Learn how to create an interactive Web site, allowing visitors to post and retrieve information provided by you or your site’s visitors. In this six-week online course, you’ll see how to create dynamic Web pages using the PHP programming language and the MySQL database server.
During the course, you’ll walk through the development of a complete content management system Web application. You’ll receive clear, step-by-step, instructions demonstrating how to create a complete Web site capable of dynamically displaying data from a MySQL database.
You’ll discover how you can allow your site’s visitors to add new information to an online database, search through posted data, and create meaningful printed reports. By the end of this course, you’ll have plenty of useful code templates that will help you create your very own dynamic, Web-based, content management system.
Lesson 01 – What Is PHP?
These days, people expect the information on professional Web sites to change continually and to remain up to date—even up to the minute. In this lesson, you’ll start learning how to produce dynamic Web pages that can do just that. We’ll begin exploring the Web application we’ll be building throughout the course—one that will result in a complete content management system that you can adapt for any future Web sites you create. You’ll see how the PHP programming language presents dynamic data, and how the MySQL database server stores it. We’ll also dive into the world of WAMP servers, the engine behind dynamic Web sites. Finally, you’ll take a big (but easy) step forward by downloading and installing a WAMP server on your own computer.
Lesson 02 – Basic PHP Programming
Discover how to incorporate PHP programming into your Web pages to dynamically produce content on your Web pages. You’ll see how to store data in variables, and use mathematical operators on data to write programs that can manipulate and display content on your Web pages.
Lesson 03 – More PHP Programming Features
A key aspect of dynamic Web applications is the ability to process data and make decisions based on the data. We’ll examine some PHP statements that allow you to alter the content in your Web pages based on data values in your PHP programs. You’ll also learn some techniques for simplifying the programming process by using loops to handle multiple data elements, as well as how to include common code files in all your Web pages.
Lesson 04 – Creating a MySQL Database
In this lesson we’ll use the popular phpMyAdmin Web-based tool to create database objects. We’ll first examine how data is organized in a database, then we’ll create the actual database and tables necessary for the course project data.
Lesson 05 – Creating a Dynamic Home Page
The core of the Recipe Center application is the Web page template. In this lesson we’ll walk through the HTML and CSS code required to display the dynamic content that our PHP code will generate.
Lesson 06 – Displaying Database Content Dynamically
In this lesson we dig into the nuts and bolts of dynamic Web programming. We’ll use PHP code to retrieve data from MySQL tables and display it on the Recipe Center Web page. Now you can control what appears on the Web page simply by changing data in the database!
Lesson 07 – Allowing Visitors to Enter Data
Allowing visitors to post information dynamically is a great feature to add to your Web site. In this lesson you’ll see how to create HTML forms for entering data, then work on how to retrieve the data and insert it into the MySQL table using PHP code. This will make your Web site even more attractive to visitors!
Lesson 08 – Implementing a Simple Search Engine
This lesson walks through the basics of implementing a simple search engine in your dynamic Web application. Providing the ability for visitors to quickly search and retrieve data stored in the database is a great feature to add to your site, and you’ll see how to do that with just a few extra lines of PHP code and some SQL magic!
Lesson 09 – Producing Attractive Printer-friendly Pages
Despite the efforts of Web programming, the world hasn’t quite gone paperless yet. Because of that, you’ll need to provide a printer-friendly version of your Web application so visitors can print information. In this lesson you’ll see two different ways to provide a printer-friendly way of displaying the dynamic content from the Recipe Center.
Lesson 10 – Controlling User Access
Restricting access to data on a Web site is a vital feature for many Web administrators. This lesson shows how to use PHP to control access either to an entire Web site, or to just specific features on the Web site. This lets you control who can update data on your site, helping to block comment spam often posted in blog sites.
Lesson 11 – Backing up and Restoring MySQL Data Files
Being able to restore data in a database is a crucial function in any dynamic Web site. This lesson demonstrates different methods of backing up and restoring data in the MySQL environment. You’ll learn not only how recover data into an existing database, but also how to migrate data from one MySQL server to another.
Lesson 12 – Implementing Paging
All Web sites that provide access to lots of data implement some way to page through the data. In this lesson, we implement a paging algorithm that allows our site visitors to page through all of the data records in small chunks. This is one of those features you can add to help make your Web site look more professional.
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