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Bring Your Web Site to Life With PHP

By Shelley Lowery
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004

PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor, better known as PHP, is a
highly popular, server-side scripting language that can be
embedded directly into HTML coding.

PHP can do anything that CGI can do, such as process form
data and auto generate dynamic content, but PHP can do much
more.

It can be used on all major operating systems and supports
most web servers.

PHP is used by inserting PHP code inside your web page's
HTML code. When the page is called, your server
automatically executes the code. What's more, your visitors
don't need any special plug-ins for the code to run, as it
will be displayed just like your HTML coding.

As PHP is a server-side scripting language, although your
visitors will not need to install any new software, PHP
must be set up on your server.

Following is a very simple script that will test your server
to ensure PHP is installed. It is a standard PHP function
called phpinfo, which instructs the browser to print out
information in regard to the set up of your server.

To use the script, simply copy the following three lines of
code and paste them into a plain text editor, such as Note
Pad.

Note: To enable the code to display properly, a period has
been added following the opening bracket. You'll need to
remove this period prior to using the code.

<.?
phpinfo();
?>

Save the file as phpinfo.php and upload it to your server
where you store your HTML files.

To run the script, simply point your browser to the script
address. It should look something like this:
(http://www.yourdomain.com/phpinfo.php)

If PHP is installed on your server, you will be presented
with a page of information about the PHP installed on your
server.

If PHP isn't installed, you will be prompted to download the
file. In this case, you'll need to contact your web host and
ask them to install it, as it is free to download and
install.

You can learn more about PHP and download it at
(http://www.PHP.net).

If you'd like to try some PHP scripts on your site, here are
some great scripts to get you started:

PhpAdsNew - Rotating Ads
(http://phpadsnew.com/two/)

If you'd like to have a rotating ad system on your web site,
this great script is an open-source ad server that provides
a professional ad management and tracking system. Not only
can you rotate banner ads, but you can also rotate buttons,
pop-ups, text ads, DHTML banners and much more.

PHP Message/Quote of the Day
(http://www.interaction-design.org/scripts/quote_of_the_day/)

If you're looking for a simple way to display a "Quote of
the Day," this script is for you. It consists of a simple
script that's easy to customize. You simply add any number
of quotes, tips or whatever you'd like, into the database
and the script will display a new message each day.

BMachine - Blogging
(http://boastology.com/)

Would you like to start your own blog? This script will
enable you to do just that. It's loaded with features,
including calendar, file attachments, event display,
unlimited categories, IP blocking, referrer tracking, search
and much more.

Clicks Counter Pro - Link Tracking
(http://www.clicks-counter-pro.com/)

Testing and tracking your marketing strategies is an
important part of doing business. Clicks Counter Pro is a
PHP script that will enable you to track your clicks,
downloads and advertising campaigns with real time
statistics. Very reasonably priced.

Link Department - Link Indexing
(http://www.hitcode.com/products/linkdept/)

If you've ever wanted an easy way to set up a link indexing
system on your site, this script may be your answer. Link
Department will enable you to easily create and maintain a
link directory. The system is fully manageable and
completely template driven, so it will easily blend in with
your existing design.

PhpDig - Search Utility
(http://www.phpdig.net/)

If you would like to enable your visitors to search your
site, PhpDig is a web spider and search engine utility you
can install on your web site. This powerful script indexes
your pages and builds a glossary of keywords found in the
page.

PhpBB - Bulletin Board
(http://www.phpbb.com/)

PhpBB is a fast and efficient, highly customizable, open-
source bulletin board system. This highly professional
looking system will enable you to create an interactive
community on your web site and keep your visitors coming
back again and again.

To learn more about PHP, visit the following web sites:
(http://www.alt-php-faq.org/)
(http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/)

To find more PHP scripts, visit the following web sites:
(http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/Scripts_and_Programs/index.html)
(http://php.resourceindex.com/Complete_Scripts/)

PHP is a freely distributed open-source language, which
means if you would like to learn the language, there is a
wealth of information available on the Internet to assist
you. Why not give it a try? You may be surprised how easy it
really is to write your own scripts.

Copyright © Shelley Lowery

About the Author
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design
course, Web Design Mastery. (http://www.webdesignmastery.com)
And, Ebook Starter - Give Your Ebooks the look and feel of a
REAL book. (http://www.ebookstarter.com) Visit Web-Source.net
to sign up for a complimentary subscription to Etips and
receive a copy of the acclaimed ebook, "Killer Internet
Marketing Strategies." (http://www.web-source.net )