PHP Books for Beginners Top 7

If you are here it is because you want to learn php in the best way: guided through quality books easily and effectively display how to get started and start programming in PHP. If so, I’m going to suggest you below 7 books suitable for it. Books in Spanish or English for you to choose according to your preferences.

I will leave links to each of the books, so that you can view and purchase the books at the time you read this article.


  • php from scratch
  • Web development with PHP and MySQL. 2018 Edition (Practical Guides)
  • PHP 6 (Indispensable Manuals)
  • Learn PHP and MySQL from Juan Diego Gutiérrez Gallardo
  • The Joy of PHP Programming
  • PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja – by Kevin Yank
  • Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites – by Robin Nixon

php from scratch

As its name indicates, this book in spanish is an iBasic introduction to PHP programming. It is aimed at those who are practically completely unaware of the language and its use, as well as its interaction with databases.

It is not a very long book (237 pages) and with a very moderate price (€2.99) in its digital version or 20 euros in a physical version. I recommend the digital version, since in addition to the considerable savings it entails, when programming you will be able to read it on your computer with Amazon’s own Kindle reader.

With this book you will learn in a simple way and with examples:

  • basic html In case you don’t know the language.
  • Introduction to SQL and connection to databases with MySQL.
  • PHP through very simple examples to take the first steps in backend web development with this language.

Web development with PHP and MySQL. 2018 Edition (Practical Guides)

This is another very very simple book and in Spanish, aimed at complete newbies to web development. The book starts off smoothly, with a very simple introduction to using PHP. It shows simple examples of the use of the language, as well as its integration with databases.

In addition, for a complete learning of web development, they have included a lot of content aimed at learning CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript, so that when you complete your reading you have enough knowledge to develop both backend and frontend.

Finally, the book does not neglect useful concepts today such as the use of bootstrap like the MVC design pattern.

Reviewing all its content, with this book you will learn with an affordable learning curve:

  • PHP using simple examples.
  • PHP integration with MySQL for beginners.
  • Introduction and use of HTML5 and CSS3 languages.
  • Simple JavaScript programming with JQuery.
  • Design patterns, specifically the MVC model, the most used currently.
  • Introduction to the use of frameworks in PHP by learning CakePHP.

PHP 6 (Indispensable Manuals)

Another Spanish PHP book. A book to take into account in your decision to train as a PHP developer. Edited by ANAYA, a publisher with an immense background in the creation of web development manuals, and with a very professional approach.

This is a php book with a somewhat different profile from the others: it mixes the teaching of programming in this language, with a reference guide in which to consult to clear up your doubts.

Unlike some that I have exposed to you, I would not say that it is the ideal book if you have no idea of ​​PHP programming. On the other hand, if you have basic knowledge, or even have already touched a bit of PHP development, or have trained yourself a bit, this book may be the step you need to go from amateur to professional.

It is a manuscript that can be by your side for a long period of time, and which can be amortized despite its price (approximately €26). The bad? There is no digital version, which, in my opinion, is essential.

This book on php covers the following topics:

  • PHP learning in its version 6 (or 5.6), which is currently the most widely used version, and which will help you program on any current platform.
  • Introduction to the basics of PHP and learn from scratch.
  • Object-oriented programming and current techniques for working with files such as images or XML, as well as knowledge of SOAP servers and clients.

Learn PHP and MySQL from Juan Diego Gutiérrez Gallardo

very simple digital book and in the language in which I write. Excellent, once again, for those who want to get an idea about the use of PHP and its integration, as almost always, with MySQL.

One more guarantee of its quality is that it has been written by Juan Diego Gutiérrez Gallardo, a Spanish author who already has more than 8 books on web development to his name, many of them published by ANAYA.

The content of the book stands out for being entertaining and having totally aimed at beginners in web programming. Unlike others, this book is totally aimed at the programming in PHP and SQL almost completely ignoring languages ​​like HTML and CSS.

Its price is very contained, exactly 2 euros in Kindle version and also, being digital, you can download it immediately from wherever you are.

Its content index is clear and deals with:

  1. MySQL and PHP
  2. PHP
  3. Object Oriented PHP
  4. Database design
  5. SQL
  6. forms
  7. error management
  8. XML

As the only negative point to mention the outdatedness of some section, such as the use of MySQL WorkBench.

The Joy of PHP Programming

This book, as its title indicates, is in English, therefore, if you defend yourself with this language, keep reading, otherwise, I recommend that you opt for one of the proposals in Spanish.

He book tries to bring web programming closer, specifically PHP programming, through a simple preview and how its name indicates “fun”. The author achieves, through a simple progress, that the reader learns first HTML and later PHP little by little. In this way, even if you are a complete beginner in the web world, you will be able to start creating web code in hours.

The book tour goes from simple exercises to create simple and easy content, to starting to modify web pages and ending up creating your own code through very entertaining exercises.

As a curiosity, comment that this book was a proposal in kickstarter and was very well received by the public, its success leaves no doubts, it is a great book for beginners in the world of web programming in php.

Finally tell you that the price of the book is very good and is around €15 in its physical version and in ebook about €3-4.

The topics covered in the book are:

  • Install and configure PHP
  • Introduction to HTML
  • Basic PHP Syntax
  • Variables, numbers, dates and text strings
  • control structures
  • How to use MySQL database
  • Using PHP and MySQL together
  • How to create and use forms
  • work with images
  • PHP tips and tricks
  • Security considerations when developing in PHP

PHP & MySQL Novice to Ninja – by Kevin Yank

This book is already in its sixth edition, which already gives us a hint of its success and good reviews. The latest edition is from 2016 and It can be found in paper and digital version.

This book is focused on getting you a solid foundation for working with PHP and MySQL. The content is of quality, and that is not why it is difficult, however, I would not say that it is exactly for those who do not know how to program yet, but rather for those who come from other languages ​​and already know what a database is and Have some programming experience.

Note: This is another book in english of great quality but unfortunately it has not been translated into our mother tongue.

Price: The price is somewhat higher than other books for beginners, since it is a longer book than others. The digital price is around €18 and on paper around €37.

Here are some of the main topics it deals with:

  • Introduction to PHP and MySQL
  • How to publish MySQL information on the web
  • Relational database design
  • Structured PHP programming
  • CMS or content management systems
  • Content formatting, that is, giving it design, etc.
  • Cookies, Sessions and Access Controls
  • MySQL Administration
  • Advanced queries in SQL language

Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites – by Robin Nixon

With this book you will learn, quickly, how to build interactive websites focused on information storage. All this is achieved thanks to a complete tour, for beginners, through the most used web development languages ​​today: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS and HTML5.

It is the fourth edition of a guide best-seller that runs at the pace of beginners in web programming. As an extra, you should know that in this version they have made the modifications that their users most requested in previous editions of the book, in addition, they have updated content to the current versions of the languages ​​covered.

As a point to highlight, mention the exercises and practical demonstrations at the end of each chapter. Among the examples shown in the book, you will even find the creation of a social platform built with what has been learned.

Despite its price (about 30 euros in Kindle version), we are before one of the best books out there to start off on the right foot in web development.

All its content includes:

  • Basics of object-oriented programming (OOP) in PHP.
  • Master MySQL and its tools.
  • Create pages with PHP and MySQL.
  • Learn about JavaScript, CSS and HTML5.
  • Manipulate CSS with JavaScript.
  • Manipulate and upload files and images.

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