Hosting a PHP test website locally
Previously, when we first started web development years ago, we always edited html locally (on our computers hard drive), and tested it via opening it with a browser. This does work the majority of the time however when we started to look at developing with server side code (especially php) I found that the browser had problems reading it locally.
PHP, for those who do not know, is a language, a step on from HTML, enabling you to send information to a server and allowing it to send things back to effect the information displayed on that page. You can also store this information in a database, which sits on the server. All these are useful features - this blog for example is run by Wordpress which uses PHP.
When we discovered that PHP didn't work on our local servers we didn't have time to look into it and to get around the problem, we simply used to FTP the php files up to an internet host and tested from there. Now that's all well and good but after a while it becomes a little tedious to keep having to save a file then go to the browser, then upload it. Then we found these:
These are tutorials in which you can install php (and in the first one MSQL) to your local computer. We realize these are for Apple Macs so apologies PC people (not getting into a debate about that right now! If anybody can recommend a link on how to achieve this on a PC please leave a comment).
After installing php on your local computer, you can then develop a php site, and database, locally - simply saving a php file, flicking to a browser and refreshing. When the site is ready then you can upload it for the world to see. This saves you time (and therefore money - donations gratefully accepted ;).
Below are some useful links to the tools we use for web development be aware these are all for Apple Mac's):
What no Dreamweaver? No sir! we write everything from scratch. In my view its the only way to ensure clean best practice code with each site that is produced. If you've never done it, get your hands dirty chaps - you never know you might enjoy it!
So these are how we "do" websites. Can anybody throw anything else into the mix? Feel free to make a comment below...