code for a PHP page.

You'll see HTML and JavaScript but no PHP.

If you ever picked up a good PHP book, this is the first thing you will learn.

I know when I was starting, I was blown away by this concept, having started with static content using vanilla HTML and CSS.

But that’s not the only benefit of using PHP, so let's check out some others.

  • Fast, efficient, and secure
  • Easily embedded within HTML files
  • Runs on mobiles and desktops/laptops 
  • Implements hashing techniques for user data encryption
  • Can be used to build desktop apps
  • Range of PHP frameworks available to speed up development
  • Connects to databases to access, update, or modify data

What Kind of Projects Is PHP Used For?

PHP is most well known for being used by web developers to create interactive websites and web applications.

That said, it’s also straightforward to embed PHP within HTML, which helps to make static websites more interactive and dynamic.

This also extends to full-stack web apps that interact with databases.

Perhaps some of the most famous projects that have been built with PHP include content management systems like WordPress and e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce.

PHP has also been used for creating user forums, learning management systems, social networking platforms (think Facebook!), and APIs.

Plus, with the active community adding enhancements in recent versions, PHP is a versatile choice for a broad range of web projects, as you'll see below!

Is PHP Good for Large Projects?

PHP is suitable for large projects, especially with robust frameworks like Laravel or Symfony.

Essentially, as long as the project is designed with proper software development practices and built with appropriate infrastructure, PHP applications can effectively manage high traffic and complexity.

This is particularly true for newer versions like PHP 8, as this is adept at supporting scalability.

That said, there are some challenges with legacy code and inconsistencies in older versions of PHP.

This is partly why PHP might not have the same glowing reputation you see with JavaScript.

But for the most part, these issues are somewhat irrelevant if you're using a newer version of PHP.

There's also the huge benefit of having access to a vast PHP community, as this means there are numerous resources to help you.

If you want proof that PHP is well suited to large projects, look no further than its adoption by huge tech companies like WordPress, Facebook, and Wikipedia.

Is PHP Better Than JavaScript?

Comparing PHP and JavaScript is a bit like comparing apples and oranges!

Sure, they are both used for web development, but really, they serve different purposes and operate in different environments.

That said, if you're new to web development, this might be a question you've asked or seen someone else ask.

So, let's take a quick moment to discuss this.

And while it might be a controversial opinion, I genuinely think that there are scenarios when PHP is better than JavaScript.

Yes, I know, JavaScript has been the most popular language for over a decade on Stack Overflow.

But hear me out! Let's look at four areas where PHP is better than JavaScript.

  • Server-side: The primary distinction between PHP and JavaScript is that PHP is a server-side language, while JS was originally designed as a client-side language Yes, you can now run JavaScript on a server with Node.js, but PHP's server-side capabilities are mature and well-established.
  • Integration with SQL Databases: PHP has a rich history and strong integration capabilities with SQL databases, particularly MySQL, making it a good choice for web applications that need to interact with databases.
  • Hosting: Virtually every web hosting service offers PHP support out of the box, making it straightforward to deploy PHP-based applications.
  • Maturity: PHP has been around since the mid-90s and has a vast ecosystem, extensive libraries, and a large community. This history means there's a lot of documentation, tools, and resources.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love JavaScript, and I'd highly recommend a JavaScript course if you want to learn web development.

And yes, you could make a case for JS being better than PHP, but it sometimes feels like PHP has been weirdly forgotten in the new world of MEAN and MERN development.

So the next time you see someone claiming that JavaScript does it all, take a second to remember that PHP also does a lot, and in many scenarios, it may do it better than JS.

Enough of that; let's get on with some PHP projects!

PHP Projects for Beginners

If you're just starting out with PHP and you're still learning, beginner projects are a great starting point. This is especially helpful if you're taking a PHP course and you want to expand your skills and build out your portfolio.

1. Chatbot for College Students

Download Source Code

This is a terrific PHP project idea for beginners, as it lets you build a Chatbot web application to respond to common college student messages and queries with AI.

With this in your portfolio, you can demonstrate some impressive skills when tackling PHP interviews.

With this project, your Chatbot will analyze student queries and return the most appropriate answer.

If a student thinks the Chatbot’s answer is insufficient, they have the option to give feedback. You can then use this to update the Chatbot's knowledge base for that query.

I think this is pretty cool, as it lets you improve your bot accuracy by adding new answers in the admin area.

As an added bonus, you can even host this Chatbot web app on the cloud using AWS, GCP, or a managed hosting provider.

Check their prices to find a solution for your project portfolio and show off your PHP project to the world.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

Download Source Code

Any business with customers needs to use a CRM to manage customer data and customer interactions.

That's why I like this PHP project; it has an obvious real-world use case, and that's always a strong reason to add a project to your portfolio.

Plus, this PHP beginners project lets you learn how to interact with open-source tools, as it uses SuiteCRM.

Depending on your current experience, this is a great way to get to grips with creating forms to log in, add customer details, and track customer interactions.

