The 16 best PHP Books of all time for advanced programmers

A data-backed answer



There are countless lists on the internet claiming to be the list of must-read PHP books and it seemed that all those lists always recommended that same books minus two or three odd choices.

Finding good resources for learning programming is always tricky. Every-one has its own opinion about what book is the best to learn, and as we say in french, “Color and tastes should not be argued about”.

However I though it would be interesting to trust the wisdom of the crown and to find the books that appeared the most in those “Best PHP Book” lists.

If you want to jump right on the results go take a look below at the full results. If you want to learn about the methodology, bear with me.

I’ve simply asked Google for a few queries like “Best PHP Books” and its variations of. I have then scrapped all those pages (using ScrapingBee, a web scraping API I’m working on).

I’ve deduplicated the links and ended up with nearly 17 links. Using the title of the pages I was also able to quickly discards:

I ended up with almost 16 HTML files. I went on opening all the files on my browser, open my chrome inspector, found and wrote the CSS selector matching book titles in the article. This took me around 1hours, almost 30 seconds per page.

This also allowed me to discard even more nonrelevant pages, and I discarded a lot. In the end I compiled around 9 lists into this one.

Book titles were then extracted with manuel extraction and some web scraping.

I ended up with a huge list of books, not usable without some post-processing.

To find the most quoted PHP books I needed to normalize my results.

I had to play with all the different variation like “{title} by {author}” or “{title} - {author}”.

Or “{title}:{subtitle}” and “{title}”, or even all the one containing edition number.

And afterquite a bit of manual cleaning.

My list now looked like this:

From there it was easy to compute the most recommended books. You can find all the data used to process this list on this repo. Now let’s take a look at the list:

I've also recently used some data from different book sellers in order to not forget important books and try to give more weight to books with incredible reviews.



Advanced PHP for Web Professionals

Christopher Cosentino
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Take your PHP programming skills to the next level, with this hands-on, example-rich tutorial! In Advanced PHP for Web Professionals, best-selling PHP author Christopher Cosentino brings together dozens of powerful new techniques for building serious Web applications. Learn how to manage sessions more effectively, create better forms, develop custom error handlers, build database-independent Web applications with PEAR::DB, parse XML files, authenticate users via database query, build cross-platform client apps with PHP-GTK, and much more!

Advanced PHP for Flash

Steve Webster & Matt Rice & James Palmer & Kev Sutherland & Todd Marks & Jacob Hanson & Harvard Eide & Håvard Eide
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Advanced PHP for Flash is the follow-up to the hugely popular Foundation PHP for Flash. The main aim of this book is to extend the reader's knowledge of using PHP and MySQL to produce dynamic content for Flash.

Essentially, it picks up the baton from the first book and runs with it until there's no more road. The book takes the reader from being an intermediate to an advanced PHP/Flash developer, and helps them create some awesome Flash-based web applications along the way.

It covers the core PHP features, as well as some exciting extras, that follow on directly from the knowledge gained in the first chapter, and show the reader how to use them in real-world applications. This book covers: Sessions File Uploading Advanced MySQL Socket Functions PHP and XML Ming Plus fully functional case studies This book is aimed squarely at those readers who want to create dynamic Flash-based web applications, and especially at those who have finished the first book and are hungry for more

Beginning PHP: Master the latest features of PHP 7 and fully embrace modern PHP development

David Carr & Markus Gray
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Learn all the fundamentals of PHP with a book that blends theory with practice to build up the skills you need for modern web development. Key Features Brush up on basic PHP 7 syntax and work with variables, data types, arrays, and loops Master advanced concepts like building your own frameworks and creating your own applications Apply your newly learned PHP skills to a variety of real-life business scenarios Book Description PHP is the preferred server-side scripting language for tech giants such as Facebook, Wikipedia, and Tumblr despite full-stack JavaScript gaining popularity with upcoming developers.

