PHP is not all about outputting tables of database information - using the built-in libraries, a variety of graphics formats are easily available, as well as PDF and Flash, and you can use these to really make an impact.
Not all image formats are made equal - choose your output method wisely.
A key advantage of PHP's image extension is that you can perform all your drawing in memory, and only output the image in a given file format at the very end. Do not forget, though, that you are allow no extra line breaks in your PHP script, as this will be interpreted as part of the picture file and will almost certainly cause a problem!
Always, always, always clear up your image resources before your script ends, as they chew up a lot of memory and will eventually cause your system to grind to a halt if you do not free up the resources.
Copyright ©2015 Paul Hudson. Follow me: @twostraws.