You'll also get practice with exporting data into various formats for reporting purposes. If you have any interest in data analytics, this is a nice way to get some exposure.

3. Timetable Generator

Download Source Code

This is another great option if you’re looking for practical PHP projects with source code, as you'll build a web app timetable generator to create and manage student schedules.

If you're still a student, you can even use this to manage your own timetable, which I think is a nice touch!

Expect to get to grips with basic object-oriented programming (OOP), database management, and other essential programming concepts with PHP.

You'll also have the option to add extra features like varying time zones, student requirements, or attendance record updates in real time.

Much like the CRM project, this is another great project with a real-world use case that can add some weight to your portfolio.

4. RSS Feed Reader

Download Source Code

As someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, I love this PHP mini-project to build an RSS feed reader.

With this cool PHP project for beginners, you can stay updated with the latest blog posts or any other content you want to follow.

Plus, in a practical sense, it's also a great way to learn about web services and APIs. These are essential skills for aspiring web developers.

By the end of this project, you'll be able to combine multiple RSS feeds into a single feed.

You can then use this to create a simple web application that allows users to search for and subscribe to different RSS feeds.

I also like the option to add extra features like bookmarking, feed subscription management, and email notifications.

5. Product Rating System

Download Source Code

This is another great PHP project idea for beginners who are also interested in learning to use AI.

In this project, you’ll build a rating system for customer reviews using PHP, along with a Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm.

This is the secret sauce you'll need to rate products based on customer reviews.

These will all be stored within a database, so you'll get some great practice interacting with and fetching data from a database.

I also like that you can even mine and match keywords in reviews to analyze sentiment. Pretty neat, right?

If you're interested in taking a machine learning course in the future to expand your skills, this is a nice intro to the field.

Intermediate PHP Project Ideas

Maybe you already have some PHP experience, or perhaps you've been developing in other languages for a while.

In that case, you might be more interested in some of these intermediate-level PHP projects to stretch yourself.

6. Appointment Manager

Download Source Code

To kick things off, let's start with one of the best PHP project ideas to combine PHP with MySQL on the server side and Ajax with JavaScript on the client side.

This is a classic combo of techniques for modern web development, which is why I like this project for intermediate learners who want to expand their portfolio.

The main goal here is to create a web app that will act as an appointment management system.

The source code for this project focuses on healthcare professionals, but nothing is stopping you from adapting this for other industries.

I also like that this project is a great way to brush up on back-end database skills, as you’ll use a MySQL database to store key information.

The name of the game with these PHP projects is not only to learn but to add something worthwhile to your portfolio. This project checks both boxes, so check it out!

7. E-Commerce Website

Download Source Code

When it comes to working in PHP, perhaps the most obvious project is to build an e-commerce website.

So let's build one!

For this project, you’ll combine PHP with MySQL to build a range of system features like product navigation, user profiles, and a front-end admin for managing products and orders.

On the surface, this project is deceptively simple, but it's actually a powerful way to learn the full-stack process of creating something as ubiquitous as an online shopping website.

If you're fresh off a course and looking to push yourself, this is a solid way to do just that!

8. Stock Management Platform

Download Source Code

This PHP project stood out to me because it's another real-world use case with numerous industrial applications.

Think about it, any business that holds stock needs to manage that stock.

And how do they do that? Well, with a stock management platform!

So, with this project, you'll need to combine PHP with MySQL, HTML, CSS, Ajax, and JavaScript to create a web application.

This will let businesses manage their orders, stock, returns, and sales records.

You’ll also be using Bootstrap to make the UX/UI stand out. This is a great way to get to grips with a popular CSS framework while also working on your web design skills!

By the end of this project, you will have built an admin area that grants access to all web app pages, forms, and features.

You'll also be building an area for general staff that offers limited access.

9. Blood Bank & Donor Management System

Download Source Code

When it comes to developing in PHP, one of the most common use cases is the combo of PHP with MySQL.

That's why I chose this project, as it requires you to build a blood bank management system with these two technologies.

Expect to build a web app with an admin area and a user area to simulate a real-world system that manages blood donor details and blood donation information.

This also means you'll need to include a user registration page and informational search pages.

This is a great example of a full-stack project that will force you to expand your skills if you're still new to PHP.

Plus, at its core, this system can be adapted to other use cases rather than just managing blood donations.

If you're feeling adventurous, consider checking this out!

Advanced PHP Projects With Source Code

Maybe you already have pro-level PHP skills, but you're looking for inspiration to build some new projects. Or maybe you just want to push yourself?

In either case, let's dive into some more advanced-level PHP projects with source code.

10. Movie Recommendation System

Download Source Code

Who doesn't love movies?! Plus, if you have any interest in data science, this PHP project might be an ideal choice for you.

The goal of this project is to build a movie recommendation system by using the Kaggle movies dataset.

