PHP Groups

Rafael Dohms and Michelangelo van Dam

PHP Groups is a worldwide network for PHP user groups. We provide an open forum for PHP user groups to share information and best practices from group formation to meeting organization to financials and sponsorship. Our goal is to network all PHP user groups into a tighter community (albeit a loose association), making each group more aware of the others, and, eventually, help to share resources among the user groups in our network.

PHP Groups is currently a small grass-roots effort with many possibilities for networking PHP user groups together. It is my hope that the user groups themselves will decide how this network can be beneficial to those involved.

From the original PHP Groups wiki, 2006

Initiatives Growing Out of PHP Groups

UG.Admins Mailing List
Perhaps the greatest initiative to come out of the PHP Groups project is the ug.admins mailing list. The mailing list has light traffic (a handful of posts each month), but it has become an important resource for PHP user group organizers. If you’re a PHP user group organizer and you’re not subscribed to the list, send an email to to subscribe. After subscribing, send a message to to introduce yourself and your group.
#phpgroups IRC Channel
Another great resource to come out of the PHP Groups project is the #phpgroups IRC channel on the Freenode network. It’s a quiet channel, but it’s a great place to have occasional conversations about organizing PHP user groups.
PHP.UG User Group Map
Indirectly related to the PHP Groups project, Andreas Heigl created the PHP.UG user group map. Most PHP user groups worldwide are located on this map. If you’re looking for a nearby user group, be sure to check the map, and if your group isn’t on the map, add it.
Branching from discussion on the ug.admins list, Christopher Pecoraro of the Palermo PHP User Group is working on a badge system to gamify participation in PHP user groups.

History of the PHP Groups Project

In March 2004, Chris Shiflett wrote a blog post about Atlanta PHP. He closed his post with:

After having been contacted a few times now regarding PHP user group creation, I have realized that we, the PHP community, need something similar to Perl Mongers.

Shortly thereafter, Chris registered the domain name, paying homage to Perl Mongers. A mailing list, hosted by New York PHP, was set up and had a little traffic at first, but it eventually grew stagnant, and the project went into hibernation.

Two years passed, and, after successes with Atlanta PHP and over discussions at the first PHP Appalachia, I felt the need to resurrect the project as a PHP user group network. By this time, Chris was now the owner of, and after some discussion among members of OINK-PUG, Nashville PHP, Triangle PHP, and Atlanta PHP, the fledgling network decided to use the new moniker “PHP Groups.”

Thus, on 12 Oct 2006, PHP Groups was born. Since I was silly and in love with press releases at the time, I published a press release on 7 March 2007.

I later set up a simple website with forums, and a couple years later, I created the user groups page on the official PHP wiki and redirected the domain to this wiki page. I also asked for a ug.admins mailing list on the PHP project’s mailing list servers and moved all our forum discussion to the ug.admins mailing list.