PHP Resources

PHP Resources – Libraries and Frameworks

This is a collection of PHP resources that I have found useful. If you think I should feature your site, get in contact.


Zend Framework – I use this most of the time. Zend is big and some claim it’s slow, but in my experience it has run pretty well. Great library of useful classes.

CakePHP – I’ve done some small projects in CakePHP and it is a good lightweight framework. The form handling in particular stands out as a lightweight, elegant solution.

Symfony – I haven’t used this much but it is very popular.

Yii – Yii is a fairly new PHP framework that has been winning many new users. I’ve heard good things about Yii!

Laravel Framework – Another new PHP framework.


WordPress – A little CMS that you may have heard of. It’s gone from blog platform to incredibly flexible CMS in the last few years. One of the only things I don’t like about WordPress is the way the php is mixed in with HTML. I would love to see a more template-driven, reuse-friendly approach.

WooCommerce – great cart plugin for wordpress. The basic plugin is free; Woo charges for premium add-ons like support for regional and niche payment gateways, themes, and advanced shopping cart features like dynamic pricing.


PHP manual – essential reference for anyone writing PHP.

Apache docs – all PHP programmers should know how to write .htaccess files and use them to do neat stuff. The Apache docs are an essential resource.

Forums and Answers

If you’re confused, try asking on a good PHP forum. Just remember to be specific, be polite, and check the forum rules before hitting ‘Post.’

PHP forum on

stackoverflow - the PHP tag on stackoverflow is a useful php resource and a great place to get your questions answered.


GoLearnSQL – SQL quick reference page. The full site is in development, but this should still be useful as a refresher on SQL syntax.


phpsecurity – A practical approach to PHP security issues. Essential reading.

Padraic Brady – ZF-related security blog.

Editors and other Desktop software

Sublime Text – great editor for Mac and Windows.

What’s the best text editor on the Mac? - this was written with web development in mind so it is quite relevant.

Cornerstone – Awesome SVN desktop client for Mac. Windows users should go for TortoiseSVN, which is also good.

Scrivener – A writing app for Mac and Windows. This might be my favorite writing and composition tool. I find the outlining tools especially effective in quickly setting up and starting new projects. there’s a free trial version available, so if you regularly do documentation or blogging of anything over 1000 words Scrivener might suit you.

Transmit FTP – Just a brilliant FTP app for Mac. The folder linking feature is really useful.

Billings – good desktop app for time tracking, invoicing, and recurring billing. The recurring billing feature works well for developers who host lots of sites and domains.

Apache, MySQL, and PHP stacks

MAMP – for Mac development machines.

Uniform Server – for Windows PHP development.

Server Maintenance and Virtualization

Virtualmin – an add-on to the Webmin system, providing really solid management of Virtual Servers in Apache. Both Webmin and Virtualmin are free, though there is a pro version if you need it.

Hosting, DNS, and other web resources

BlueHost – Great for small to medium sites and one-off projects. And also when you need to partition your hosting across multiple hosts. Good prices on domain + hosting packages.

MediaTemple – great hosting. The managed and developer dv packages are great if you want to run several sites (and what developer doesn’t?). I use MediaTemple DV and I find it reliable and fast.

Namecheap – I started using namecheap earlier this year and I’m very happy with them.

Web Apps – A nice time-saving color tool online. I use this all the time.


Planet PHP – collecting the best posts from a range of PHP-related blogs. – well-written PHP blog.


Great book from O’Reilly focussing on improving the skills of readers who are already writing PHP. The book is a reference to core features (strings, arrays, databases, OOP in PHP), but also covers PDFs, XML, Web Services, Security, and so on.


A good guide to all things OOP in PHP. Covers theory stuff like Design Patterns, and also gets into topics like working with sockets, creating web services, etc. Includes a ‘build a CMS’ project. Recommended.


The Pomodoro Technique isn’t for everyone, but I am including it here because I’ve just found it to be a really effective way to structure my time. I don’t tend to read self-help books and all that stuff, but this system jsut helps me get things done. So check it out if you’re interested in productivity.

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