We can think of programs as series of instructions to be performed by the computer. So far in each of our PHP programs, each step has been explicitly laid out in the order we want it to happen.

Sometimes we’ll have a group of actions we want to repeat in a program. In these situations, we could copy and paste the lines of code we want to run again, but this isn’t very efficient. Instead, we should use functions.

A function is a set of instructions we package as a unit, often with a name, so that we can reuse it. We define a function by writing out the series of steps that should happen whenever we use the function. To use the function we call or invoke it.

In this lesson, we’re going to start learning the syntax for defining and invoking PHP functions. We’ll start with simpler functions and work our way to more complex ones. If this is your first time working with functions, it can feel like a big jump. Take your time and be patient with yourself.


Take a look at the video—it shows how much simpler we can make a recipe by providing a single word to represent a set of instructions, eg. “chop”.

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