KillerPHP Blog

Real World PHP

Building your First Web App

February 11, 2016

Learn PHP by Building Web Applications

So you’ve done a few online tutorial projects and you know you basics (HTML5, CSS3, PHP, JavaScript) but you don’t know how to do things off the top of your head … should you be worried?


Even the most experienced developers will be referring to videos, support forums and books to keep refreshing and building their skills. Yes, once you’ve done certain things a few times (ex: setting up an MVC framework like Laravel, designing databases) you will be able to do them without any help. But I can guarantee that other aspects of the project will send you researching!

… It’s the nature of development.

Experience makes you quicker

That said, as you continue to build more and more apps, you will be doing less research and more coding. You will also be able to build apps much more quickly, and even be able to research new things much more quickly.

… That’s why most of the time, it is cheaper (in the end) to pay an experienced developer a lot more than a junior. So you noobs just starting out, don’t be offended if you are making 1/4 of the what the top nerds are getting paid – they are worth it. But in time, you will be too.

Coding in the dark

I remember back in the day when I first starting coding, many times I would be writing code that I wasn’t exactly sure how it worked. My advice: just write the code and move on.

Eventually you will have the AHA! moment, and it will all make sense. Then in a few years, you will forget the basic syntax! 🙂

… But no worries, the principles of the code will stay with you.

In the end, what separates the good coders from the bad: a good understanding of the basic principles and techniques.

Hope that helps,

Stefan Mischook

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Updating from PHP 5.4 to 5.5 with WHM

November 29, 2015


We just updated from PHP 5.4 to 5.5 with WHM. It took the server about 10 minutes to compile, and it went off without any problems. Thanks be to the nerd gods!

We had a worry about a few WordPress installs (WordPress 4.3.1) and an old CodeIgniter codebase – but all went well.

Why the upgrade?

We wanted to take advantage of PHP namespaces. But as an added bonus, we noticed a nice speed boost in PHP – even our old apps are running much zippier now.

… On top of that, apparently PHP 5.5 uses 50% less memory than PHP 5.4.

So far so good.


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Is PHP the redheaded stepchild of Web Development?

January 16, 2015


In defense of poor old PHP! The language everyone loves to hate … but so many still uses!

Each language has its’ strengths and weaknesses. So the one you choose is largely a personal thing. That said, the stats don’t lie, most of the dynamic Web runs on PHP.

If any Ruby, Java or Python zealot fundamentalist attack, just mention that Facebook is PHP based. Game, set and match.



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PHP programming in 2015

December 11, 2014

php logo


The new year approaches and once again I will give you my assessment of where PHP will be in 2015. You might think me biased given killerphp is the name of the site … but you would be wrong. I am always ready to throw out a technology that no longer deserves my attention.

… That’s why I know 8-9 languages. And to be totally transparent, I’ve logged many more programming hours with Java than I have with PHP. That said, where goeth* our lovely PHP in 2015?

PHP in 2015

These days I hear the young nerdlings are all enamoured with Python. Yes, Python is a fine language and worthy of praise. But is it better than PHP? And what about the jobs – how much Python work is out there to be had?

Let’s start with the most important number: over 80% of dynamic sites run on PHP! Not Python, not Ruby. Nope, little old ugly PHP runs 80% of web apps in the world! From what I hear, web development firms have lots of PHP work but are finding it increasingly difficult to find PHP programmers.

… With scarcity comes higher prices.

PHP Frameworks are sooo 2015

Like all the mature languages out there, PHP has a nice selection of web frameworks to choose from, and ultimately, you as a budding web developer will have to learn at least one. In 2015 Code Igniter is out (although there are many legacy CodeIgniter apps that will have to be maintained) and Laravel is in.

… Anyway, once you learn one PHP web framework, learning another is not too hard. They are all MVC based and so they all work pretty much the same way. That said, some are better than others.

In a future article I will put my finger to the wind, and get into WHICH PHP framework is probably best in 2015.

Happy new year!

Stefan Mischook

Goeth defined: archaic third person singular present of go.

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What is Refactoring PHP Code?

January 16, 2014


For whatever reasons, I am in the mood to write … and I have a video too! So, what the heck is code refactoring? In a nutshell:

It is the process of code refinement – taking messy code and reorganizing it into much more manageable (cleaner) chunks. Refactoring is such an important part of coding, that I slap my programmers on back of the head, if they fail to refactor their code!

The video:

To summarize:

  • Refactoring is something you should do as you are programming – not 6 months later!
  • A common refactoring strategy is to take big multipurpose methods/functions and create two or more smaller fined-grained functions out of them.
  • Code that could be used in multiple functions, is a good candidate for refactoring.

Stefan Mischook

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How to develop great software

December 3, 2013

light bulb


The point of this article: get people using your software ASAP!

Now some of the details …

The best teacher in any field is experience … and web programming is no exception! In the case of app creation though, it’s not just your experience as a coder that counts, but the experience of your users.

What 2000 users can teach you.

It’s amazing what getting software into users hands can do for you – revealing its’ flaws is one thing! Yes but then you can improve and refine … so it’s all good!


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