Head First PHP & MySQL
A Brain-Friendly Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: 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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Customer Reviews

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by PowerReviews
oreillyHead First PHP & MySQL
 
3.5

(based on 33 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

63%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (22)
  • Easy to understand (19)
  • Well-written (14)
  • Accurate (13)
  • Concise (11)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (5)
  • Not comprehensive enough (5)
  • Too many errors (4)

Best Uses

  • Novice (20)
  • Student (18)
  • Intermediate (16)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (19), Designer (13), Educator (5), Maker (4), Student (3)

Reviewed by 33 customers

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4.0

More for the neophyte than a seasoned programmer.

By iphranque

from St. Louis, MO

About Me Designer, Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Too basic

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Student

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

The ONLY reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is because I was expecting more as an experienced programmer. Read further to see my review.

I am a huge fan of the Head First books. I am a seasoned programmer venturing into the open-source world coming from the managed code world.

This books takes you through the basics of PHP programming and how to apply it to its natural environment, the web.

I find the Head First style of books very accommodating to people who learn best using concrete, involve-me methods rather than abstract theory with some code thrown in to pretend like you're "involved."

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

All the Head first Structure, but none of the Spirit.

By A HeadFirst Fan

from Toronto, Ontario

Verified Reviewer

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

I heavily recommend the headfirst series to all my friends that want to learn webdevelopment or programming. I myself have used the HTML/CSS, HTML5 Programming, and Javascript Programming editions. What I can say is that the MySQL/PHP edition has the same feel in that it emulates the different parts of a headfirst book, such as interviews, and diagrams, and funny metaphors, it is ultimately unusable in the same way that other head First books are so good at.

The greatest strength that separates the Head First series from other technical books is the fact that it understands the process of the reader, whom reads the text, and then looks to his workstation and types out the code, and returns to reading the text. Whereas other book series will drag a full page of code, and then expect the reader to understand it all. Head first seperates each new concept, and then wraps it all up in the end with a full page of code only as a giudepost to show, this is what the full finished product looks like.

In this way, the HTML/CSS, HTML5 Programming, and Javascript books in the headfirst series are very successful. --You can read the book and type along, and at the end, you will get the final product.

Head first PHP/MySQL throws all of this out the window, and it's impossible to track your progress for the current project of the chapter with what little opportunity for you to see the full page of code. This book will give you a critical line in the code, but not tell you where it belongs, or where to place it.

Head first always advises to do the exercise sections and to not skip them, but some parts are unacceptably vague in how the exercise is supposed to be completed. In previous HeadFirst books, I never usually refer to the files, but in HeadFirst PHP/MySQL, I'm scanning the final product to see where a line of code in a beginning of the chapter is supposed to be placed in the structure of the file.

This honestly disappoints me. This book does not flow, and learning from it reveals the lack of respect that this book has towards the learning process that makes HeadFirst so easily understandable. It's not all the funny questions and metaphors within the chapters, it's that you walk us through typing each line of code.

I will be looking elsewhere for a MySQL/PHP book. headFirst, I don't care if it's already 800 pages, make it 1500 pages, and if it flows well and I can type and check my progress easily against the book, I will definitely buy it.

 
3.0

.mobi version has its problems

By objbhz

from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

About Me Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

I cannot read the drawings, an essential part of this book, in the .mobi version as it is imposssible to zoom them. The PDF version works fine in the notebook. I miss some sort of information about the printed version page number in the mobi version.

 
2.0

Astonishingly poor in the most important areas

By Steve

from Toronto

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

Instructions for installing Apache are so minimal and outdated that the rest becomes useless as a beginner's guide. Shameful.

 
3.0

Too much erros

By Marcia

from Brazil

About Me Designer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

  • Too many errors

Best Uses

  • Intermediate
  • Novice
  • Student

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 10.
So I can't go beyond chapter 2

 
3.0

I love the Head First series, but...

By RoibAlex

from Madison, WI

About Me Educator

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Head First Bnook

Cons

  • Out Of Date

Best Uses

  • Intermediate

Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

I was lucky to pick as my first Head First book the one on HTML and CSS. I loved the user friendly style, the jokes and the solid grounding in HTML and CSS as I went along. But several Head First books later, I have found that not all Head First books are created equal. It takes a special skill to write these. I really want to learn PhP and there are two things stopping me from going full steam into this book. Now, the number one thing is that it's out of date. Eight years old for a web book is ancient history by now. I don't know why they can't keep more of their books up to date. Second, I just had a hard time getting into this one. I think I was put off by the amount of busywork typing that came near the beginning, and it seemed to drag. I subscribe to Safari Books Online and have tagged a book on PhP 6. I'll probably give this one away and study the newer book.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Exactly what I needed.

By Russ

from Pennsylvania

About Me Designer, Developer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

    I've always said that the difference is in the teacher. This book is a fine example of that. So far I'm about to finish chapter 1 and I understand every single thing I've learned. It doesn't get any better than this!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Perfect

    By Somebody

    from Norway

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

      The book is perfectly! Everything is well explained. It's true that it is now basically outdated, but the changes in PHP are very minor, you don't really need to care about.

       
      4.0

      Engaging

      By Pip

      from London, England

      About Me Designer, Developer, Maker

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Developing From Chapter1
      • Easy to understand
      • Engaging
      • Helpful examples
      • Practical Examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

      • Html Css Experience
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

      I'm a Graphic Designer by trade with HTML + CSS experience and I've been teaching myself PHP + MySQL rather unsuccessfully up until now. The lynda.com tutorials really struggle to keep my attention and some other tech books are just so dry and dull I get bored and look elsewhere.

      This book is unlike the above. If you're keen to get things going, and learn in a interactive way then you could do alot worse than give this book a go.

      I learn best by, following, repeating, tinker-ing. What happens if I do this...? And this book allows that kinda mentality.

      For future editions... it would be absolutely fantastic if there was a video series to accompany the book - as a summary of what you've learned — just to cover all learning styles, a recap of variables, arrays etc would be great.

      The ONLY slight annonyance is the PHP / MYSQL versions are outdated now (naturally, as it's 2014 at the time I write this, the book was written 2008) — and you do find yourself spending quite alot of time debugging, and problem solving which does slow things down.

      But a great great book, I think I'll get the Javascript book next!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Hard to get start

      By John

      from Malden, MA

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly Head First PHP & MySQL:

      The appendix b about getting start to install PHP and MySQL to computer is helpless. It doesn't provides enough information for people using Mac. Should give more detail on that. That's why I got really hard for my first PHP programm.

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