Top 7 PHP Tips To Promote Your Professional Programing

PHP is a popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development. Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world. The PHP language evolved without a written formal specification or standard until 2014, leaving the canonical PHP interpreter as a de facto standard. Since 2014 work has gone on to create a formal PHP specification.

1. Shortcut the else:
Anything that can be done to make the code simpler and smaller is usually a good practice. One such tip is to take the middleman out of else statements, so to speak. Christian Montoya has an excellent example of conserving characters with shorter else statements.
Usual else statement:

if( this condition ) { $x = 5; } else { $x = 10; }

If the $x is going to be 10 by default, just start with 10. No need to bother typing the else at all.

$x = 10;
if( this condition )
{
$x = 5;
}

2. Use an SQL Injection Cheat Sheet
SQL injection is a nasty thing. An SQL injection is a security exploit that allows a hacker to dive into your database using a vulnerability in your code. While this article isn’t about MySQL, many PHP programs use MySQL databases with PHP, so knowing what to avoid is handy if you want to write secure code.

Furruh Mavituna has a very nifty SQL injection cheat sheet that has a section on vulnerabilities with PHP and MySQL. If you can avoid the practices the cheat sheet identifies, your code will be much less prone to scripting attacks.

3.Know the Difference Between Comparison Operators:
Comparison operators are a huge part of PHP, and some programmers may not be as well-versed in their differences as they ought. In fact, an article at I/O reader states that many PHP developers can’t tell the differences right away between comparison operators. Tsk tsk.

These are extremely useful and most PHPers can’t tell the difference between == and ===. Essentially, == looks for equality, and by that PHP will generally try to coerce data into similar formats, eg: 1 == ‘1′ (true), whereas === looks for identity: 1 === ‘1′ (false). The usefulness of these operators should be immediately recognized for common functions such as strpos(). Since zero in PHP is analogous to FALSE it means that without this operator there would be no way to tell from the result of strpos() if something is at the beginning of a string or if strpos() failed to find anything. Obviously this has many applications elsewhere where returning zero is not equivalent to FALSE.

Just to be clear, == looks for equality, and === looks for identity. You can see a list of the comparison operators on the PHP.net website.

4. Use Ternary Operators:
Instead of using an if/else statement altogether, consider using a ternary operator. PHP Value gives an excellent example of what a ternary operator looks like.

//PHP COde Example usage for: Ternary Operator
$todo = (empty($_POST[’todo’])) ? ‘default’ : $_POST[’todo’]; 
 
// The above is identical to this if/else statement
if (empty($_POST[’todo’])) {
$action = ‘default’;
} else {
$action = $_POST[’todo’];
}
?>

The ternary operator frees up line space and makes your code less cluttered, making it easier to scan. Take care not to use more than one ternary operator in a single statement, as PHP doesn’t always know what to do in those situations.

5. Use a Framework :
php kaunia web programYou may not be able to use a PHP framework for every project you create, but frameworks like CakePHP, Zend, Symfony and CodeIgniter can greatly decrease the time spent developing a website. A Web framework is software that bundles with commonly needed functionality that can help speed up development. Frameworks help eliminate some of the overhead in developing Web applications and Web services.
If you can use a framework to take care of the repetitive tasks in programming a website, you’ll develop at a much faster rate. The less you have to code, the less you’ll have to debug and test.

6. Use isset instead of strlen:
If you’re going to be checking the length of a string, use isset instead of strlen. By using isset, your calls will be about five times quicker. It should also be noted that by using isset, your call will still be valid if the variable doesn’t exist. The D-talk has an example of how to swap out isset for strlen:

A while ago I had a discussion about the optimal way to determine a string length in PHP. The obvious way is to use strlen().
However to check the length of a minimal requirement it’s actually not that optimal to use strlen. The following is actually much faster (roughly 5 times)

It’s a small change but, like all the tips we’ve covered today, adds up to quicker, leaner code.

7. Memcached:
While there are tons of caching options out there, Memcached keeps topping the list as the most efficient for database caching. It’s not the easiest caching system to implement, but if you’re going to build a website in PHP that uses a database, Memcached can certainly speed it up. The caching structure for Memcached was first built for the PHP-based blogging website LiveJournal.
PHP.net has an excellent tutorial on installing and using memcached with your PHP projects.