How to Build a Database Driven Web Site
If you ever want to create a state directory, article directory, dating site or link directory, you need to know about creating database driven web sites. This may seem like a daunting task at first, if you have never done it, however I was in the same boat as you. It is not as difficult as you think.
Benefits of building database driven web sites
-Store vast amounts of information about your products or services.
-Efficient data sorting and retrieval
-Complex queries and statistical analysis performed relatively easily
-Separate site design from site's content
-Create new pages on the fly without manually creating or editing new web pages
-Makes it easy for client to post content, update records without the need to know html or rely on a web developer.
-Advanced search capabilities
-Attract repeat visitors with fresh and constantly updated content.
-Update site information online without the need to upload web pages.
-Site maintenance greatly reduced.
-Enhance web interactivity
MySQL - to retrieve information from a database, you first need to have a database. That's where MySQL comes in. MySQL is a relational database management system, or RDBMS. It's a software package that is very good at organizing and managing large amounts of information. MySQL also makes that information readily accessible by using a server-side scripting language like PHP.
PHP - this is a server-side scripting language. With PHP installed, your Web server will be able to read a new file (called a "PHP script") that can retrieve information instantly from a database and insert it into a web page before sending it to the browser that requested it. PHP is completely free to download and use.
Check with your current Web host. Make sure they have already installed MySQL and PHP on your Web server. Most web hosting companies already have it installed. If not find a web host that provides this service.
Steps to building a database driven web site:
You will be building a link directory site using a mySQL database and the WSN Links Script (a PHP script). Here's an example of the "Colorado Business Directory Site" that was built, based on following the 7 steps below:
1. Check that your web host has PHP 4.10+ (or PHP 5) and MySQL 3+ installed on the server.
2. To create the mySQL database on the web server:
-login to the cpanel of your server ie domainname/cpanel
with your user name and password.
-click on 'MySQL Databases' icon.
-enter database name
-click 'add db'
-click on 'go back'
-under 'Users' enter user name and password for database
-click 'add user'
-click on 'go back'
-click on 'add user to database'
You should now get the reply that your database installation was successful.
3. Download the PHP script files to your desktop at: WSN links - http://www.isitebuild.com/cgi-bin/a/t.cgi?wsnlinks
4. Extract files from the ZIP folder and save them to a folder on your computer.
5. Upload all the extracted files to your hosting space
6. Set the correct permissions for your files.
7. To complete the installation and to customize the script, read the manual at:
You can continue to customize or edit your site online by accessing the admin panel within your web site.
Adding, sorting, retrieving, searching data, creating new pages, links etc can now easily be accomplished.
Congratulations!... you successfully have built yourself a database driven web site.
Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com Affordable Web Site Design and Web Hosting. Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles. firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more of his in-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles
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