This is because PHP performs better when dealing with heavy computations on the back end. In this book, you'll learn everything you need to get up and running with the latest version of PHP, including package management with tools such as composer, secure database operations, and a whole host of other best practices that will help you stay a step ahead of traditional programmers.

What you will learn Understand the fundamentals of PHP and work with classes and inheritance Learn about database operations and package management with composer Tackle common security concerns and pitfalls using authentication and validation Build effective PHP applications and frameworks for your business needs Who this book is for If you're already familiar with another programming language and want to learn about the fundamentals of PHP programming, you'll find the flow of this book to be an ideal fit. Having a prior understanding of HTML, MySQL, CSS, and JavaScript will be beneficial, but is not mandatory

The essentials of Object Oriented PHP: Learn, practice, and apply

Joseph Harosh
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Over 80% of websites are now written in PHP, making it more important than ever for web developers to master this programming language. Although the basics of PHP are easy to learn, it is the knowledge of Object-oriented PHP that separates the professionals from the hobbyists.

When using Object-oriented programming, we organize the code in an efficient way, so it is easier to work with, develop and upgrade. Due to its many benefits, developers who master the craft of Object-oriented PHP are a hot commodity in the job market among companies and enterprises that have a need for advanced online applications.

But this does not tell the full story. Consider the following facts : - Procedural programming is inefficient - PHP frameworks rely on object oriented PHP - Drupal and other CMS systems are now object oriented - PHP libraries are almost exclusively written in object oriented PHP Let's expand on the first fact as it is the most important one - everything else flows from it, i.e.

object oriented programming is gaining popularity because it is more efficient. There are great applications written in the procedural style of PHP, but even the best end up in spaghetti code where functions and variables are mixed together.

Add in HTML, CSS and JavaScript to this mix and the code becomes something that is, well, inefficient. Object oriented code is more organized.

Distinct units are created for a single purpose. This means it is easier to find things in the code (ending those days of spending hours trawling through lines of spaghetti code to find a single element).

It is also easier to add, replace or remove parts of code as it only has to be done once. Finally, object oriented programming gives the opportunity to developers to integrate code libraries from other resources.

So, back to the original question, why bother learning object oriented PHP? The answer is: - It is increasingly common - Developers with this skill earn more - The code they write is better - They can integrate their code with code written by other programmers and with libraries from the thriving PHP community Programming in object oriented PHP requires a different way of thinking. That is why it is important to get an understanding of the fundamentals.

Who is this book for? Obviously, this book is for procedural PHP developers who want to improve their skills and take their development skills to a new level. It is also for programmers who have a very basic understanding of object oriented PHP, but who want to learn it properly and get more practice.

Getting the most from this book As already established, this book is designed for existing programmers who want to expand their skill set with object oriented PHP. As a result it is written in a learn-then-practice form.

Every principle, idea or process is described in a simple and concise way. And demonstrated with the simplest code examples.

The flow is also structured so that the reader develops hooks to hang additional knowledge as their understanding grows and develops. Once the foundations are laid, the learner gets a plethora of opportunities to practice and bring the material to life.

In the practice opportunities, the learner is guided through the process of writing code examples that are based on what he has just learned. This is where proper understanding develops as the learner repeatedly gets a chance to practice what he has learned.

It is not a passive learning tool. This book is designed to give developers knowledge and skills in object oriented PHP quickly.

That is achieved through active learning where programmers think for themselves while reading the explanations and examples and practicing the material. So, to get the most from this book, approach it with an open mind and be ready to get involved

PHP 7 Data Structures and Algorithms: Implement linked lists, stacks, and queues using PHP

Mizanur Rahman
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Key Features Gain a complete understanding of data structures using a simple approach Analyze algorithms and learn when you should apply each solution Explore the true potential of functional data structures Book Description PHP has always been the the go-to language for web based application development, but there are materials and resources you can refer to to see how it works. Data structures and algorithms help you to code and execute them effectively, cutting down on processing time significantly.

If you want to explore data structures and algorithms in a practical way with real-life projects, then this book is for you. The book begins by introducing you to data structures and algorithms and how to solve a problem from beginning to end using them.

