Chapter 1. What Is PHP—And Why Should I Care?
One of the first things most people want to know about PHP is what the initials stand for. Then they wish they had never asked. Officially, PHP stands for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It's an ugly name that gives the impression that it's strictly for nerds or propellerheads. Nothing could be further from the truth.
PHP is a scripting language that brings websites to life in the following ways:
Sending feedback from your website directly to your mailbox
Uploading files through a web page
Generating thumbnails from larger images
Reading and writing to files
Displaying and updating information dynamically