PHP Developer Skills – 20 Must Have Skills To Become A PHP Developer

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Since its introduction in the middle of the 1990s, the server-side programming language PHP has gained widespread popularity among developers. You may read articles these days predicting its demise, but the raw data suggest that this may be premature. PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites, including Facebook, Zoom, and Wikipedia, according to Additionally, the release of the most recent PHP version (7.4) in November 2019 is not indicative of a dying language.

In this way, despite the fact that it could be eclipsed by the publicity around Python and other quickly developing dialects, interest for PHP engineers is probably going to be major areas of strength for the time being. The problem is that there are also a lot of PHP developers; according to a recent Slashdata report, there are 5.7 million of them. In the event that you’re a maturing PHP designer, that implies you need to strive to stand apart from the group.

Now, it should come as no surprise that mastering the fundamentals of PHP is a prerequisite for becoming an effective PHP developer. This, of course, requires a solid understanding of the PHP programming language and its functions; however, once you have achieved this, you can increase your value by gaining experience with a variety of PHP applications and frameworks (like Laravel, Zend, and Symfony). 


Additionally, keeping up with the most recent enhancements and updates is essential because even experienced PHP developers may not be as adept at the most recent technology. Because they lack the resources to hire individuals for each specialist task, smaller businesses and organizations typically look for developers with a wide range of skills. Therefore, even though you might want to be an expert at particular advanced PHP tasks, it is always a good idea to remain a generalist.

PHP is a famous coding language that is utilized to keep up with and make dynamic substance like data sets and fabricate whole sites. Learning the skills of successful PHP developers can help you prepare for a job if you want to work in PHP development.

In this article, we talk about the skills of a PHP developer, give examples of skills for PHP developers, give advice on how to improve your PHP skills, and suggest ways to show off your PHP development skills.

On the PHP website, it states: PHP (the PHP recursive acronym: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular open-source general-purpose scripting language that can be embedded into HTML and is ideal for web development.

The PHP code is run on the server, and the client receives the generated HTML. For a beginner, it’s a relatively easy language to learn. Despite its simplicity, there are a surprising number of advanced features that any professional programmer with experience will appreciate.

PHP is the server-side programming language of choice for 79% of all websites. Popular websites like Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Wikipedia, and WordPress all use the language.

What is a PHP Developer?

Simply put, a PHP developer is a professional who uses the dynamic scripting language PHP to create applications, programs, and websites. Doesn’t that sound simple enough? The terms “software developer” or “web developer” are sometimes used to refer to PHP developers. PHP developers, on the other hand, are just one subset of developers.

A PHP developer is a skilled software developer who can use PHP, a general-purpose, dynamic scripting language designed specifically for web development, to write code that is both beautiful and fast. Using the PHP programming language, PHP development entails designing, testing, and putting software components into action. It gives developers the ability to quickly and securely write content that is generated dynamically.

A PHP engineer fosters the web application rationale on the backend parts and incorporates different modules and frontend work with the applications, interfacing outsider web administrations. They know how to use related technologies like AJAX, MySQL, JSON, HTML, and XML, among others. and additional PHP frameworks like Laravel and Codelgniter.

What are PHP developer skills?

As a web developer who uses PHP to write code for server-side applications, you can benefit from having PHP developer skills. Past the information and comprehension of the PHP language, a PHP designer can likewise involve abilities in other programming and web improvement dialects in a PHP advancement job.

20 must have PHP developer skills

You can use the following skills in your PHP development career:

  1. HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  2. PHP frameworks
  3. Database languages
  4. Web servers
  5. Content management systems (CMS)
  6. Graphic design software
  7. Knowledge of other programming languages
  8. PHP best practices and design patterns
  9. Composer, PSR, and PHPUnit
  10. Communication
  11. Project management
  12. Business acumen
  13. Collaboration
  14. Organization
  15. Time management
  16. Problem-solving
  17. Critical thinking
  18. Git
  19. Web designing
  20. jQuery

1. HTML, CSS and JavaScript

You can gain a deeper understanding of how coding languages interact with one another on websites by gaining a working knowledge of the languages used to create web pages, such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These programming languages can also help you gain experience in other aspects of web development, which you can put to use when applying for a PHP developer position.