Once you are well aware of the basics, it covers the core aspects like arrays, listed lists, stacks and queues. It will take you through several methods of finding efficient algorithms and show you which ones you should implement in each scenario.

In addition to this, you will explore the possibilities of functional data structures using PHP and go through advanced algorithms and graphs as well as dynamic programming. By the end, you will be confident enough to tackle both basic and advanced data structures, understand how they work, and know when to use them in your day-to-day work What you will learn Gain a better understanding of PHP arrays as a basic data structure and their hidden power Grasp how to analyze algorithms Implement linked lists, double linked lists, stack, queues, and priority queues using PHP Work with sorting, searching, and recursive algorithms Make use of greedy, dynamic, and pattern matching algorithms Implement tree, heaps, and graph algorithms Apply PHP functional data structures and built-in data structures and algorithms Table of Contents Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms Understanding PHP Arrays Using Linked Lists Constructing Stacks and Queues Applying Recursive Algorithms Recursion Understanding and Implementing Trees Using Sorting Algorithms Exploring Search Options Putting Graphs Into Action Understanding and Using Heaps Solve Problems with Advanced Techniques PHP's built-in support for Data structures and Algorithms Using Functional Data structures

PHP 7 Programming Cookbook

Doug Bierer
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Over 80 recipes that will take your PHP 7 web development skills to the next level! About This Book This is the most up-to-date book in the market on PHP It covers the new features of version 7.x, best practices for server-side programming, and MVC frameworks The recipe-based approach will allow you to explore the unique capabilities that PHP offers to web programmers Who This Book Is For If you are an aspiring web developer, mobile developer, or backend programmer, then this book is for you as it will take your PHP programming skills to next level. Basic knowledge of PHP programming is assumed.

What You Will Learn Use advanced PHP 7 features, such as the Abstract Syntax Tree, Uniform Variable Syntax, Scalar Type Hints, Generator Delegation, Anonymous Classes, and the Context Sensitive Lexer Discover where and when PHP 5 code needs to be re-written to avoid backwards-compatibility breaks Improve the overall application security and error handling by taking advantage of classes that implement the new throwable interface Solve practical real-world programming problems using PHP 7 Develop middle-wareclasses that allow PHP developers to gluedifferent open source libraries together seamlessly Define and Implement PSR-7 classes Create custom middleware using PSR-7 compliant classes Test and debug your code, and get to know the best practices In Detail PHP 7 comes with a myriad of new features and great tools to optimize your code and make your code perform faster than in previous versions. Most importantly, it allows you to maintain high traffic on your websites with low-cost hardware and servers through a multithreading web server.

This book demonstrates intermediate to advanced PHP techniques with a focus on PHP 7. Each recipe is designed to solve practical, real-world problems faced by PHP developers like yourself every day.

We also cover new ways of writing PHP code made possible only in version 7. In addition, we discuss backward-compatibility breaks and give you plenty of guidance on when and where PHP 5 code needs to be changed to produce the correct results when running under PHP 7.

This book also incorporates the latest PHP 7.x features. By the end of the book, you will be equipped with the tools and skills required to deliver efficient applications for your websites and enterprises.

Style and approach This book takes a recipe-based approach, with real-world examples that can serve as building blocks for a larger application. Each recipe is self-contained with no external dependencies

PHP: Advanced Guide to Learn the Realms of PHP Programming

Logan Pratt & Tom Brooks & Shirleys Publishing LLC
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Are you interested in learning PHP but scared off by all the details? Or have you already delved into PHP, but still aren’t really sure how it all goes together? Then this book is for you. This book covers all the important topics you need to learn in PHP, including plenty of practical code examples to show you how everything works together.

