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The Complete Guide on How to Install PHP

Reading time 3 min
Published Jan 3, 2016
Updated Oct 2, 2019

So you got to know a bit about PHP and want to start putting your knowledge to practice. The first step you should take now is finding out how to install PHP on your computer.

As PHP is a free and open-sourced programming language, installing it on your computer is no challenge. You can install PHP on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, or any other operating system. It is also possible to install and run PHP in various cloud environments.

Technically it's not necessary to install PHP: most web hosts and servers already have a built-in PHP support. However, installing PHP might be more convenient for you as a developer, especially in the beginning.

How to Install PHP: Main Tips

  • To install PHP on your computer for free, you can use downloadable files and a manual provided by PHP.net
  • You will also need access to a web server and a database management system to use PHP properly.
  • Keep in mind that PHP is widespread, a lot of web hosts have a built-in PHP support already.

Different Ways to Install PHP7

  • One of the options to immediately install PHP Windows used to be downloading WebMatrix. However, it was discontinued in 2017 after Microsoft dropped it in favor of Visual Studio Code source-code editor. You can use it for most programming languages, including but not limited to PHP.
  • If you wish to waste no time and start running PHP as soon as possible, you should look for a web host that has strong support of PHP and MySQL. To get started, you may create an index.php file and upload it via FTP access.
  • You may also consider installing a web server on your computer. Basically, a server is open-source software that will provide your website with the necessary functionalities. A good example of that could be XAMMP, which works on Windows, Linux and Mac OS.
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PHP Install or a Web Host?

Most web hosts support PHP, as it's free and widely-used. When you find one that does, you don't need to manually install PHP on your computer or look for any extra tools.

As you create files with the .php suffix, place them in your directory. The server will do the job for you. Sit back, relax, and think of all the codes you will write.

Installing PHP7 on Personal Computers

Most computers don't support PHP by default. However, it's free and not time-consuming to install PHP on Windows, Mac OS, Ubuntu, or any other operating system. How to install PHP on your computer? First, you will need the following:

  • A web server for the neccessary functionality.
  • A database management system (such as MySQL) to easily store, access and manage the content you create.
  • Tools and instructions on how to install PHP. PHP.net offers all the files and a manual free of charge.

How to Install PHP: Summary

  • You are not required to install PHP on your computer: a lot of web hosts already have built-in support for that.
  • However, installing PHP is free and easy: all the necessary software can be found on PHP.net.
  • To use all the functionalities of PHP, you will also need access to a web server and a database management system.