The ideal point A: Head First PHP & MySQL

June 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm 16 comments

By Naffy

Before I got the book, I would have never thought that such a creature exists out there. I must say that it was quite a shock seeing a playful and attractive book packed with exercises, quizzes, puzzles, and other interactive features to help you retain all the PHP and MySQL you need to get going. Yeah, it was a huge surprise, but let me tell ya, it was all for the good, because I believe this is the book every beginner needs when starting out on the long path that is web development. (Amazon Link)

According to the authors and creators of this great masterpiece, all the photos and eye-engaging, mind-grasping content are built upon the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience.

So, who is this book for? Well, if you have done some HTML, some CSS maybe, but you want to get into the big league and harness the power of PHP and MySQL in a variety of contexts, than just hop on and get this book.

I can say with confidence that this book is definitely the ultimate learning guide to building dynamic, database-driven websites using PHP and MySQL. One of the many nice features of this book is the face that it is just packed with real-world examples, which helps in teaching you all the essentials of server-side programming, from the fundamentals of PHP and MySQL coding to advanced topics such as form validation, session IDs, cookies, database queries and joins, file I/O operations, content management, and more.

The major difference between this book and others is quite obvious just by a glance. The book is so visually rich and so appealing.
Using the book you learn along the way how to use PHP to transform static HTML pages into dynamic web sites, use create and populate your own MySQL database tables, and work with data stored in files. Building on the foundations you acquire along your journey, you get to learn how to perform sophisticated MySQL queries with joins, and refine your results, and also how to make use of cookies
(yes, they show up as with all the chocolate in the book…) and sessions to track visitor login information and personalize the site for users.

Although it is a beginner book, it does concentrate on security issues like protecting your data from SQL injection attacks. It also covers topics like how to use regular expressions to validate information on forms, and how to dynamically display text based on session info and create images on the fly. The book throws in some extra tidbits, so expect to find some nice information on pulling syndicated data from other sites using PHP and XML.

So, to sum it up, we can honestly confirm to you that the format of the Head First books is unique, engaging and effective, and we wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone looking to get into web development.

Entry filed under: Books. Tags: .

Beginning JavaScript and CSS Development with jQuery: full color, full flavor Beginning MySQL: Not just for the beginner

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. quabeleeJoe  |  June 27, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    which version of php is covered in this book?

    • 2. drupalmeister  |  June 28, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      The book tries to use code that can be used on all versions of php, and that is one of the great things about this book!

  • 3. Jay  |  June 28, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Wow, I’m quite shocked to see that this book is actaully an Orielly book.

    I did not know they got such a series.

    Anyway, will check it out.

    • 4. danger_boy  |  June 28, 2009 at 11:28 am

      lol, ya, i was also thinkin’ they got only animals on their books…. i guess they are trying out people on the front cover for a change…

      by the way, do you know if there is a digital copy i can read on my electronic reader?


      • 5. drupalmeister  |  June 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm

        I’m not sure whether there is a digital copy that can be read on an electronic reader device, but as far as I see it this book is not the kind of book you would want to read on such a device, since throughout the book you will find that the content is spread across two facing pages.

        Also the book is not a book you read, it is one you live. Literally. You can’t just read the text, you have to live in it, do the exercises and be in it!

  • 6. julio  |  June 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm


    i want kno how many pages this book

    tank u

    • 7. drupalmeister  |  June 29, 2009 at 10:50 am

      The book is like 750 pages, but don’t worry it’s an easy and pleasurable read.

  • 8. texan  |  June 29, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for the review.

  • 9. zTime  |  June 29, 2009 at 8:18 am

    thanks for the review, i would like to see you review all the other books in this series.


    • 10. drupalmeister  |  June 29, 2009 at 10:51 am

      We hope to review other Head First books in the near future, because just like you we were very much impressed.

  • 11. mimi  |  June 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    cool book guys i got it today from my local b&n going to read it soon bye

  • 12. MarkSis  |  June 30, 2009 at 6:02 am


    Thanks for the review, but I was wondering whether you can learn any serious stuff using what looks to me like more a comic book.

    I would love to know if I can get a real webmaster using this book.

    Thank you.

  • 13. 3177jojo  |  July 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Can you actually learn any serious hacking with this book?

    • 14. drupalmeister  |  July 1, 2009 at 6:41 pm

      At this site we do not promote anything illegal. If you are refering to hacking as in mastering the PHP language, well, no, you cannot become a super PHP programmer by just reading one book, and especially not by reading a book that is designed to give you a head start and not to actually give you all that PHP got to offer.

      In order to become really good at PHP, once should invest a lot of time and effort in many books and online material, as well as practice.

      We hope to have some book reviews in the coming days, so all of you, stay tuned…

  • 15. blog boy  |  July 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I don’t know what is the big shock with this book. As far as i remember Sams has the same type of stuff going for microsoft office, word, excel and other programs.

    • 16. drupalmeister  |  July 1, 2009 at 6:43 pm

      Well, you are right that there are some books out there resembling this style, but they are all made for real novices, and the target product is also a very household product like Word and such.

      Here we are dealing with a programming book, and that is certainly not at all like a book on MS Word..


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