We cover all the major concepts and explain them in a no-nonsense, easy-to-learn manner. Here’s what you will learn: What PHP is and how to install it Real-world examples PHP constants, operators and variables PHP Expressions, operators and statements, including the if, else, and if-else statements PHP looping, including the while, for and do-while loops Break and continue statements PHP functions, including arguments and default values PHP arrays, including looping through arrays and multi-dimensional arrays PHP Superglobals Object-oriented programming concepts Classes, abstract classes, objects, inheritance, and multiple inheritance PHP and SQL database commands And much more Throughout the book, you will find examples, carefully chosen to show you how each concept works, along with the code output

PHP: The Complete Guide for Beginners,Intermediate and Advanced Detailed Approach To Master PHP Programming

MG Martin
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Discover the power of PHP as you take your web development skills to the next level. PHP is the most common programming language for server-side web development.

One of the best things about this language is that it is fairly easy to learn. This Book will cover all from Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced Strategies to enhance your PHP skills.

Inside you will find and discover all you need: PHP: Basic Fundamental Guide for Beginners How you can set up your PHP environment How you can easily input PHP values for web users Learn more about operators, expressions, arrays, and the variables in PHP Discover the power of conditional statements Discover how to insert, delete, and update data in a database Learn how to secure your passwords in PHP How to build a complete member registration system PHP: A Comprehensive Intermediate Guide to Learn the Concept of PHP Programming How to use restful APIs in PHP Create PHP Graphics How to read, write, append and delete files in PHP How you can prevent hackers from intruding your site Discuss PHP sessions and cookies Advanced OOP-Classes, Methods and objects PHP: Advanced Detailed Approach To Master PHP Programming Language for Web Development Design patterns Building a great API PHP coding styles Smarty templates Object-oriented programming And many more. Are you ready to launch your PHP coding skills to the next level?

Php Advanced for the World Wide Web: Visual Quickpro Guide

Larry E. Ullman
% recommend
🛒   Buy
PHP is a server-side, HTML-embedded scripting language. ItÕs frequently being used to replace the functionality created by Perl to write CGI scripts).

Similar to both HTML and CGI, PHP is faster to program in and faster to execute than CGI. PHP was written specifically for Web site creation, unlike Perl, C, or Java.

Companies such as Honda, Patagonia, and all have Web sites utilizing PHP. PHP Advanced for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickPro Guide consists of approximately fifteen chapters of step-by-step content, aimed at teaching specific topics in direct, focused segments.

The scripts featured in this book are based on features and capabilities that current PHP users most frequently inquire about (e.g. sessions, authentication, and object-oriented programming)

Programming PHP: Creating Dynamic Web Pages

Kevin Tatroe & Peter MacIntyre
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Why is PHP the most widely used programming language on the web? This updated edition teaches everything you need to know to create effective web applications using the latest features in PHP 7.4. You’ll start with the big picture and then dive into language syntax, programming techniques, and other details, using examples that illustrate both correct usage and common idioms.

If you have a working knowledge of HTML, authors Kevin Tatroe and Peter MacIntyre provide many style tips and practical programming advice in a clear and concise manner to help you become a top-notch PHP programmer. Understand what’s possible when you use PHP programs Learn language fundamentals, including data types, variables, operators, and flow control statements Explore functions, strings, arrays, and objects Apply common web application techniques, such as form processing, data validation, session tracking, and cookies Interact with relational databases like MySQL or NoSQL databases such as MongoDB Generate dynamic images, create PDF files, and parse XML files Learn secure scripts, error handling, performance tuning, and other advanced topics Get a quick reference to PHP core functions and standard extensions

PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice

% recommend
🛒   Buy
Aided by three key elements: object fundamentals, design principles, and best practices, you'll learn how to develop elegant and rock solid systems using PHP. The 5th edition of this popular book has been fully updated for PHP 7, including replacing the PEAR package manager with Composer, and new material on Vagrant and PHP standards.

It provides a solid grounding in PHP's support for objects, it builds on this foundation to instill core principles of software design and then covers the tools and practices needed to develop, test and deploy robust code. PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice begins by covering PHP's object-oriented features.

