Posts Tagged "databases"

PHP Web Space

HTML is an incredibly powerful tool for creating webpages in its own right. But it’s limited. It’s just a markup language. You can’t do any complex calculations with HTML alone, because it doesn’t execute. You need a scripting language for that—and one of the best is PHP.

What is PHP?

PHP has become the de facto standard language for web applications because of its combination of ease of use and power. PHP code is run entirely server-side, allowing CPU-intensive tasks to be performed without worrying about your users’ ability to handle them. This means that—given good web space—complex applications don’t need to place any more burden on their users than ordinary web pages.

If you have the ability to write your own PHP code, then of course that opens up an incredible number of options for you. You can do almost anything, given that you have the skills and resources.

Using PHP Platforms

But if you can’t code in PHP, there are huge numbers of high-quality scripts available to you, both open-source and proprietary. There are forums like the free MyBB or the paid XenForo. There are blogging platforms like WordPress. You can even set up an entire website with ease using a PHP-powered CMS like the free, open-source e107.

For more advanced users, you can set up a wiki with a solution like MediaWiki, or even use a full-fledged e-commerce system like Magento. Any of these can easily be extended with plug-ins or themes, as well. Using PHP, it’s very easy to create a website that fits your precise needs.

PHP Web Space

But what does your web space need to have available if you want to run PHP-based apps? Well, for starters, there’s the obvious: your hosting provider needs to run a recent version of the PHP parser.

The current version is 5.4.12, as of the time of this writing—though you may want to check that information yourself. Your host needs to be running as recent a version of PHP as possible for best results; most current apps don’t absolutely require the latest and greatest version, but older, unsupported versions can hamper performance and create security holes.

Databases

Databases are critical too. Simple applications can work with flat files, but larger ones need to be able to quickly and easily organize and work with large amounts of data. SQL variants are the most common variety of database engines that you’ll need support for if you just want to run existing scripts.

In particular, SQLite and MySQL are compatible with the vast majority of publicly-available PHP software packages. Your web space should provide you with a well-maintained SQL server running up-to-date versions of the software in question. You should also have the ability to create and use several databases. At least three databases are good. Unlimited is better, even if you don’t intend to use them immediately. It’s about room to grow. Your plans can and will change as time goes on, and you should have the ability to expand your website the same way you expand your business.