PHP Download and Good PHP books


I’m new to PHP and had a few questions about different versions and good books to learn by.

  1. Is there an all inclusive Windows download for PHP with the compiler, apache, MySQL and editor?
    If not, what software would you recommend?
  2. What is a good beginning PHP book. One that assumes reasonable knowledge of programming?
  3. What is a good project based book that explains best practice site design? IE… Something that builds
    an entire site with a 3 tier database design or even MVC. The project I’m planning will be ongoing thing
    as new forms not yet conceived of will be added.

Any suggestions would be most helpful.


I can recommend the book " PHP & MySQL: Novice to Ninja, 6th Edition" by Tom Butler. For your local dev use Laragon (It’s better than XAMPP). I would reccomend you use an IDE instead of an Editor. You cant go wrong with PhpStorm.


If you want you can use IIS as your webserver and you can download the Web Platform Installer to install the PHP stack. IIS is a feature you can install on some versions of Windows, I believe that it is not available on the Home version. Web Platform Installer can install multiple versions of PHP and MySQL. It is fairly easy. There is also and IIS plugin called PHP Manager that allows you to switch version and easily maintain the environment. PHP Manager install is sometimes a little glitchy and you may have to investigate a little to get it to install correctly.

You can also install MAMP PHP stack. This is an Apache based stack which you are more likely to encounter. I have installed it on my MAC and Windows PCs. If you install it on port 80 please be aware that you need to disable any currently running web server. A default MAMP install is on port 8080.


I only have the home version of IIS. So, would I have to be running another version for a PC rather than the one that comes with Windows server? Also, I’ve read that Netbeans can be used to develop PHP. Not sure what other software I might need for that other than MySQL. I just came across it in a PHP book I was browsing through. Got the impression it had it’s own PHP environment but it was just a paragraph or two. I have played around with Netbeans before and it’s a pretty good IDE. The real confusion for me is all the different flavors of software out there. I’m more familiar with .Net environment.