Advanced web space with PHP and MySQL
A hosting solution with PHP from One.com is your best starting point for a user-friendly and advanced web site. The MySQL database along with PHP makes up the ideal combination for the development of web sites with varied and rich, interactive user experiences. These are tools that can be used to attract your visitors to spend more time on your web site and to stimulate the customers interest in purchase if you have a web shop on your site. PHP and MySQL are included in all web space subscriptions with One.com.
For example, PHP hosting at One.com provides access to the following elements:
- PHP 5
- MySQL database
- Advanced dynamic websites
PHP and web development
To communicate with a computer, you must use a language the computer understands. Therefore a program is constructed in a certain language that is understandable by the computers that are going to run the program. The text that makes up the software is normally called the program's "source code", no matter if the program is executed for example locally on a computer, or on a cell phone. An example of a program that runs on a web server is One.com Web Editor that is located on a server and via the Internet accessible from any computer.
Programming with the purpose of making homepages is often called web programming or web development. One of the most popular web programming languages (also called script languages) is PHP. Combined with a MySQL database PHP can generally speaking be used for building websites of all types and sizes. By "dynamic" homepages, we mean that the content of the pages is changeable - and typically dependent on the visitor's interaction with the web site.
To those who are not familiar with programming, PHP scripts as such may seem like incomprehensible and meaningless characters. But PHP takes care that the source code is transformed into web pages with text, images and other content that makes sense to the human user.
HTML and static homepages
A website that is made up of HTML only is called a static website. Static means - roughly speaking - that all visitors of the website will see the same content every time. A dynamic website on the other hand changes its appearance and adapts to its users through one or more forms of interaction with the visitor. In practice, all websites consist of a certain part of HTML code that provides the visitor's browser a set of basic information on how the website's source code should be interpreted. But except from that, the majority of a website's content will often be dynamic and generated by scripts.
PHP and dynamic websites
With programming languages as for example PHP, ASP and Perl it is possible to develop dynamic websites. This means that a website's content and appearance can be programmed to adapt itself to each individual visitor in a way that everybody no longer see the same unchangeable website.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the original and most fundamental code that the pages of the Internet are made of. HTML is still used for the basic functions, but since the first use of HTML in the beginning of the 1990'ies several other web technologies have evolved which are capable of much more than HTML.
PHP was invented by the programmer Rasmus Lerdorf in 1995 and has attained enormous popularity as the leading open source web technology. PHP and MySQL being open source means that their source code is freely and openly available to developers around the world and that they are free to use.
Dynamic websites provide lots of advantages. The user can interact with the website in more complex ways by for example making a purchase in a web shop, writing a message on a blog or in a guestbook. Examples of advanced dynamic homepages are discussion boards, blogs and web shops - to say nothing of the most famous PHP based web site: Facebook.com.
When an Internet user enters the web site, a series of information is exchanged between the user's computer browser and the web site that is located on a server and accessible via the Internet. The browser reads the HTML-code it finds on the web site and transforms the code to text, images and movies that make sense to the human eye.
Web shop with PHP and MySQL
A typical use of the dynamic possibilities with PHP and MySQL at One.com is a web shop. PHP will register that you put an item into your shopping cart. PHP generates some HTML-code with some text, perhaps also a table and some graphics that makes the content of the shopping cart appear nice and clear to the customer.
To fully benefit from PHP on the web site, you need a database. Many know about databases from working with Microsoft Office's database Microsoft Access. A database is used for storing data so the data can be taken out when needed. The database that works well together with PHP and is offered by One.com is called MySQL.
The items purchased in the web shop will finally be stored, for example as a series of item numbers in the MySQL database that is associated with the web space. As the transaction is completed, PHP will send a receipt email to the customer - possibly with an inventory status and delivery time. This is information that PHP can take out quickly and easily because it has all been stored in the MySQL database.
PHP - Also a good beginner language
It would be an exaggeration to say that everybody can learn to program their own web sites. But actually it has become easier than many think to create a dynamic web site with the web programming language PHP. Anyone who allocates the necessary time can get a long way by means of the extensive variety of guides and helping tools which are made freely available on the Internet.
PHP is a good place to start if for example you have some experience with HTML, though not ready to program it all from scratch. Online you will find a wide range of various user-friendly CMS (Content Management Systems) to use as a starting point for learning more about the strong team, PHP and MySQL, and about how it works together on a web server.
PHP and Open Source
PHP is open source, meaning that it is free to use for everyone. When we are offered something for free, we might often with good reason think: How can something that is offered free of charge be on par with a paid-for product? Open source as a matter of fact, is actually a well established philosophy and development method within the software industry. Open source programs are typically developed by a community of developers without a specific commercial aim.
Unlike other free software known as "freeware", "shareware" and "trial versions" etc., most open source products are available as full versions and are regularly maintained to be constantly up-to-date. For security reasons you should be aware of any updates that might have been released for PHP based applications you have installed on your web space yourself.
An example of a successful open source product is the office package OpenOffice - by many users regarded as an excellent alternative to Microsoft Office. As a matter of fact, One.com's server setup is based on open source too. That is Apache servers running Linux with MySQL and PHP installed. Altogether such setup makes up a highly reliable and scalable basis for web hosting.
PHP and Open Basedir
One.com's servers run with safe mode set to off and with open basedir set to on. Running PHP in safe mode is a widespread safety measure taken by many web hosting providers. However, running in safe mode does imply a number of limitations upon the system performance. One.com runs PHP with safe mode Off to be able to offer all customers as much of PHP's functionality as possible while at the same time giving safety a high priority. All scripts that work under PHP in safe mode will generally also work on a web space with One.com.
Read more: What is PHP safe mode and open basedir?