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Top 17 Free Best Online PHP Courses, Training & Certificates

Best Free Online PHP Courses, Training & Certificates
Best Free Online PHP Courses

If you are looking for some of the best online PHP courses and certificates to bolster your skills, you’re in the right place!

In this guide, I have rounded up the top online PHP classes and certifications in 2021 that will teach you about syntax, arrays, conditionals, loops, functions, and heaps more!

And the best? All of these courses are completely free! Additionally, some of them also provide a certificate of completion. Let’s get started!

Top 17 Free Best Online PHP Courses, Training & Certificates 2021

1. Foundations: The Beginner’s Guide to PHP (Skillshare)

Foundations: The Beginner’s Guide to PHP

First on my list is a great beginner-level PHP course that will teach you all the fundamentals of programming in PHP and get you started with real hands-on examples.

Your instructor for this free online PHP course will be John Morris, a web developer with more than 15 years of experience who also has a stellar list of clients including the likes of Inc. Magazine, Michael Hyatt, and Tim Ferris.

Spanning 8 ¾ hours, students start off by learning the basics of PHP variables, syntax, loops, conditionals, and functions, before going into more advanced topics like MySQL databases and classes, and engaging in interactive practical exercises such as sending emails and creating folders.

You can sign up for a free trial of Skillshare Premium to access hundreds of other courses along with this one, and improve your learning by tapping into the lively student communities! Overall, one of the best online PHP courses for complete beginners!

  • Beginner level
  • 8 ¾ hours long
  • Taught by web developer with 15+ years of experience
  • Free 1-month trial of Skillshare Premium
  • Student community of 3,400+ members

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

2. PHP Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning)

PHP Essential Training

Before you can build websites using PHP, you have to first get comfortable with the basics which is exactly what this course aims to achieve! Taken by over 44,000 students already, this class is popular among software developers and IT consultants alike.

As for your instructor, you will be taught by Kevin Skoglund, a web developer and teacher with over 15 years’ experience. Kevin is also the founder of Nova Fabrica, a company that delivers custom web solutions to its clientele which has the likes of Atlas Carpet Mills and The Bold Italic.

Included in this 4-hour introductory free PHP course, students learn all the foundational concepts needed to become comfortable with programming using PHP including variables, arrays, strings, conditionals, loops, functions, debugging, embedding, and much more.

Not only that, but you will be able to earn a certificate of completion when you finish the class, and get free access to the course contents if you are a new LinkedIn Learning user! Overall, this is a great online course to get started with PHP!

  • Beginner level
  • 4 hours long
  • Taught by an experienced web developer
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access for new users

Visit LinkedIn.com

3. Build Professional PHP Applications With Object-Oriented Programming (Skillshare)

Foundations: Build Professional PHP Applications With Object-Oriented Programming

Knowing how to build object-oriented applications in PHP will go a long way in your career. So if you’re looking to master this essential skill, you won’t want to miss this free online PHP course! 

As with my previous class recommendation, your instructor will be John Morris, an ex-army soldier who turned to full-time freelance web development and has been running a successful business for the past 10 years.

Throughout 11 lessons spanning 3 hours, students are introduced to all the basics of object-oriented programming in PHP including classes, properties, methods, constructors, visibility, inheritance, namespaces, interfaces, and much more.

With Skillshare, you have the opportunity to sign up for a free 1-month trial of its Premium package and gain access to hundreds of courses alongside this one!

  • Intermediate level
  • 3 hours long
  • Taught by expert freelance web developer
  • Free 1-month trial of Skillshare Premium
  • Interactive and helpful student community

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

4. Learning PHP (LinkedIn Learning)

Learning PHP

If you want to get started with web development using PHP but feel intimidated by the idea of programming, this beginner-level class is a fantastic introduction.

David Powers, a veteran web developer with over 25 years of experience, will be your instructor for this free online class. Davis is an Adobe Certified Instructor who has published over 10 courses on LinkedIn Learning and is the author of the bestselling book PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy.

In the 7 hours it will take to complete this course, students will go through all the basic concepts of programming in PHP with topics including variables, strings, calculations, conditionals, custom functions, error-handling, and gain hands-on experience by learning how to email the contents of an online form.

If you are a new LinkedIn user, you can gain access to this course for free, and earn a verified certificate of completion at the end!

