Head First PHP & MySQL
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2008
Pages: 814

If you're ready to create web pages more complex than those you can build with HTML and CSS, Head First PHP & MySQL is the ultimate learning guide to building dynamic, database-driven websites using PHP and MySQL. Packed with real-world examples, this book teaches you all the essentials of server-side programming, from the fundamentals of PHP and MySQL coding to advanced topics such as form validation, session IDs, cookies, database queries and joins, file I/O operations, content management, and more.

Head First PHP & MySQL offers the same visually rich format that's turned every title in the Head First series into a bestseller, with plenty of exercises, quizzes, puzzles, and other interactive features to help you retain what you've learned.

  • Use PHP to transform static HTML pages into dynamic web sites
  • Create and populate your own MySQL database tables, and work with data stored in files
  • Perform sophisticated MySQL queries with joins, and refine your results with LIMIT and ORDER BY
  • Use cookies and sessions to track visitors' login information and personalize the site for users
  • Protect your data from SQL injection attacks
  • Use regular expressions to validate information on forms
  • Dynamically display text based on session info and create images on the fly
  • Pull syndicated data from other sites using PHP and XML
Throughout the book, you'll build sophisticated examples -- including a mailing list, a job board, and an online dating site -- to help you learn how to harness the power of PHP and MySQL in a variety of contexts. If you're ready to build a truly dynamic website, Head First PHP & MySQL is the ideal way to get going.
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About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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oreillyHead First PHP & MySQL
 
3.5

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

68%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (15)
  • Easy to understand (11)
  • Well-written (9)
  • Accurate (8)
  • Concise (8)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (4)
  • Not comprehensive enough (3)

Best Uses

  • Novice (14)
  • Student (11)
  • Intermediate (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (12), Designer (6), Educator (3), Maker (3), Student (3)

Reviewed by 21 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good book but...

By Mrdjhiphop23

from Chicago,IL

About Me Developer, Student

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Storylines

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

The book is really great and I would recommend it to beginners who know html and css already because you would already need to know the syntax or the foundation of how programming really is. So, beginners read their new book head first for html5 and css3. Other, than that I love the book but sometimes the book gets carried away with the characters story plot line and sometimes you focus on a different aspect of the problem rather than the coding. Overall, I would come back and buy there other books!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good to get you started

By Drew

from Murfreesboro, TN

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

    I knew SQL and C++ before I got this book. It was great to get me started on PHP and tie it to my knowledge of SQL. Don't expect this book to make you an expert, but I don't think that was its purpose. Even if you have no experience in PHP or SQL, this book can get you started, and give you the knowledge to know what to search for to get more advance functions.

    (0 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Low information density

    By GaryM

    from Nashua, NH

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Too basic

      Best Uses

      • Novice

      Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

      The book has the basic information, but it's buried among cutesy pictures and stories. Statements like "We know what your brain is thinking" and "The activities are NOT optional" exemplify what's wrong with the book; it puts the author rather than the reader in charge of the learning process and assumes I have to learn things in a specified order, a specified way, and with specified jokes along the way. Just give me the information!

      I suspect I should avoid the "Head First" series in general. It's not what I've come to expect from O'Reilly.

      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      required software outdated

      By jose v

      from spain

      About Me Maker

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

            The php, mysql and apache versions are totally outdated and I can't do work the newer on Windows 7.
            So I can't go beyond chapter 2.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Great book for beginning PHP Developers

            By Senior Web Developer

            from TX

            About Me Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

              I came in with only HTML/CSS knowledge and since my new position at a web development company demanded more, I bought this book. It was extremely helpful through visual representations and clever examples that kept my interest and made it more about application then pages upon pages of text. It explained the kind of programming details that I never received in previous books about HTML and CSS (for example, any time they added code that wasn't a part of the chapter's lesson, instead of leaving me to piece it together, they explain it thoroughly). Overall, the book was a pleasure to read and I am sure I will be purchasing more Head First books in the future. In regards to my work performance, it gave me a great foundation to create database oriented websites. The book gave me all of the tools I needed to get into my job and understand what was going on and expand upon and improve on what is already there. This has led to much-increased work performance and a satisfied employer. One complaint I have is near the end of the book, specifically about creating graphics through the PHP GD library, the author stopped explaining added code with as much detail as before. This led to me doing what I hadn't needed to do before, get on the internet and search. Other than that, I am an extremely satisfied customer. Thanks.

