Programming on the server
Server-side programming is to create pages dynamically on the server before sending them to the client, as oppose to client-side programming which is executed on the client’s machine. Hence, server-side programming does everything on the server before the web page is sent to the user.
A program running on a Web server has many advantages:
i) It can access the local file system.
ii) It can call external programs.
iii) All the user sees is ordinary XHTML. Any browser that can display XHTML can be used with PHP.
Serving your programs
When you write PHP programs, a Web server must process the form before the browser can see it. This means you have to have a Web server available and place the file in a specific place on your computer for the server to serve it. You can’t run a PHP file directly from your Desktop. It must be placed in the htdocs directory under the server. This is where Xampp, a free software, comes in.
Picking a language
There are all sorts of different ways to go about dynamically creating Web pages with server-side programming. Back in the day when the Internet was still in its infancy stage, people used things like Perl and CGI scripting to handle all their server-side programming. Eventually, people placed more and more demand on their Web sites, and soon these languages just weren’t enough.
PHP is the prevalent languages of use today for server-side programming.
PHP works great for your server-side Web development purposes. PHP’s a solid, easy-to-learn, well-established language. PHP can be object-oriented or procedural. PHP is interpreted rather than compiled