  • Beginner level
  • 7 hours long
  • Taught by the author of bestseller PHP Solutions
  • Free access for new LinkedIn users
  • Certificate of completion

Visit LinkedIn.com

5. Beginner PHP and MySQL Tutorial (Udemy)

Beginner PHP and MySQL Tutorial

Next on my list is another beginner-level PHP course that will quickly make you capable of building database-backed web applications using PHP and MySQL! You will also be joining 278,000 students who have already enrolled and have given this class an average rating of 4.3 stars.

Your instructors for this free Udemy PHP class will be provided by Infinite Skills, an eLearning solutions company based out of Canada that has published 330 courses on Udemy to date. 

Totalling 10 ¾ hours, students begin with an introduction to PHP and MySQL, before learning how to output and process data, deal with variables, insert and use database data, use the Join functionality, handle errors using PHP, use external images and files, and much more.

You can watch the contents of this course for free, or pay a nominal amount of money to get access to extra features and a shareable certificate of completion at the end! All in all, an impressively comprehensive course for PHP learners!

  • Beginner level
  • 10 ¾ hours long
  • Taught by Canadian eLearning company
  • Free access to video content
  • Certificate of completion
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Visit Udemy.com

6. Functional Programming with PHP (LinkedIn Learning)

Functional Programming with PHP

Are you already skilled at writing PHP code to build good-looking web apps but need to level up your efficiency and organization? If so, this online class might be just for you!

As for your instructor of this free PHP class, students will be led by Shaun Wassell, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and has worked for over 3 years as a full-stack software developer. 

Over 2 ½ hours, Shaun takes students through all the concepts of functional programming with topics including why functions and data are kept separate, how to work with first-class functions, which built-in functions to use, and how to apply recursion to name a few.

With LinkedIn Learning, students will earn a free certificate of completion at the end to share with your network and update them about your newly acquired skills!

  • Advanced level
  • 2 ½ hours long
  • Taught by expert full stack developer
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access for new users

Visit LinkedIn.com

7. Building Web Applications in PHP (Coursera)

Building Web Applications in PHP

Are you keen to learn the fundamentals of PHP, HTML, and CSS all at the same time? Well, this could be the course for you! Taken by over 73,000 students already, this intermediate-level class has an average rating of 4.8 stars.

As for your instructor, you will be guided by Charles Russell Severance, a clinical professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information who has published 23 courses on Coursera. Charles has also taught over 2 million learners and earned an impressive rating of 4.8 stars.

Throughout an extensive 30 hours of learning, students learn the basics of web applications including the structure of an application, the interaction between a browser and a server, request/response cycle, basics of HTML, PHP, and CSS, how to use a PHP/MySQL environment, and much more!

Coursera is offering you the chance to apply for financial aid if you are unable to pay the full fees for this course (if you want a certificate), or you can audit the class and learn your new PHP skills for free!

  • Intermediate level
  • 30 hours long
  • Taught by a professor at the University of Michigan
  • Financial aid available
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Coursera.org

8. Practical PHP: Master the Basics and Code Dynamic Websites (Udemy)

Practical PHP: Master the Basics and Code Dynamic Websites

If you want to get started with using PHP to build your websites and are looking for a course that will give you loads of hands-on practice, then this might be the right fit for you! With over 200,000 students enrolled, this beginner-level PHP course has a rating of 4.5 stars.

As for your instructor, you will be guided by Brad Hussey, who is a marketing consultant and an expert web developer. Brad has also created 10 courses for Udemy which have helped over 470,000 students and earned him an instructor rating of 4.5 stars.

Over the span of 6 ¼ hours, Brad will take his students through all the basics of using PHP to build dynamic websites with topics including arrays, conditionals, operators, loops, and functions. In the final project, there is also an opportunity to build a dynamic website for an imaginary restaurant.

Although you can access the video content of this course for free, you can pay a small amount of money to get a certificate of completion at the end, along with full lifetime access! Overall, one of the best free online PHP courses on this list!

  • Beginner level
  • 6 ¼ hours long
  • Taught by a top-rated Udemy instructor
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access to video contents

Visit Udemy.com

9. Building Database Applications in PHP (Coursera)

Building Database Applications in PHP

Any web application would be incomplete without a secure, easily accessible database for storing important data. So if you want to get comfortable with integrating a MySQL database to your website using PHP’s Portable Data Objects (PDO) library, this course may be the right fit for you!