JavaScript must be used by PHP developers. You can assess your interviewee’s JavaScript proficiency by verifying whether or not they have:

  • Created JavaScript code for site approval purposes.
  • Utilized cutting-edge JavaScript techniques and delivered innovative features with success.
  • Effectively planned frames and created dynamic front-end approval with the assistance of JavaScript.
  • Authored JavaScript code to carry out validations on the client side.
  • Utilized PowerShell to create automated scripts for modifying websites and running JavaScript code.


HyperText Markup Language is the standard language utilized for creating site pages. Because it is a formatting system, it describes how your website’s pages are laid out. You can determine whether your candidates are proficient in HTML by examining their abilities to perform the following tasks:

  • Utilized mobile-friendly HyperText Markup Language and a responsive design.
  • On Linux and Windows, worked on Ajax, HTML, MYSQL, PHP, and WordPress.
  • Utilized Bootstrap, HyperText Markup Language, JavaScript frameworks, and Cascading Style Sheets to create responsive, mobile-first templates and websites.
  • Utilizing HyperText Markup Language standards, successfully designed and developed web content in accordance with W3C standards to ensure cross-browser compatibility.
  • Purchased a domain name and used FileZilla FTP to manage files.

2. PHP frameworks

You can code more efficiently and accurately if you are familiar with PHP frameworks, also known as platforms. A lot of frameworks have features that let you use code from a PHP library, which can speed up the process of making an application.

It is essential to have a solid understanding of the core PHP language. However, your interviewees must also be familiar with the following frameworks and programming languages:

  • Frameworks like CodeIgniter, Zend, FatFree, Laravel, and CakePHP

3. Database languages

PHP is frequently used by PHP developers to create, update, and manage databases on the internet. Figuring out how to utilize information base dialects can assist you with playing out these undertakings effectively. PHP developers also benefit from having a general understanding of data best practices.

Programming in PHP involves a lot of large data resources and information collections. As a result, PHP developers must be well-versed in the various PHP frameworks.

You can examine your candidates for the following:

  • Their insight viewing a few datasets like Prophet, MongoDB, Postgresql, MySQL, and so on.
  • Whether they are able to combine various approaches.

4. Web servers

As a PHP developer, having knowledge of web servers, which is a component of full-stack programming expertise, can assist you in providing employers with a comprehensive approach to web development. You can gain server-side PHP experience by working with web servers, which can help you land a job as a PHP developer.

5. Content management systems (CMS)

You can create and maintain customized applications to streamline a company’s content management processes with knowledge and experience working with content management systems. Additionally, you can develop responsive plug-ins by utilizing your CMS expertise. Other employees at a company who use the system on a daily basis may benefit from your work on content management systems.

6. Graphic design software

Graphic design tools can be used by PHP developers to make graphics for apps and websites. You can work independently for a company or as a freelancer if you can create every part of a web app, from back-end coding to front-end graphics.

7. Knowledge of other programming languages 

If you want to stand out as a PHP developer in a competitive job market, knowing just the code won’t be enough. A strong comprehension of front-end programming dialects like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML is fundamental to have the option to recognize and address any mistakes in the website composition. 

You will also have a better understanding of how these languages affect the user experience (UX), which is the end goal of most programming projects. A familiarity with databases—primarily MySQL but also popular alternatives like PostgreSQL and Oracle—is also essential. The bottom line is that one important way to become a valuable member of any development team is to acquire and maintain a diverse set of technical skills.

8. PHP best practices and design patterns 

Design patterns are useful for developing any kind of software, including PHP. They can accelerate improvement by offering repeatable answers for normal issues. They also help make code easier to read because other developers will be able to recognize the patterns. Probably the most widely recognized plan designs in PHP applications incorporate Production line, System, and Singleton, however there are a lot of others to grasp with. 

In general, switching up your knowledge of the best practices for working with various PHP frameworks will help you save time. Make the most of the language’s extensive community and more than two decades of existence to avoid making the same mistakes as others.

