Evangelizing PHP for web designers

August 1, 2006

The ‘raison d’être’ for www.killerphp.com is basically to make PHP accessible to the average web designer.

I want to reach people who have more of a design background than a coding/programming background.


I can’t tell you how many times web designers have approached me about doing relatively simple things:

  • Process an html form
  • Install a shopping cart
  • Send an email from a web page

… These common tasks are easily solved with just a little PHP know-how.

The web is far more sophisticated today and as such, web designers have to step up and become more sophisticated themselves.


Every programming language has something to offer – but today PHP is king for a few reasons:

  • PHP is everywhere – makes it cheap and easy to find php hosting.
  • PHP is powerful – it is a mature language that has all the tools.
  • PHP is easy to use and easy to learn.

When it comes to the types of jobs that most web designers need to tackle (quick shopping carts, process a form etc,) nothing compares to php’s ease of use – it’s simply the best language when you need to bang out something quick.


Ruby is a great language that is especially appealing to Java nerds like me. It is appealing for many reasons, but one important one is the fact that through a simple, elegant syntax (syntax = code), it can express very advanced programmatic constructs. This strength is also why it is not well suited to the average web designer – it is a little too sophisticated out-of-the-box.

The same can be said for Rails, a web framework (made with and for Ruby) that makes building web applications (websites connected to databases), much easier.

PHP can get very sophisticated as well. But it also has a more approachable side to it, that web designers can much more easily get into.


In my research on php training, I’ve found that the vast majority of books, websites and even videos on php assume the student has a certain knowledge of programming.

This gap in material makes it that much harder for people to learn.

With killerphp.com, I’ve tried to close that gap with easy to follow lessons that help people over that initial learning hump.


Stefan Mischook

6 Responses

  1. karl schaap Author January 17, 2007 at 12:18 am

    I just found your website and watched your videos and I am surprised by how well you explain the basics of php. No other tutorial website, book or video I’ve seen has explained it as well as you have done in your videos. And I appreciate how you explain the language in plain English and not a bunch of jargon. As someone still learning the language this has been a great help in understanding PHP. Please post more videos 🙂




  2. Stefan Mischook Author January 17, 2007 at 1:07 am

    I have others coming out soon. I’ve been really busy with other projects so I haven’t gotten around to them.

    Please give me another week or two.

    BTW: you can catch my articles on PHP in the latest Web Designer Magazine – in the next two issues.

  3. Pingback: » Why PHP is the choice language - a business owners perspective. » Blog Archive KILLERPHP.COM

  4. krillz Author September 16, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Sophisticated well I agree to some extend with you here.

    You say that PHP is a more down to earth for a designer, yes sure, but I think that setting up shopping carts or coding something really isn’t something a web designer should do, especially not without the experience, a couple of tutorials will not change you to a master over night.

    Remember that with php applications available for hundreds of visitors, of who some might have bad intentions, security is a very great aspect.

    Sure encourage them to learn PHP, get more skills but I wouldn’t jump to encouraging them to start coding just of the bat.
    Something I believe you should add to your tutorials that is the security aspect.

  5. Stefan Mischook Author September 16, 2007 at 8:16 pm


    “a couple of tutorials will not change you to a master over night.”

    The same can be said for good web design: it takes a while for someone to master the subtleties of CSS, usability and good site structure.

    You can argue as to what a noob to PHP should tackle .. but that would not be the point. I know that a understanding of database driven web design just makes web designers better overall.

    Beyond that, web designers will find that their lives will be made much easier with a little PHP knowledge.

    … I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen designers frustrated, because they could not make simple changes to a PHP based blog (WordPress) or a CMS (Drupal, Mambo) because even basic PHP concepts were beyond them.

    No, at first they may have a hard time developing a web application from scratch .. and that’s cool. But there are sooo many other areas where some PHP skills can come in very handy.

    Thanks for the comments,


  6. Pingback: » The technologies you need to master to be a complete web designer. » Blog Archive Website Design Blog - Killersites.com

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