Charles Russell Severance, or ‘Dr. Chuck’, will be your instructor for this course who is a professor at the University of Michigan where he teaches courses in web development, among other subjects. 

Totalling 23 hours of on-demand video, students are taught the basics of building a ‘complete’ application, with topics including using the PDO library to connect to MySQL, issuing SQL commands in PHP, using cookies, managing session data, and much more.

Being hosted on Coursera, new students can enroll in this course for free, or opt to pay and receive a PHP certification at the end. Whatever option you choose, this is hands down one of the top classes on this list for building PHP applications.

  • Intermediate level
  • 24 hours long
  • Taught by professor with a 4.8 rating on Coursera
  • Financial aid available
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Coursera.org

10. PHP for Beginners – Become a PHP Master – CMS Project (Udemy)

PHP for Beginners – Become a PHP Master – CMS Project

Next on my list is a bestselling course on Udemy that will take you through all the foundations of PHP and give you practical experience by putting you through a full-scale PHP project. Taken by over 85,000 students, this beginner-level course has an average rating of 4.4 stars.

Your teacher for this free course will be Edwin Diaz, a software and web developer who has founded multiple online businesses ranging from application development to personal online schools. Edwin also has an instructor rating of 4.4 stars on Udemy along with 47 courses and 650,000+ students.

Through a whopping 37 ½ hours of classes, Edwin takes his students through a number of foundational and intermediate topics to make you a PHP master such as using MySQL, managing sessions, debugging code, object-oriented programming, implementing security measures, and much more.

You will also get the chance to develop your own Content Management System as a hands-on project, and earn a verified certificate of completion at the end!

  • Beginner level
  • 37 ½ hours long
  • Taught by bestselling Udemy instructor
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Udemy.com

11. PHP: Getting Started (Pluralsight)

PHP: Getting Started

If you are already acquainted with the syntax of a programming language, then this might be the online course for you if you want to dive into building server-side applications using PHP. 

In this online class, you will be taught by your instructor Christian Wenz, a web technology-focused consultant, and trainer with 8 courses published on Pluralsight alone. Christian’s courses have also received an impressive average rating of 4.4 stars.

In this 3 ½ hours long course, students become capable of working your way around PHP to build applications learning how to set up the language and install a web server along with the MySQL database, how to work with data, how to avoid common security-related pitfalls, and much more.

Pluralsight is offering you the opportunity to start a free 10-day trial whenever you want in which you can access hundreds of courses besides this one!  Overall, this is a great free course for PHP beginners to start building up their programming skills!

  • Beginner level
  • 3 ½ hours long
  • Taught by Microsoft MVP with 8 courses on Pluralsight
  • Free 10 day trial
  • Hands-on project included

12. Learn PHP (Codecademy)

Learn PHP

Are you looking to get comfortable with coding using PHP? This online course will help you do just that! Codecademy has developed this beginner-level course on the basics of the PHP programming language. By enrolling in this course, you will be joining a community of 45 million+ Codecademy learners.

Instructors for this course will be provided for you by Codecademy itself who recruits the top industry professionals to develop its courses, making sure they not only have a solid grasp on the subject matter, but also know how to communicate it to large audiences.

In 25 hours, students of this online course are introduced to all the basic components that make up coding in PHP including using variables, implementing functions, using built-in functions, working with arrays, conditionals, and loops, building classes and objects, and much more.

You can access the basic course completely free or pay a monthly subscription fee to gain access to a whole range of features like real-world projects and a certificate of completion!

  • Beginner level
  • 25 hours long
  • Taught by top industry professionals recruited by Codecademy
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access to basic contents

Visit Codecademy.com

13. PHP OOP: Object-Oriented Programming for beginners + Project (Udemy)

PHP OOP: Object Oriented Programming for beginners + Project

Have you ever found yourself stuck after learning the basics of the language? If you answered yes, this intermediate-level online PHP course will help you fix that. After all, you cannot reach an advanced level in PHP application development without knowing how to do object-oriented programming. 

As for your instructor, you will be taught by Edwin Diaz, a serial entrepreneur who started out as a web and software developer. Edwin has published 47 courses on Udemy and taught more than 650,000 students, earning a rating of 4.4 stars.

Through 18 ½ hours of learning in this course, students are guided through OOP concepts necessary to take your application development to the next level with topics including database classes, user classes, sessions, uploading and using files, the CRUD method, working with ADMIN, and much more.

