Well I was thinking about this for a long time … Its been 4 years in my life since I was first introduced to this beautiful world of internet and its been 10 years now that I have felt and am still fascinated by how the world of computers work.
The world of computing has made rapid advancements in the last one decade or so and most of them have been in the field of the ever evolving INTERNET .The internet has evolved like a fast growing Macrocystis pyrifera . Well I used the name because this is the fastest linearly growing organism on this planet.(Search wiki for that .. :P) .But Internet has not grown linearly it has evolved in different domains completely indepent of other stuff but all liking towards the same cloud of TCP/IP and other Protocols.
Web has been a revelation is human beings life. Through it you can find any information on this planet by just a click of your mouse and a KeyPunch on your keyboard.The information available on the internet is huge and people are still adding to it every second (like me … writing this blog entry … :P) in the forms of wikis , tweets , applications , and god knows what not. People are just a click away… life is governed by protocols like HTTP, TCP , FTP …
So you guys might be thinking now what goes behind all this … how are we able to provide all the information over the web how are we able to connect ourselves to the internet.The answer lies in the Web Server . A small program that even you, me and anyone can run on his personal computers and open to ourselves the portal towards sharing our information to the people.
With the recent evolution of internet marketing and web browsers and people’s understanding of internet almost everyone in this world is trying to publish his/her page on the web … everyone is looking for an internet presence.I have a lot of my friends who come to me just to get themselves a nice website hosted over the web.Well having made a lot of websites and being an evangelist by nature I always think that everyone should be atleast this much Internet Literate that they can create a web page of their own and can host it on an intranet or over the larger INTERNET.
So here is just a sneek peak I’m giving into this beautiful world of web development and web designing.Remember the two are completely different terms and you should not be confusing between them . Web Designing is justa subset of the broader term called Web Development.
So for the beginers I have this package which will guide you through all the steps of Installing and configuting a web server and writing your first website.
So the things that you would be needing are :
- A web server
- A web scripting language compiler or interpreter.
- A database (.. well its always helpful to use a database.. u’ll understand why )
- A text editor
- And yeah .. I love it … a Cup of Coffee.(… well I prefer Mocha.. just joking).
So for all these thinngs you can go and search the internet you will get tools for all the things listed above but since its for the beginers so I would suggest that you go for a web server package which contains all the stuff listed above and is very easy to install and configure.Some of the famous web server packages are
XAMPP, LAMP, WAMP . These are some of the standard web server packages available and are freely available on the internet.All of these packages have support for web scripting languages like PHP, Python, Perl. The above mentioned packages also come with support for MySQL Database alongwith a very handy databse manager called PHPMyAdmin.
Ok so once you download your package you gotta install it on your machine.Thats as simple as installing Winamp on your new PC.So all you gotta do is to run the setup file and all will be done and you will be ready with your web server running on your machine.
Note:During the installation you may be asked to fill in the username and password at certain places .Just fill up those things and remember them for future use.
So now you are done with a web server. Ok now I’ll tell you a thing I hided from your guys … you actually don’t need a web server to run your first web page.But you know what you won’t love it either .. coz you won’t be able to get the feel of internet and won’t even be able to show to your friends through your IP Address.Well that sounds cool and geeky.
Ok so moving on … now that you have your webserver ready and running on your machine . Why not just check it. Go to your favourite web browser and just type in http://localhost/ . Until and unless you haven’t realy played aroud with the web server installation or you didn’t encounter any error during istallation , all you would get is your web server’s welcome screen. For different packages its different.
So now what next.Ok now you need to write some HTML code … this is what you call static coding.Actually you don’t even need to write that code .. with teh presence of so many WYSIWYG Editors these days you can just chose something like Adobe Dreamwaver, Microsoft Expression Web, Aptana and you can easliy design your web page there .But still learning HTML is the first thing one should do before cloimbing up the ladder of HTTP. So for that you can refer to this beautiful collection of tutorials related to the world of internet W3Schools HTML Tutorials .On this site you’ll find many tutorials realted to the latest internet technology and can use them as you climb up the ladder…(.. hey that looks like my new punch line .. ) . Ok go there and learn some basic HTML stuff like writing your Hello World!!! program and then save the file in the root directory of your web server. For XAMPP its htdocs/ inside the xampp/ folder. For others its usually www/ folder inside the application folder. Now once the file is kept in the and say you have named it hello.html then you can open it on your web browser by typing in http://localhost/hello.html .And wooh you have your first web script running right there.And yeah if you wanna show it to your pals over the internet then just go and lokup your IP in your system network settings and just open the link http://<your IP>/hello.html . Cool isn’t it. Try it out and comment here how you felt abou it. I am sure you would be overwhelmed after showing your first web page to your friends.
So now enough of static stuff lets get to some more geeky stuff… ie Programming. Although there are a lot of programming languages avalable over the internet for designing and developing web site backend but some of the popular ones are … PHP , ASP, JSP, Python, Ruby on Rails and Perl to name a few.But for beginers I prefer that you start from PHP as is pretty popular amonst the web development community and you can easily get tutorials and free scripts to modify your code plus on top of that its pretty easy to comprehend too.
So for writing PHP Code you can again refer to your W3Schools web site for a PHP tutorial and can get coding. Make a simple form and try and using the values end by it using PHP and the you can use you imagination to expand it.As always keep these files in you root directory and save them with an extension of .php and open it using a web browser.Once fully loaded you will see your first PHP script running and fully rendered by the web browser.You can share the link as always and can comment here about your experiences with it. I love when people say woooh after making a web page.
So , in future post I would be listing some common PHP techniques and some links to important resources for web developers. So keep watching this space for more updates . You can bookmark this link or can subscribe to its RSS feed for timely updates.
If you liked the above article do comment about it and yeah you feedbacks and suggestions are always welcome as they will help me in improving it for the coming readers. Do share the links with your pals and show them how easy it is to run your own website.
Cya guys soon next time .Till the happy coding…