Getting Started with PHP: Installation and Configuration Guide

PHP is a popular server-side scripting language widely used for web development. It’s known for its simplicity, flexibility, and ability to seamlessly integrate with HTML, making it an ideal choice for building dynamic and interactive web applications. This guide will walk you through the process of installing and configuring PHP on your system, enabling you to start coding in PHP and unleashing its power for web development.


Before you begin, ensure that you have a basic understanding of web development concepts, including HTML and server-client interaction. You will also need a working web server such as Apache, Nginx, or IIS installed on your system. Having a code editor or integrated development environment (IDE) will be beneficial for writing and managing your PHP code effectively.

Installation of PHP

Checking if PHP is Already Installed

To determine if PHP is already installed on your system, open a terminal or command prompt and enter the following command:

php -v

If PHP is installed, you’ll see the version information displayed. If not, you’ll need to proceed with the installation.

Installing PHP


For Windows users, one of the easiest ways to install PHP is by using an all-in-one solution like XAMPP or WampServer. These packages come bundled with PHP, Apache, and MySQL, providing a complete development environment.

  1. Download the preferred package (XAMPP or WampServer) from their official websites.
  2. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to set up the environment.
  3. Once installed, you’ll have PHP ready to use.


macOS comes with PHP pre-installed. You can open the terminal and type php -v to check the version. To update PHP to a newer version or manage extensions, consider using package managers like Homebrew.


On Linux, you can install PHP using the package manager specific to your distribution. For example, on Ubuntu, you can run:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install php

Configuring PHP

After installing PHP, it’s essential to configure it to suit your development needs.

PHP.ini File

The php.ini file contains various configuration settings for PHP. You can locate this file by running:

php --ini

Open the file in a text editor to adjust settings like error reporting, maximum file upload size, and memory limits.

Web Server Configuration

For PHP to work with your web server, you’ll need to configure the server to recognize PHP files and pass them to the PHP interpreter. The configuration steps vary based on the web server you’re using.


In Apache, you’ll typically find a httpd.conf file. Ensure that it includes lines to load the PHP module and process PHP files:

LoadModule php_module modules/ AddHandler php-script .php


For Nginx, locate the server block in your configuration file and add:

location ~ \.php$ { include fastcgi.conf; fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php/php7.4-fpm.sock; }

Testing PHP

To ensure PHP is working correctly, create a simple test file named info.php in your web server’s root directory (e.g., htdocs for XAMPP, www for WampServer). Add the following code:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Access the file through your browser (e.g., http://localhost/info.php). If PHP is functioning, you’ll see a detailed page with PHP configuration information.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed and configured PHP on your system. You’re now equipped to begin your journey into web development using this versatile scripting language. In the upcoming articles, we’ll delve deeper into PHP programming concepts and explore building dynamic web applications. Stay tuned!

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