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Table of contents
What is PHP?
1. PHP: A Beginner’s Guide: 
2. Murach’s PHP and MySQL: 
3. The Joy of PHP: A beginner’s Guide to Programming Interactive Web Applications with PHP and MySQL: 
4.PHP: The Complete Reference: 
5. PHP Cookbook: Examples & Solutions for PHP Programmers: 
6. PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja – by Kevin Yank: 
7. Head First PHP & MySQL: 
8. Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites by Robin Nixon: 
9. PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual – By Brett McLaughlin: 
10. Learn PHP & MySQL – Zero to Hero Programming Crash Course: 
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

10 Best PHP Books for Web Developers

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PHP is a never-dying programming language. If you’re looking to amp-up your PHP skills and in a dilemma to choose the best book, you are reading the right article.

How could PHP vanish? If it did, the entire web would crumble into pieces. It is a never-dying programming language. There are many talks that PHP is outdated and that young programming languages are taking over the world. To claim that is an overstatement. If you’re looking to amp up your PHP skills and in a dilemma to choose the best PHP book, You have got into the right article.

What is PHP?

PHP is the acronym for Hypertext preprocessor, which is a popular programming language executed on the server. It is a scripting language which can be embedded in HTML. Of course, it has its cons, still, many developers prefer PHP for web development. It is used by all the websites to a range of 79% which includes the server-side programming language.

Open source programming language and cost-effective in building dynamic pages are the major pros in it. This will probably help you in building a career in software development. You can use this programming language to build any web pages even today. Designing a simple web page to a dynamic complex web page, you can use the language for everything.

We will quickly move on the cons in it before we help you find the best PHP book for you. Developers find it easy to go wrong with codes in this one. The security problems are huge in number and it is an inconsistent language speaking on the technical side is what few developers feel about the language.

You cannot have a programming language with only advantages, you need to accept the flaws too. There are some PHP books you can read 

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1. PHP: A Beginner’s Guide

If you are about to start with the language, go for this book. Vikram Vaswani, the CEO and founder of Melonfire: a software consultancy company, is the author of this book and it is published by McGraw-Hill Education. Filled with over 478 pages explaining the basics, working with Data from other sources, security and troubleshooting. PHP: A beginner’s guild is the perfect book for an absolute beginner.

Understanding the basics and enhancing them to improve features like XML input, MySQL and SQLite Database integration. The book also covers software installation, built-in functions, data structures, code syntax. This book includes topics for all web developers.

2. Murach’s PHP and MySQL

Joel Murach and Ray Harris are the authors of Murach’s PHP and MySQL, published by Mike Murach & Associates Inc. Providing advanced programming enables you to develop dynamic web pages. The book’s first section is a quick-start to use the versions of it to build your first application, section 2 covers professional applications, section three is totally on MySQL, the final section 4 teaches you the important web programming skills such as keeping the web pages secure, process images, upload files and much more.

This is a better choice for web developers to master programming. This huge book which covers all the basics of PHP programming and MySQL. In addition to this, Murach’s PHP and MySQL allows you to master PHP programming and MySQL for advanced programmers. Overall, it’s a book well suited for both beginners and advanced programmers.


3. The Joy of PHP: A beginner’s Guide to Programming Interactive Web Applications with PHP and MySQL

Alan Forbes is the author of the book ‘The Joy of PHP’. If you are looking for a book which tells you, PHP is easy and super fun to learn, you should go for this book. This book doesn’t have any boring syntax with vague references. Instead, it is filled with content starting with basic HTML for the beginners to catch up to all the consecutive steps in the working of PHP.

The entire book holds a topic with a website for the car dealership and the changes as it grows. It can take you from being a beginner to a fun-filled web developer.

4.PHP: The Complete Reference

This book deals with explaining how to introduce operators and variables, create PHP workspace. Additionally, it provides client-side tracking access using cookies, e-mail transactions and to access the database information. This book gradually guides you to master the language. Another topic is the usage of object-oriented tools with server-side storage. The design features of PHP’s next-generation web 2.0 is also discussed that is an add-on advantage for you.

5. PHP Cookbook: Examples & Solutions for PHP Programmers

PHP Cookbook provides you with better solutions to develop dynamic web pages, testing and securing your website. It is written by David Sklar and Adam Trachtenberg. It is named Cookbook as it has 350 code-recipes (pun-intended) for developing your web content within 1105-pages.

The recipes included will help you in basic data types, RESTful API clients and servers, PDO, SQLite and other extensions, Web programming involving cookies, authentication, sessions and Program building blocks. The book holds code solutions each of which gives you how and why to use them.

6. PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja – by Kevin Yank

The content in this book is as good as you would expect, this book will give you a solid ground on both PHP and MySQL easily and simply. If you are thinking this book would turn you into a ninja, you are wrong but yeah this book turns you like a ninja about Analysis of MySQL as it is somewhat far more reaching than that of PHP.

It’s a good book for beginners as its engaging, well written, and covers the basics of PHP and MySQL almost well. If you are a beginner or even an advanced this book won’t be a waste of time for sure.

7. Head First PHP & MySQL

This book is the ultimate guide to build dynamic and database-driven websites, it is written by Lynn Beighley and Michael Morrison. This book encompasses real-world examples and it also explains all the must-haves of server-side programming. From the basics to the advanced topics of PHP and MySQL coding, such as form validation, database, cookies, file I/O operations, and many more things are covered.

The visually rich format makes every title into a bestseller as far as this book goes. It also contains a good amount of quizzes, exercises and other features to cling on to the content. It’s full of quirky pictures and cartoons, throughout the book you will find sophisticated examples which will help you learn how to harness the power of PHP and MySQL in a variety of contexts.

8. Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites by Robin Nixon

This book will help you quickly learn how to build interactive and data-driven websites. It is thoughtfully structured for beginners and it is the second edition of the top-selling book has improved a lot learning from the reviews of the first edition, making the latest more information-packed than ever.

This Book helps you to practice whatever you have learned with questions given at the end of each chapter, making sure that you retain everything that you learn. Sample social networking platform built with the elements is introduced in this book which is something out of the box compared to other books.

9. PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual – By Brett McLaughlin

The Missing Manual takes you to the next level in PHP by helping you create dynamic, database-driven websites with PHP and MySQL. This book is recommended for those who are advanced in PHP. With this book, you will learn how to build a database, manage content and interact with users.

If you are already familiar with building websites using JavaScript and CSS, this is the book you are looking for. This Book gets you started with expanded coverage of the fundamentals and takes you deeper into the world of server-side programming.

10. Learn PHP & MySQL – Zero to Hero Programming Crash Course

This book is written by Paul Madoff, it contains substantiate steps and strategies on how to use PHP with MySQL to interact with the website database. This book helps you in learning the basics of using both. You will find a lot of examples which can help you in speeding up your learning process in the area of web development. This book explains how each concept is made use of and the working part of it, provided with examples that you can easily follow or use as a template.


We hope that the books that you have read about in this article would take you to great heights in web development and help you with your programmer journey. This compiled set of books will hopefully help you in your career by helping you master yourself in PHP and MySQL.


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