PHP stands for PHP: Hyper Preprocessor. PHP is a server side scripting language and PHP scripts are executed on the server. PHP supports many databases like MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC, etc. PHP is open source software which means it is free to download and use on your personal computer for educational as well as for commercial purpose in industries computers and servers also.
What is a PHP File?
PHP files are dynamically made files which can contain Text, HTML Tags and Scripts. PHP is a dynamic language that can perform various jobs like submitting data, executing the data and retrieving data from servers. PHP uses extension .php at the ends of files, example index.php and PHP files are returned to the browser as a plain HTML files.
Where to Start?
In order to start using PHP you need to install Apache or IIS on your own computer or server then install PHP and MySQL or you can do a thing that find a web hosting plan with PHP and MySQL supports. Via these methods you can start using PHP.
What do You Need?
If your server supports PHP you do not need to do anything else. Just create some PHP files in your web directory and server will parse them for you.
However, if you are using normal computer and server, which does not supports PHP. You must install PHP, MySQL and Apache. Below are links to get these all server software.
Download PHP for free here: http://www.php.net/downloads.php
Download MySQL Database for free here: http://www.mysql.com/downloads/
Download Apache Server for free here: http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi
If you are opting for an online hosting plan then by default above all the software are included in there servers. You do not need to install them separately. After this now you are ready to begin using PHP.