Simple PHP Best Practices

This post is intended to make you think a little bit more about some of the habits you may have formed whilst programming. It is not the nirvana of programming, nor best practice, just a few little ideas to help you along the way.

1. Use descriptive variable names
Arguably this is the hallmark of the inexperienced or just plain poor programmer. Using variables names such as $x or $y makes a major sacrifice in readability for a negligible performance improvement.
Remember, variable names are cheap whilst programmer time is not.

2. No commented out code
Sure, commenting out code makes sense if you do not use a revision control system (like CVS/SVN/Git/etc) however – why on earth are you not using a revision control system?
Leaving commented code behind tends to clutter files and reduces readability, – especially in those hard times on a console and don’t have the luxury of an editor with syntax highlighting and large resolution.

3. Write control structures as you would say them
It is all too easy to make control structures (if, switch, while, etc…) unreadable. An easy trick to improve readability is to read it to yourself, from start to finish; this forces you to read it anew and clears up strange comparisons such as: ‘!$security_check===false’.

4. Use single quotes (‘) by default and double quotes only when you want to put variables in your string
It’s the little things…