You should take advantage of a limited-time discount of 91% offered on this course to gain full lifetime access along with a certificate of completion. Overall, this is a highly-rated, expert-led online PHP course that is not to be missed!

  • Intermediate level
  • 18 ½ hours long
  • Taught by highly rated Udemy instructor
  • Limited-time discount of 91%
  • Certificate of completion
  • Full lifetime access

Visit Udemy.com

14. PHP Fundamentals (Pluralsight)

PHP Fundamentals

If you’re interested in getting started with programming in PHP in the entire LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) environment,  you should head over to this course on Pluralsight! The course has been reviewed by 337 students giving it a great average rating of 4.6 stars.

Jill Gundersen, a freelance software developer who has expertise in web application development using the LAMP stack, will be your instructor for this course. Jill has developed 5 courses for Pluralsight that have received an average rating of 4.6 stars as well.

In this beginner-level 5-hour course, students will learn to develop applications using PHP in the LAMP environment, learning topics such as PHP arrays, classes, database integration, functions, form processing, control structures, and much more.

With Pluralsight, you have the option to start a free 10-day trial in which you can explore hundreds of other courses, and upgrade through a small subscription fee to get a certificate of completion!

  • Beginner level
  • 5 hours long
  • Taught by freelance web developer
  • Free 10-day trial
  • Certificate of completion

15. Getting Started with PHP Unit Testing (Treehouse)

Getting Started with PHP Unit Testing

No matter how useful your application is, if it is riddled with bugs and errors and crashes after every few clicks, you will never be able to convince anyone to use it. So if you want to avoid getting into this situation, you should try out this intermediate-level course on Treehouse.

Your instructor for this course will be Alena Holligan, a software developer who has been working in this technical field for the past 20 years and is currently the senior software engineer at Lumen Learning. Alena has developed the curriculum for 30+ online courses.

In this 1.5 hours long course, Alena will take you through all the basics of Unit Testing in PHP that will make you comfortable with PHPUnit, test-driven development, code coverage, and test doubles. You will learn by testing a number of existing projects, and much more.

Treehouse offers a free 7-day trial to all new users so you can definitely take advantage of that to complete this entire course for free!

  • Intermediate level
  • 1.5 hours long
  • Taught by programmer with 20+ years of experience
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Test real-world projects

Visit Teamtreehouse.com

16. #PHP (freeCodeCamp)

#PHP

Next on my list is a repository of resources on freeCodeCamp to get you started with PHP take you through endless hands-on exercises. Not only will you find useful learn-as-you-go styled articles, you will also be updated with the latest industry trends.

This online collection includes contributions from 20+ different authors, each of whom are experts in the PHP programming language and have spent focused energy on developing high-quality tutorials and exercises for you to learn new skills in PHP.

Spanning a total of 32 posts, lucky students will find articles, tutorials, and video lessons that will take you through a wide range of exercises in PHP including setting up contact pages using Laravel, building a keyword density tool, setting up a LAMP server, creating an Instagram clone, and much more.

Best of all, freeCodeCamp has made all of these diverse and highly informative resources available to students for free, so you can sit back and learn at your own pace!

  • Beginner/intermediate/advanced level
  • 32 posts
  • Articles, videos, and tutorials
  • Developed by PHP experts
  • Numerous real-world exercises

Visit Freecodecamp.com

17. PHP Web Application Security (Pluralsight)

PHP Web Application Security

Rounding out my list is an incredibly helpful course to teach you all you need to know to improve the security of your PHP-based web applications. With a high average rating of 4.5 stars, this is a must-do course for anyone who is serious about PHP and web development!

In this online class, your instructor will be Christian Wenz, a highly experienced web developer who is Germany’s first Zend Certified Professional. Christian has authored 8 courses on Pluralsight and through these earned an average rating of 4.4 stars.

In this intermediate-level 5 ¼ hour class, Christian teaches his students everything about security in web applications, helping you understand the risks, how attacks are initiated, how to protect against cross-site scripting, how to use certain PHP features to implement strong security, and much more.

Hosted on Pluralsight, you can take advantage of a free 10-day trial to gain access to this course, and bring yourself up to date with the latest industry trends! Overall, another fantastic course to build up new PHP language skills! For more, also see my guide on Go Programming!

  • Intermediate level
  • 5 ¼ hours long
  • Taught by veteran web developer
  • Free 10-day trial of Pluralsight
  • Access to hundreds of other courses

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