              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              IN LOVE WITH THIS SERIES

              By Cflax

              from Kansas

              About Me Designer, Developer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

              • None

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

              I am a college student trying to learn PHP with MYSQL... I went through 3 text books finding myself with zero knowledge retained... THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! After going through this text book, I successfully made an online classifieds website fully with PHP. TO REPHRASE: I had zero knowledge of PHP or MYSQL to being able to create and understand how my new site works. THANK YOU HEAD FIRST! Next purchase, HeadFirst C#

              (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Not good for beginners

              By Tony

              from Anaheim, CA

              Pros

                Cons

                • Difficult to understand
                • Not comprehensive enough

                Best Uses

                  Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

                  I've used head first books before and never had trouble like I've had with this one. I can't make it though chapter 2. Basic information on how to start the mysql terminal or the phpMyAdmin tools are not available. If the book wasn't so expensive, it would be in the trash just due to frustration.

                  (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  You have to be a genius to use this book

                  By Hotcoppers

                  from Buffalo, NY

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • None

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to understand
                  • Not comprehensive enough
                  • Not for beginners
                  • Poorly written
                  • Terrible examples

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert

                  Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

                  I bought this book because I am a newcomer to PHP and MySQL. It is very deceiving the way it is described, it doesn't provide great detail in explaining things as it state in the "how to use this book" section, for instance on page 65 it says you can find the code for this command on their website but thats all it says its like trying to find a needle in a haystack, there is a Chapter 2 example but it doesn't explain how to download it.....very very confusing. I would not recommend this book for a beginner, you have to have some sort of knowledge on MySQL databases. I am very disappointed in this book. Giving this book a one star rating is being too generous.

                  (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  2.0

                  Frustrated Student

                  By Hali the Over worked student

                  from California

                  About Me Computer lover

                  Pros

                  • Good graphs
                  • Unique style

                  Cons

                  • Cluttered
                  • Difficult to understand

                  Best Uses

                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

                  I had to buy this book for my computer online class. We depend on the book greatly to explain everything. The majority of us is having a difficult time following the book. There is a lot of guess work involved. The book gives hints on how to do it, but not the answers. It does not give a complete example of what the finished product should look like. Instead it leaves giant blank spaces in their examples and expects you to figure it out. The book has bunch of arrows and pictures. It is not easy to look up specific terms such as Boolean. It would be nice if it bold only important terms such as "condition", instead of parts of a sentence such as "performing an action". Wish the book did more teaching and showed finished examples and less pages on "Sharpen your pencil","exercise", and pictures with jokes on them.

                  Pro- It is a different style of teaching. Everyone learns differently. The style may work for some, but it is not working for me.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  A fun way to get starte with PHP & MySQL

                  By mycranium

                  from Monterey, CA

                  About Me Designer, Maker

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                  • Too many errors

                  Best Uses

                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

                  The teaching methodology used in this series works quite well. It makes it fun to work through the exercises, and the variety of ways the information is presented succeeds at getting the important stuff into your brain. I'm actually a little sad that I'm finished, which is not normally how I feel about technical books.

                  I took one star off for the errata. I understand that it's nearly impossible to deliver a book like this without some, and the errata sections on this site as well as the resource of the forum for this book helped get around problems presented by most of the errors, but there were some where it seemed like nobody had sat down and worked through the book prior to it being released. In any case, using the online errata, the forum, and checking against the downloadable script samples will get you through but patience and perseverance are required.

                  I've heard criticisms about this book coming up short when covering installing a staging environment. I just used my web host so I didn't have to set up a server on a local machine. I know there is a high potential for things to be difficult in setting up a staging environment, but a book like this simply can't cover all that in detail without becoming twice the size.

                  If you're planning to set up your own web server and PHP installation to work through this book, do yourself a favor and DON'T unless you already know what you're doing, or work through a book on setting up a web server and PHP installation before you start this book. Or, easier still, just use a web hosting company that has robust support for PHP and MySQL. Troubleshooting your scripts will be challenging enough without having to figure out if the problemhas something to do with your DIY web server environment.

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