Principles and Practices for Efficient PHP Development
PHP is a low costing dynamic platform for developing exceedingly resourceful and large scale websites. Supporting some of the major social networking websites, powering the leading content management systems and development frameworks, PHP has become and apple of the eyes of developers and website solicitors alike. Given the present day need for high end PHP applications, it becomes even more necessary for the developers to sharpen their skills and come up with new and refreshing and edgy applications with each of their projects.
Below we have listed the 8 most new age PHP development principles and practices for the developers to take notice of and further enhance and polish their development skills. To discover the best practices which a developer should follow, kindly read ahead.

  1.  Draw the outline with wireframes prior to coding wireframe-morwalz
    let us start with taking a trip down to the basics. The reason why PHP development is losing its charm and spark is because we are all so hung up about speed-fasting the entire development process, that we pay a little heed towards the basics. So whenever you get a development assignment, no matter how simple or complex it is, please take a few minutes off to draw an outline of the same in the wireframe and then start with the coding. Soon you will experience that it works like magic and lets you find the missing piece of the development puzzle – you’ll be able to rule out the anomalies and subsequently will actually fast track the entire development process.
  2. Wait not a minute longer in embracing OOPs
    oops in your attempt to be an efficient PHP developer this step is as basic as a textbook concept. If you have not yet embraced the OOPs principles, you are definitely on the downhill road to your PHP career. OOP is the new age concept which allows the developers to reduce the coding structures available and as a result allow them to quickly develop an application which is not lengthy, quick loading and highly light weighed. The programmers can arrange the codes under different hierarchical structures like top to bottom or bottom up and organize the functionalities of the application better in the form of classes and modules etc. Long story cut shorts – OOPs is simple to use, quicker deployment strategy which reduces the entire effort of debugging and as a developer you are going to thank us a zillion times for introducing you to this principle.
  3.  Employ the inbuilt functions of PHP – There are various inbuilt PHP functions which offer exceedingly resourceful features for the developers. In fact, there are as many as over 5000 inbuilt functions for PHP which can be used easily to reduce and fine tune the entire backend coding. Use strip_tags function to strip off suspicious elements, use rand_() function to get a random value for an array and a lot more.
  4.  Try to use more of POST than GET – although it is not always easy to use POST in place of GET, but owing to the very nature of the same, the GET posts are susceptible to hacking and make the entire application quite vulnerable. When we use GET, the values can be seen in the very address bar of the application. Any nasty mind can utilize this information to ruin all of the hard work that was gone into developing the application. You may use GET for creating permalinks and pagination, but rest, please try and include more of POST in the application.
  5.  Don’t use _onc(); Ever! – Although it is very simple to use include_once() and require_once(), but there are various server side commands with this syntax, that makes it particularly heavy for the servers to execute the same. And there is no way in which you as a developer can control the colossal amount of damage these commands would do. Hence make it a rule to not to opt for anything including once().
  6. Switch on the Error Reporting – although it is lucrative and highly refreshing to run the entire development project on the production mode, but since we are here to acquire better practices in the field of PHP development, make it a rule of thumb to switch the error reporting to E_All and only turn it off moments before you go on to the full fledged production mode. This will ensure that no errors are transmitted to the production mode, something which would be too hard and time consuming to fix later on.
  7. Better start using the development frameworks – it confounds us as to why the developers would still not use various PHP frameworks for their projects. So one maverick PHP developer comes and proves how it is more time consuming to develop a ‘Hello World’ problem using a framework and you completely abandon the same? Well, firstly, we are no PHP mavericks; we are developers, who should concentrate on streamlining and reducing the total amount of work required for developing the application. Secondly, let us be clear here, nobody wants a Hello World Application. The clients only hire an Offshore PHP Development center for high end, problem solving and dynamic applications, which can only be supported with the likes of Yii, Zend, Cake, Symfony or other such popular PHP frameworks.
  8. Protect your Database against the security threats – over the years, the online hackers have grown to be as wild and cunning as the foxes on the prowl and if you wish to save your database against the threats, then employ the mysql_real_escape_string() that would offer direct or indirect protection to the database elements.

Lastly, just go and code. Enough of reading about it, enough of speculating about your project, it will serve you right to just get back to the basics, master the OOP concept and get downright down to coding.

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He is founder and CTO of Habilelabs.io. He senior software architect. He is guru of various Mobile and web technologies including Node.js, Angular.js, Meteor.js. He is founder member of habilelabs Pvt. Ltd.
  • Peter Siddle

    Hi Shankar Morwal,
    Brilliant Post! I really appreciate all the points that are mentioned in the above post. It can help a lot to improve the PHP coding for any projects.

    • Shankar

      yes.