9. Composer, PSR, and PHPUnit

Some of the tools that will help you become a better PHP developer are listed here. Your libraries, classes, and functions will be managed by Composer, a dependency manager that makes it simple to install different versions of each for each project. Additionally, Composer will check for and update these libraries (also known as “packages”). A list of pre-made packages that are compatible with Composer can also be found here. 

The PHP Standard Recommendation (PSR) is a PHP specification that aims to improve the interoperability of PHP components and frameworks and standardize PHP programming concepts. The PHP Framework Interoperability Group (PHP-FIG) is the organization that publishes it. 

There are currently 13 accepted standards, each of which serves a distinct function, and additional standards are being drafted. To help reduce the number of unnecessary variations in PHP code, developers of PHP should learn these standards and adhere to them.

PHPUnit, on the other hand, is a well-liked unit testing framework that automates testing of small sections of code against anticipated outcomes. Any PHP developer should use unit testing, which can be used in a Test Driven Development (TDD) approach, where tests are set up before code is written.

10. Communication

Communication skills can be crucial to completing work projects, whether you work independently or for a company in PHP development. You can use your written communication skills to convey information in emails and chat messages with coworkers in a meaningful way. You can communicate effectively verbally by using the appropriate tone and nonverbal cues to convey your thoughts.

It doesn’t matter how well you know PHP code; if you don’t know how to talk to other people, it might be hard to work well together on a project. You need to be able to communicate effectively with clients, coworkers, and supervisors in order to comprehend the objectives of the project or business, raise concerns, and explain how your work fits into the overall product. 

What’s more, recollect, regardless of whether you’re most agreeable when behind a screen, great correspondence implies talking via telephone, by means of video meeting or face to face as well as through email and informing applications.

11. Project management

Hiring managers may be impressed by your project management skills by your capacity to independently track and complete PHP tasks. The following are some more specific project management skills:

  • Leadership
  • Delegation
  • Risk management
  • Cost control
  • Quality management


During a project, leadership skills can help you manage other team


The capacity to delegate responsibilities to other people is one aspect
of project management.

Risk management:

You can complete projects with success if you know how to analyze and
manage business risks.

Cost control:

Another valuable skill for PHP developers is cost management.

Quality management:

You can manage coding projects by monitoring the quality of your own
work and the project as a whole.

12. Business acumen

Working as an independent PHP development contractor can be made easier if you have a basic understanding of business procedures and finances. It can likewise permit you to compose a seriously convincing introductory letter, as you can portray how your abilities straightforwardly assist a business with achieving its objectives or take care of an issue.

13. Collaboration

A team of other web development professionals is involved in many PHP developers’ projects. You can effectively contribute to collective projects if you can work well in a team.

14. Organization 

In careers in web development, deadlines can be common. You can write accurate code for timely delivery with organizational skills. You can also successfully manage your time with organizational skills.

15. Time management

PHP designers can chip away at various tasks, including composing new code and refreshing existing code for sites. You can stay focused at work and meet project deadlines with good time management skills.

16. Problem-solving

To fix code errors and keep a website or app running smoothly, PHP developers can use their problem-solving skills. You may also be able to collaborate with others to complete a web development project and solve problems throughout the project with problem-solving skills.

One way to become a high-level PHP developer is to learn the “hard” technical skills, but you won’t reach the top without the right set of “soft” skills. One of these is the ability to solve problems, which is essential for all web development. As a PHP developer, you’ll run into unexpected problems that you need to fix. 

How you handle those problems will have a big impact on how useful you are on a project. Writing high-quality code necessitates critical thinking—the ability to analyze and evaluate multiple approaches to a problem in order to select the most efficient one.

17. Critical thinking

The following areas of web development can benefit from critical thinking skills:

  • Web app planning and design
  • Debugging code
  • Adaptability

Web app planning and design:

The ability to think critically can assist you in developing a thorough project plan. Creating a comprehensive plan can assist you in avoiding logical code errors.

Debugging code:

Debugging or troubleshooting non-working code for syntax and logical errors is what PHP developers do. You can complete debugging tasks more successfully if you are able to think critically.


