5 Interactive and Creative Uses for PHP

January 28, 2010 • By

PHP is a powerful and widely recognized scripting language that enables you to build interactive applications and websites. If you’re new to using PHP, then you’ll most likely benefit from know how you can use it to make your website or applications more interactive and aesthetically pleasing.

With PHP you’re rarely limited to functionality and restrictions, if you can code it, you can build it. Below we’ll touch base on 5 Interactive and Creative Uses for PHP web and desktop oriented.

Graphical User Interface

There are instances were web developers make the switch from only knowing how to create apps for the web, to building desktop applications. And they use PHP as a transitional vehicle since many are already familiar with the programming language.

Creating a GUI made for your desktop requires extensive knowledge of PHP and various extensions. Once you’re able to really master the language by coding for desktops, designing for the web using PHP will be much easier.

Here are a few PHP extensions to get you started:

  • PHP GTK – This is an open source extension with a nice toolkit.
  • ZZEE PHP GUI – This solution allows you to convert your PHP scripts into functional Windows applications.

Building Facebook Apps

You can utilize PHP to integrate Facebook with a website. Before you begin developing Facebook applications with PHP you must first become acquainted with Facebook’s Developer Guide. It’ll help you get a much better feel of what you need to get started, and it also goes in-depth on the Facebook PHP client library subject.

It also provides detailed instructions on how to install and utilize the files included within the library. This is definitely a great resource to check out, especially if you have or plan on having clients that may want you to build a Facebook application for them.

Creating Mailing Lists

With PHP you can write your very own script allowing you to send e-mail newsletters to your clients and anyone else you’d like. You can also use a ready-made script. PHP mailing lists are generally used as a way to keep your anyone you’d like up-to-date with whatever information you need them to know.

The most important feature is mass mailing. This PHP online documentation explains PHP mailing functions in-depth. You can also download all-ready made scripts such as this one for your website.

Online Communities

A good way to promote and create self-awareness for your business, product, or service is to make your customers and users feel as though a supportive community has their back. You can create a forum, or a small social network that will allow your customers to interact and find out more about your products.

Many times a users is looking for a quick and effective median to receive quality support, creating an online community can reassure the user that choosing your service was/is the best choice. It will also help you receive feedback so that you’re able to improve the quality of your service.

There are various scripts available for building your online community, however, the most popular choice would be a PHP Framework such as Codeigntor or CakePHP. You can also use a variety of PHP tools that are efficient in their own ways, here are a few: php BB, vBulletin, and Pun BB.

Developing an E-Commerce

Implementing an E-commerce solution is one of the most sought-out uses for PHP. No matter the level of business or type of client base you may be pulling, having an E-Commerce solution at your fingertips is a powerful way to grow your business.

Of course, most of the effective solutions you’ve come across utilize PHP for its accuracy and stability. Whether you’re building from scratch or you’re adding new features to an existing one, PHP is the logical choice.

Building your own shopping cart application means you’ll be doing a lot of coding, especially if your creating one entirely from scratch. One of the best ways to successfully accomplish this is to use a framework (as mentioned above) such as CodeIgniter or CakePHP. CakePHP has a bakery section that contain a large selection of extensions and features for E-Commerce developers. You can integrate various payment solutions as well.

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