Why you should learn basic PHP

A lot of people come to WordPress with no web development experience whatsoever. In fact, that’s how I started with WordPress and now I’m a web developer.

But one of the difficulties with coming to WordPress with no web development experience is that it can be difficult to change, extend or even fix your website. And trying learn things like CSS, PHP and JavaScript when your site is broken is not an ideal situation.

So, if you’re good with your site right now, and whether or not you’re using Sports Bench, you should learn at least basic PHP to give yourself a lift up in case you need it.

It’s not that hard to learn

In the grand scheme of things, PHP really isn’t that hard to learn. Yes, it’s a real programming language, and it can seem extremely daunting. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that.

But once you start to learn it, it all becomes pretty easy to learn. If you start with the PHP for Dummies book or something similar, you start out small, learning the basic syntax of PHP, and then working your way through bigger items, like conditionals, loops, object-oriented programming and so on. You gain confidence early so you can tackle the bigger items later.

And also remember you don’t need to know complex PHP to start working with WordPress and Sports Bench. While more advanced developers say this is a fault of WordPress, honestly the best part about it is the fact that you don’t need to be an advanced developer to start working with the content management system.

So don’t use the excuse that it’s too hard to learn, because the reality is that PHP is pretty easy to learn.

Confidence to handle problems

At some point when you’re working on your site, something is going to break. It stinks, but it’s a part of the web.

But, if you know basic PHP, you’ll have the confidence to solve those errors when they arise. You’ll know how to read the error statement, how to go to where the error is and how to fix the problem. And even if you don’t know the exact solution, you’ll still have a general idea of what to fix.

And that means that your site won’t be down as long and you won’t be as reliant on help from others as you would otherwise be. And that’s a big plus for every one.

You can extend Sports Bench to meet your needs

And as this all pertains to Sports Bench, learning PHP will allow you to extend the plugin. Yes, the plugin does a lot, but maybe you need something that’s outside of what Sports Bench does right now.

If you know even basic PHP, you can make that extension by yourself and be in control of it. That’s better than having to pay someone, or me, to make that extension for you.

And you can make Sports Bench into something of your own — something unique. You can take it and change it so that it looks and feels like your site. And that’s a really cool feeling.

So if you’re using WordPress and/or Sports Bench, I highly encourage you to learn at least some basic PHP. It’s not that hard and it’s really going to help you in the long run.