Having the ability to think critically can also help PHP developers adapt to new developments in web development and unanticipated challenges in coding projects.

At last, being versatile and ready to learn is significant. PHP, like all programming languages, is still developing, and businesses are more likely to employ developers who are up to date on the most recent language and application updates. Additionally, there will always be things you can learn from other people, even if you are confident in your PHP abilities. You’ll keep moving forward as long as you keep being curious and humble.

18. Git

Additionally, one of the eight hard skills that PHP developers must possess is GIT. Therefore, you can consider the following indicators to determine their proficiency with GIT:

  • Have your candidates developed java plugins using Jenkins, code configurations like Git, IT provisioning recipes, or other similar tools?
  • Have they been deployed with Git in production and provisioned in development using FTP and vagrant clients?
  • Do the people you talked to know how to create and use GIT repositories and manage software releases?
  • Might they at any point utilize the Git store to mechanize code the executives between creation, test, and advancement conditions?.
  • Do the PHP developers you hire know how to create the custom bash scripts needed to put code from the Git repository on production and staging servers?

19. Web designing 

Your developers must also be able to deal with PHP scripts; They should also be able to carry out the responsibilities of a web designer. Therefore, you must determine whether your PHP web developer is aware of the following:

  • Web design principles
  • How to create the right look and feel of a website.
  • User interface knowledge
  • Networking skills
  • CSS customization
  • Chrome dev tools
  • System design process
  • Front-end web page

20. jQuery

The use of JavaScript on websites is made much simpler by the jQuery library. It wraps a ton of standard exercises into strategies and allows you to call the whole piece of code with only one line!

jQuery also makes AJAX calls and DOM manipulation easier to do. As a result, it would be helpful if you made it a priority to assess your candidates’ jQuery knowledge.

Follow the guidelines below to gauge your PHP developers’ jQuery expertise.

  • Do they use jQuery to create dynamic front-end validation?
  • Do they have previous experience designing jQuery libraries?
  • Can the jQuery validation library be utilized for form validation by your potential PHP developers?
  • Did they ever make use of jQuery to improve the form’s functionality and user interaction?
  • Can they use jQuery to create an AJAX-based web-based user interaction framework?

What are the skills required to become a PHP developer? 

A good PHP developer must be able to draw from a wide range of relevant skills in order to meet all of the aforementioned requirements. Here is a rundown of the most required mastery and gifts:

  • PHP, obviously, regardless of whether it’s right at the beginning. It’s a start.
  • Familiarity with MySQL, jQuery, and Ajax.
  • You need to know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript if you want to work as a full-stack developer.
  • Unix/Linux, MVC Framework Architecture, and APIs.
  • Understanding PHPUnit, a unit testing framework, and CakePHP, an open-source web framework.
  • Photoshop or a comparative plan device
  • Great relational abilities
  • A talent for critical thinking
  • The capacity to fundamentally think

The last three recorded abilities go under the classification of “delicate abilities,” ones that are more connected with character attributes, rather than “hard abilities,” which are abilities that can be measured and instructed. Simply put, certain personality types perform better in PHP development than others.

If you already work as a developer but want to learn PHP, you should think about upgrading your skills. Your continued career success becomes dependent on additional education and training. When you consider that one in four IT professionals are concerned that their skills may become obsolete, this becomes apparent. Upskilling yourself in PHP also makes you more valuable to your employer. Naturally, if your new skills are not appreciated by your employer, you will need to look for a new position elsewhere!

How to improve PHP developer skills?

You can enhance your PHP developer skills in the following ways:

  1. Take a web authoring course
  2. Stay informed of new developments
  3. Learn about databases
  4. Learn to code
  5. Reflect on your communication habits

1. Take a web authoring course:

You can either take a class to learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, or you can enhance your existing abilities in web development.

2. Stay informed of new developments:

Web development is a rapidly expanding field that is constantly changing in response to new technologies. You can remain current on new dialects, cycles and instruments to work on your possibilities getting recruited as a PHP designer.