It introduces key topics including class declaration, inheritance, reflection and much more. The next section is devoted to design patterns.

It explains the principles that make patterns powerful. The book covers many of the classic design patterns and includes chapters on enterprise and database patterns.

The last segment of the book covers the tools and practices that can help turn great code into a successful project. The section shows how to manage multiple developers and releases with git, how to manage builds and dependencies with Composer.

It also explores strategies for automated testing and continuous integration. What You'll Learn Work with object fundamentals: writing classes and methods, instantiating objects, creating powerful class hierarchies using inheritance.

Master advanced object-oriented features, including static methods and properties, managing error conditions with exceptions, and creating abstract classes and interfaces. Learn about the new object-oriented features introduced by PHP 7 and why they matter for your code.

Understand and use design principles to deploy objects and classes effectively in your projects. Discover a set of powerful patterns that you can deploy in your own projects.

Guarantee a successful project including unit testing; version control, build, installation and package management; and continuous integration. Who This Book is For This book is suitable for anyone with at least a basic knowledge of PHP who wants to use its object-oriented features in their projects.

Those who already know their interfaces from their abstracts may well still find it hard to use these features in their systems. They will benefit from the book's emphasis on design.

They will learn how to choose and combine the participants of a system; how to read design patterns and how to use them in their code. Finally this book is for PHP coders who want to learn about the practices and tools (version control, testing, continuous integration, etc) that can make projects safe, elegant and stable.

PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide

Larry Ullman
% recommend
🛒   Buy
Readers can take their PHP skills to the next level with this fully revised and updated PHP Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide, Third Edition! Filled with fourteen chapters of step-by-step content and written by bestselling author and PHP programmer Larry Ullman, this guide teaches specific topics in direct, focused segments, shows how PHP is used in real-world applications. The book teaches developing web applications using advanced PHP techniques and advanced database concepts, and this edition offers several chapters devoted to object-oriented programming and all-new chapters on debugging, testing, and performance

Laravel: Up & Running: A Framework for Building Modern PHP Apps

Matt Stauffer
% recommend
🛒   Buy
What sets Laravel apart from other PHP web frameworks? Speed and simplicity, for starters. This rapid application development framework and its ecosystem of tools let you quickly build new sites and applications with clean, readable code.

Fully updated to cover Laravel 5.8, the second edition of this practical guide provides the definitive introduction to one of today’s mostpopular web frameworks. Matt Stauffer, a leading teacher and developer in the Laravel community, delivers a high-level overview and concrete examples to help experienced PHP web developers get started with this framework right away.

This updated edition also covers Laravel Dusk and Horizon and provides information about community resources and other noncore Laravel packages. Dive into features, including: Blade, Laravel’s powerful custom templating tool Tools for gathering, validating, normalizing, and filtering user-provideddata The Eloquent ORM for working with application databases The role of the Illuminate request object in the application lifecycle PHPUnit, Mockery, and Dusk for testing your PHP code Tools for writing JSON and RESTful APIs Interfaces for filesystem access, sessions, cookies, caches, and search Tools for implementing queues, jobs, events, and WebSocket event publishing

Murach's PHP and MySQL (3rd Edition)

Joel Murach & Ray Harris & Anne Boehm
% recommend
🛒   Buy
"I can't count how many PHP books I have purchased over the years trying to learn the language. Murach's was the first book that helped me grasp the concepts and got me onto actually scripting in PHP." That's what one developer posted on the first edition of Murach's PHP and MySQL.

Now, this 3rd Edition does a better-than-ever job of delivering the skills you need to develop database-driven websites using PHP and MySQL, the way today's top web professionals do. Section 1 is a quick-start course that shows how to use the latest versions of PHP, MySQL (or MariaDB), and the Apache web server to build your first PHP applications.

Right from the start, you'll learn to create applications that conform to the MVC pattern, so they'll be easier to maintain as they grow. In addition, you'll learn how to create applications that prevent SQL injection attacks and guard against XSS attacks.