With this massive dataset, you’ll have access to a vast store of detailed information about 45,000 movies, including descriptions, release dates, genres, languages, and more.

With this, you'll use the Laravel framework to build a PHP web app that simulates Netflix.

You'll also need to use a MySQL database on the backend, which is awesome for getting some more practice with databases.

By the end of the project, your PHP web app will show a randomly selected movie each time the page is reloaded.

It also includes a range of carousels with random movies in various genres.

Users will then be able to view movie details and access movie recommendations based on their selections via collaborative filtering techniques.

11. Ad Server

Download Source Code

This PHP project focuses on building an ad server, which, as you probably know, is a powerful tool that's used by digital marketers to reach their desired audience.

I like this because, once again, this is a real-world use case. And what better way to make your portfolio pop than to add projects that have real applications?

In the simplest sense, an ad server is simply a web server that delivers ads to website visitors.

So to replicate this, you’ll need to build three PHP modules.

The first will be an admin to control user processes and monitor user activities. The second will be for advertisers to add advertisements, and the third and final module will be for users.

You'll need to have solid PHP skills to tackle this project, but it will be worthwhile.

12. Photo Editor

Download Source Code

In modern web development, you often need to combine multiple languages. Just check out any web development course to see what I mean.

That's why I like this project, as you'll be building a photo editing application with both PHP and JavaScript.

The goal here is to produce a web app that lets users create beautiful digital artwork.

Sure, it's not as advanced as Photoshop or an AI image generator! But it's an excellent way to get exposure to more complicated web app development.

I also like that this PHP project requires you to use OOP, which is a great way to hone these skills and boost your portfolio.

In terms of the tech stack, you'll need to use XAMPP.

You'll then be able to offer the user an array of tools to draw whatever they want!

The centerpiece here is the brush tool that lets users select various colors and brush sizes to produce creative drawings.

13. Facebook App

Download Source Code

Facebook might be one of the largest and most famous companies to use PHP in their tech stack.

So why not build a Facebook clone?!

In this PHP project, you'll be creating a web application that emulates the popular social media platform.

This means you'll need to use PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and AJAX to build out the key functionalities we’re all used to having with Facebook.

This includes posting images, status updates, and commenting on a timeline.

You'll also be building a login and sign-up page, group chat feature, search function, and password recovery.

If you want to get to grips with real-world web development, this project does just that!

I also like that this project offers the chance to learn about the full-stack design that goes into something as massive as Facebook.

Overall, it's definitely a strong project to add to your portfolio.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, the 13 best php projects in 2024, including a range of php projects for beginners and experienced professionals. 

Whether you’re just beginning your career in web development or you want to level up your portfolio, each of the php projects we’ve included is ideal to learn PHP while also demonstrating your skills to future employers. 

Whichever php project you choose to build, we hope you have fun, and we wish you luck with your career in web development!

Want to sharpen up your PHP and web development skills? Check out:

Dr. Angela Yu's Complete Web Development Bootcamp

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where Can I Download Free PHP Projects?

There are various resources online for downloading free PHP projects with source code, including GitHub. If you’re looking for new PHP projects, this article has listed 13 of the best PHP projects that are free to use, so depending on your skill level, there’s something for you.

2. What Are Good PHP Projects?

Good PHP project topics simulate a real-world use case, as this helps to show your skills in a relatable way to prospective employers. For example, look at our Chatbot project for beginners, photo editor for intermediate devs, and ad server for advanced PHP developers.

3. How Do I Start a PHP Project?

Look at the list of projects we’ve added to this article. These are based on difficulty level, with options for beginner to advanced PHP coders.

If you’re unsure where you fit on this spectrum, try your hand at a range of projects in each category to find the best fit for your knowledge level. Also, have an IDE ready to work on your project files!

People are also reading:

References

1. W3Techs. PHP - Version and License Usage Statistics [Internet]. W3Techs; [date unknown; cited 2024 Jan 15]. Available from: https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/pl-php

2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2022, 15-1254 Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers [Internet]. [updated 2021 Mar 31; cited 2024 Jan 15]. Available from: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151254.htm

3. Banik, R. The Movies Dataset [dataset]. Kaggle; [date unknown; cited 2024 Jan 15]. Available from: https://www.kaggle.com/datasets/rounakbanik/the-movies-dataset

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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Ar Traders

where to get your database file for facebook app in php

7 months ago

Robert Johns

Great question. The user who created this project has not included a DB file within the repo. My advice would be to work through the various PHP functions that interact with the DB, make a note of the columns, and reverse engineer a DB from those. The DB schema is relatively straightforward, but given this is an advanced project, I'd look at this as an extra challenge! Hope this helps.

7 months ago

Robert Johns

Great question. The user who created this project has not included a DB file within the repo. My advice would be to work through the various PHP functions that interact with the DB, make a note of the columns, and reverse engineer a DB from those. The DB schema is relatively straightforward, but given this is an advanced project, I'd look at this as an extra challenge! Hope this helps.

7 months ago