3. Learn about databases:

You can take a class or do your own research to learn more about database management and languages if you don’t know them well.

4. Learn to code:

By challenging yourself to complete projects, you can practice regularly and improve your PHP and other language skills.

5. Reflect on your communication habits:

Reflecting on ways to improve your professional communication is one way to improve your written and verbal communication skills. You might be able to identify areas in which you can improve.

How to highlight PHP developer skills?

In your cover letter, resume, and job interview, you can emphasize your PHP skills in the following ways:

  1. PHP developer skills for a resume
  2. Version control
  3. Database design
  4. APIs
  5. Model-view-controller architecture

1. PHP developer skills for a resume:

The following is a rundown of abilities you can remember for your
resume to feature your PHP improvement capacities:

  • jQuery
  • LAMP
  • Jira Agile & Git
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Efficient at project management
  • Strong communication
  • PHP
  • JSON
  • CSS3
  • HTML5
  • JavaScript
  • Ruby
  • Python

2. Version control:

A program can be edited simultaneously by multiple people using version control software.

Cleaning the data: The process of evaluating data for errors and removing records with errors in order to improve the validity of data in a database is known as data cleaning.

3. Database design:

You can create and maintain databases for employers with the assistance of knowledge of database design principles.

4. APIs:

Experience with application programming connection points can assist you with making, keeping up with and investigating programs at work as a PHP designer.

5. Model-view-controller architecture:

A prevalent program design pattern in web development is MVC architecture.

What are the PHP developer skills for a cover letter? 

Include PHP skills in your cover letter by following these guidelines:

  1. Show your experience
  2. Use your resume as a guide
  3. Make your cover letter specific to the position
  4. Describe your strengths and how you are an asset

1. Show your experience:

You can utilize explicit instances of activities you’ve chipped away at to assist you with appearing, as opposed to tell, your involvement in various dialects and cycles.

2. Use your resume as a guide:

Matching your cover letter to your resume by briefly describing your work history, accomplishments, and abilities is another method for writing a PHP development cover letter.

3. Make your cover letter specific to the position:

While it can be useful to write a cover letter that can be used for any job, a cover letter that is specific to the position you want could increase your chances of getting an interview. Use the job posting to find out what skills are needed for the position, and make sure your resume and cover letter include those skills.

4. Describe your strengths and how you are an asset:

Hiring managers can tell that you’re an enthusiastic candidate who has a track record of producing high-quality PHP code by describing how your skills can assist the potential employer in completing projects, increasing productivity, or improving efficiency.

What are the technical and soft skills of a PHP developer?

Here are the key skills of PHP developer that you must acquire in order to become a full-time PHP developer:

Technical Skills:

  • Frontend technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • PHP web frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, etc.
  • Web servers and database languages
  • Graphic design software
  • Content management system
  • Object-oriented PHP programming
  • Code versioning tools like CVS, SVN, Git, etc.
  • Familiarity with SQL/NoSQL databases
  • MVC design patterns
  • Integration of databases and data sources into a unified system
  • Open-source projects like Drupal, Joomla, etc.
  • Integration with third-party APIs like Facebook, Google, etc.
  • Preferably, a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Engineering, etc.
  • Using XML, HTTP requests, JSON parsing, package installers like pecl, etc.
  • Automated testing frameworks like PHPUnit etc.
  • Data structure and algorithms
  • Email and messaging apps
  • Knowledge of AJAX, jQuery, MySQL
  • Writing T-SQL queries, stored procedures, triggers, functions, etc.
  • Scaling and tuning database applications, modelling, performance optimization, etc.

Soft Skills:

  • Project management
  • Problem-solving
  • Innovation and best coding practices
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Critical and out-of-the-box thinking
  • Upgrade skills and adapt to changes

What are the PHP developer skills for a job interview?

You can send an interviewer examples of code you’ve written for previous projects before the interview begins. A potential employer may be able to gauge your PHP and web development project expertise from this.

Additionally, you can bring additional copies of your cover letter and resume to an interview with a hiring manager. You can prepare to share your knowledge and skills during a job interview by studying potential questions before the interview.

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