PHP Tips to Improve Your Programming Skills

Hypertext Preprocessor, (better known by its recursive acronym, PHP) is a popular open source general-purpose scripting language that many web developers find suitable.PHP 7, the latest version has distinctive features that makes it easier for programmers to boost the speed of their web application significantly without deploying additional resources. Users can upgrade to the latest version of PHP seamlessly, however, they should check the ability of the PHP code to be reprocessed to maintain and update the web applications quickly in future editions.
Accordingly, listed below are pointers to writing clean and reusable PHP codes:

Take Advantage of Inherent Functions

In writing PHP code, programmers can achieve the same outcome by either choosing the native functions or trying out customised ones.They should consider taking advantage of the in-built functions provided by PHP to accomplish a variety of tasks without the need to write additional code. This helps to track the history of the application code and keeps them clean and readable.

Information about the built-in functions and their usage can be found by referring to the PHP developer manual.

Compare Similar Functions

While native functions helps to keep the PHP code readable and clean, different native functions have different execution speed, something developers must keep in mind. Moreover, certain native functions consume extra resources than others. Therefore, developers have to compare similar PHP functions, and settle for those that will not affectthe overall performance of the web application. For instance, they must determine the length of a string by using isset() instead of strlen().

Cache Most PHP Scripts

Script execution time for application codes typically varies from one web server to another. For instance, Apache web server serve a HTML page much faster than PHP scripts. An additional factor is the need to recompile PHP scripts each time the page is requested. PHP users can easily eliminate the script recompilation process by caching most scripts. A variety of PHP caching tools like memcache can assist in reducing the script compilation time.

Execute Conditional Code with Ternary Operators

Typically, PHP programmers execute conditional code with If/Else statements. However, developers have to write additional code to execute conditional code through If/Else statements, a situation that can be avoided by using a ternary operator instead. The ternary operator helps programmers keep the code in a straight-through format by writing conditional code in a single line.

Keep the Code Readable and reusable

It can be formidable for programmers to understand and modify the code written by others. Therefore, they require extra time to maintain and update the PHP applications efficiently. While writing PHP code, programmers can easily make the application maintainable and updateable by clearly describing the usage and the importance of individual code snippets. Code can be made easily readable by adding comments to each code snippet. The comments will then make it easier for other developers to make changes to the existing code in future.

Using JSON instead of XML

When working with web services, the PHP programmers can choose to use both XML and JSON. But they shouldn’t neglect the inherent benefits of native PHP functions like json_encode( ) and json_decode( ) to work with web services in a more efficient way. They can still work with XML form of data and parse the XML data more efficiently using regular expression instead of DOM manipulation.

Pass References instead of Value to Functions

Sometimes it is necessary to have new classes and methods in programming. However, an experienced programmer would find ways to reuse the classes and methods throughout the code. Since he or she also appreciate that a function can be manipulated by passing references instead of values, they try to avoid adding extra overheads by passing references to the function instead of values. They however need to ensure that the logic of the code remains unaffected while passing reference to the functions.

Turn Error Reporting on in Development Mode

A developer must try to debug the PHP code during in the course of development up till the testing process. The programmers simply set the error reporting to E_ALL to identify both minor and major errors in the PHP code during the development process. They however must remember to switch the error reporting option off when the application moves from development to production mode.

Replacing Double Quotes with Single Quotes

Programmers can choose to use either single quotes (') or double quotes (") when writing PHP code. However, PHP application performance can be boosted by using single quotes instead of double quotes. The single code will increase the execution speed of loops drastically as well as enable programmers to print longer lines of information more efficiently.However, making changes to the PHP code would require developers using single quotes instead of double quotes.

Avoid Using Wildcards in SQL Queries

PHP programmers are inclined towards using wildcards or * to keep the Standard Query Language (SQL) queries simple. However, wildcards may affect the performance of the web application directly especially if the database has a high number of columns. To avoid this, programmers must list the required columns specifically in the SQL query to optimise resource consumption.

Avoid Executing Database Queries in Loop

PHP programmers can improve the web application's performance by avoiding executingqueries in loop. They can achieve the same outcomes without querying the database in loop. For instance, the developers can use a robust WordPress plug-in like Query Monitor to view the database queries along with the rows affected by them.

Never Trust User Input

To keep the web application secure,PHP programmers tend to be cautious with the input submitted by users. They always check and clean all user information and prevent them from submitting inappropriate or invalid data by using inherent functions like filter_var ().Nonetheless, it is also imperative for developers to pick the right PHP protocol and development tool.

Currently, aprogrammer can choose from a wide range of open source PHP frameworks such asPrado,Symfony, CakePHP, Yii, CodeIgniter, Zoopand Zend. Hence, the need to pick a PHP that complements all needs of a project. To make the web application reusable, programmer and/or developers need to combine multiple PHP development tool, a move that can also critically reduce the development time.