Section 2 takes you deeper into PHP by covering the skills you'll use every day, like how to work with form data, dates, arrays, sessions, cookies, functions, objects, regular expressions, and exceptions. Likewise, Section 3 dives into MySQL, teaching you how to design and create a database, as well as how to access and maintain database data from your PHP programs.

Finally, Section 4 teaches you important web programming skills like how to secure web pages, send email, upload files, and process images. Along the way, you'll find out how to take advantage of PHP 7 enhancements like scalar data type declarations and improved error handling, as well as new operators and functions.

Complete sample applications and chapter exercises provide training support throughout. A great choice for any developer who wants to master PHP without a lot of frustration and unnecessary expense.

Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices

Josh Lockhart
% recommend
🛒   Buy
PHP is experiencing a renaissance, though it may be difficult to tell with all of the outdated PHP tutorials online. With this practical guide, you’ll learn how PHP has become a full-featured, mature language with object-orientation, namespaces, and a growing collection of reusable component libraries.

Author Josh Lockhart—creator of PHP The Right Way, a popular initiative to encourage PHP best practices—reveals these new language features in action. You’ll learn best practices for application architecture and planning, databases, security, testing, debugging, and deployment.

If you have a basic understanding of PHP and want to bolster your skills, this is your book. Learn modern PHP features, such as namespaces, traits, generators, and closures Discover how to find, use, and create PHP components Follow best practices for application security, working with databases, errors and exceptions, and more Learn tools and techniques for deploying, tuning, testing, and profiling your PHP applications Explore Facebook’s HVVM and Hack language implementations—and how they affect modern PHP Build a local development environment that closely matches your production server

PHP and MySQL Web Development (Developer's Library)

Luke Welling & Laura Thomson
% recommend
🛒   Buy
PHP and MySQL Web Development, Fifth Edition The definitive guide to building database-driven Web applications with PHP and MySQL PHP and MySQL are popular open-source technologies that are ideal for quickly developing database-driven Web applications. PHP is a powerful scripting language designed to enable developers to create highly featured Web applications quickly, and MySQL is a fast, reliable database that integrates well with PHP and is suited for dynamic Internet-based applications.

PHP and MySQL Web Development shows how to use these tools together to produce effective, interactive Web applications. It clearly describes the basics of the PHP language, explains how to set up and work with a MySQL database, and then shows how to use PHP to interact with the database and the server.

This practical, hands-on book consistently focuses on real-world applications, even in the introductory chapters. The authors cover important aspects of security and authentication as they relate to building a real-world website and show you how to implement these aspects in PHP and MySQL.

They also introduce you to the integration of front-end and back-end technologies by using JavaScript in your application development. The final part of this book describes how to approach real-world projects and takes the reader through the design, planning, and building of several projects, including: User authentication and personalization Web-based email Social media integration Shopping cart The fifth edition of PHP and MySQL Web Development has been thoroughly updated, revised, and expanded to cover developments in PHP through versions 5.6 and 7, as well as features introduced in recent stable releases of MySQL.

Free Access to Web Edition Purchase of this book in any format, electronic or print, includes free access to the corresponding Web Edition, which provides several special features: The complete text of the book online Exercises and interactive quizzes to test your understanding of the material Bonus chapters not included in the print or e-book editions Updates and corrections as they become available The Web Edition can be viewed on all types of computers and mobile devices with any modern web browser that supports HTML5. Contents at a Glance Part I: Using PHP 1  PHP Crash Course 2  Storing and Retrieving Data 3  Using Arrays 4  String Manipulation and Regular Expressions 5  Reusing Code and Writing Functions 6  Object-Oriented PHP 7  Error and Exception Handling Part II: Using MySQL 8  Designing Your Web Database 9  Creating Your Web Database 10 Working with Your MySQL Database 11 Accessing Your MySQL Database from the Web with PHP 12 Advanced MySQL Administration 13 Advanced MySQL Programming


I hope that you liked this list. Please do not hesitate to check out the other ones I've published.

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