PHP Web Development

PHP Web Development

Thu 20 December 12 Comments are Closed

What is PHP? PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. If you are new to PHP and want to get some idea of how it works, try the introductory tutorial. After that, check out the online manual. Our servers at Imageway have been heavily optimized to run PHP as quickly as possible.

We suggest before publishing your PHP website to our servers you create a local test environment where you can test your PHP website first.  If you have a Windows desktop, then we suggest you use WampServer (http://www.wampserver.com/en/). This software is a Windows PHP web development environment. It allows you to create web applications with Apache2, PHP and a MySQL database. Alongside, PhpMyAdmin allows you to manage easily your databases.  WampServer allows you to test your PHP project against various versions of PHP and MySQL very easily. If you are using Linux, Unix, or MAC X then we suggest you use XAMPP (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html) for your PHP test environment.

If you install “WampServer” or “XAMPP” on Windows or Mac OS X, be sure to edit the MySQL database “my.ini” configuration file, and add (or change) this line:

lower_case_table_names=2

Once you edit the “my.ini” be sure to restart WampServer or XAMPP.  This needs to be set before you create any databases for a project.  The reason you need this set on Windows or Mac OS X is because we run Linux/Unix servers which are case-sensitive. We have our servers set to “lower_case_table_names=0”, which means MySQL will operate and create things in a case-sensitive way.  Windows or Mac OS X (by default) is not case-sensitive, and you could run into issues when you convert projects created on Windows PHP/MySQL to PHP/Linux/Unix MySQL.  The way to avoid this is to set “lower_case_table_names=2” on your test server.  For more information please see: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.5/en/identifier-case-sensitivity.html.

For writing your PHP code we suggest you use Netbeans (http://netbeans.org/), which is available for multiple operating systems. Netbeans is a complete IDE (integrated development environment) that allows you quickly and easily develop desktop, mobile, and web applications in various languages. For more information about NetBeans features for PHP check out: http://netbeans.org/features/php/index.html.

A software framework is a universal, reusable software platform to develop software applications, products and solutions. There are several PHP frameworks, but the one we suggest is CodeIgniter (https://ellislab.com/codeigniter). We suggest this framework because it is a simple framework to use, and has a small footprint (less overhead to slow down your program). The larger fuller frameworks can be slower because of the additional overhead (with the exception of the C based framework Phalcon).

If you want a software versioning  and revision control system, then we currently offer “Subversion”. Subversion can be setup on your existing Imageway hosting account by contacting us.  We will setup the server software for you, so you will have the ability to connect and access your own running Subversion server. If you have a Windows desktop, then we suggest using TortoiseSVN (http://tortoisesvn.tigris.org/) to interact with the subversion server. If you want a good paid solution that works with multiple operating systems, then we suggest looking at SmartSVN (http://www.smartsvn.com/).  In addition, Adobe Dreamweaver has built in Subversion support. For more information about using subversion with Dreamweaver, check out: http://helpx.adobe.com/dreamweaver/kb/subversion-resources-dreamweaver-cs4-cs5.html.

Lastly, do not forget to program using good PHP security practices. A good website to start with is: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/PHP_Security_Cheat_Sheet#DRAFT_CHEAT_SHEET_-_WORK_IN_PROGRESS

All of the above will help you get started with creating PHP applications. Our servers have been heavily optimized for PHP and MySQL through various methods. So once your application has been developed and tested locally, you can upload all the data to our servers so it will be available on the Internet for everyone to use.

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