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7 Reasons to Use WordPress for Your Next Website

7 Reasons to Use WordPress for Your Next Website

The days of being held to ransom by expensive web developers are over. At LeadGeneratorsDigital, we’re amongst the many progressive web design teams building innovative, intelligent, powerful, and incredibly quick-to-market WordPress websites. Here we share just seven of the many good reasons why we recommend WordPress to our clients.

The process of building a website has, traditionally, been enough to send a shiver down the spine of any Marketing Manager or business owner – it’s perceived as being complicated, expensive, and fraught with difficulties. And, in the past, this has indeed been the case, with website projects often stalling for months and even years. I’ve seen so many business owners’ entire operations languish at the mercy of developers building sites using “complex” development platforms such as Joomla, Magento, Drupal, etc. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As Experienced Web Designers and Developers, at LeadGeneratorsDigital We Favour WordPress.

Without exception, our clients have reaped the rewards of being able to achieve a professional website with powerful functionality, impressive flexibility, and the ability to get to market in an incredibly short time. The industry trend towards WordPress has been rapid and decisive and, for my money, it’s not hard to understand why. It’s quick and easy, powerful, and flexible, it keeps your development costs very low and allows you to expand and adapt your site organically as your business grows. Based on our recent successes we have compiled a list of seven compelling reasons why we love WordPress and why we are increasingly recommending it to our clients.

WordPress is Quick, Easy and Robust

Our clients are always thrilled (and more than a little surprised) with just how quickly we can get a beautiful and professional WordPress website up and running. Even with its robust and solid functionalities, from inception to completion we can create a large corporate site in a matter of a month or two, as opposed to several months or even years.

It Puts You in Full Control of Your Website

The trend towards WordPress means that there is now a huge pool of skilled developers trained in the platform, while other, more complex systems are seeing fewer and fewer developers who can code and build. This means that while development costs for other systems keep increasing, WordPress developers are coming down in price. This is good news for website owners, as it means that WordPress allows for more choice and more freedom to walk away from a slovenly or expensive developer that you are not 100% happy with. Instead, you’ll be able to find a good, low-cost replacement quickly and easily – which puts you in full control and back in the driver’s seat of your website, while also reducing costs.

Dynamic Functionality

WordPress affords you a veritable and seemingly endless smorgasbord of functionality options with ready-made plugins that allow you to achieve even the most ambitious business visions. Instead of upgrade requests being complex and taking days or weeks to deliver, our clients who are using WordPress are usually delighted how little time we need to implement so many of their upgrade requests. And that means that we can usually deliver on these requests the same day or the next.

Easy Editing

The biggest complaint we have heard from our clients with non-WordPress sites over the years is how difficult, complex, and time-consuming their old Content Management System is. It seems that most CMSs are built by techniques, for techniques – and we humans are somehow a necessary irritant. This makes even the simplest editing job a time-consuming nightmare and many of our clients complain that they are spending all their time trying to understand their website, rather than improving it.

In contrast, the WordPress CMS is a breath of fresh air that is far more intuitive, very user-friendly, and much easier to learn.

You can tell that WordPress was designed by humans, for humans, and I love hearing from my clients how much easier their lives have become with their new WordPress websites. All of a sudden, working on their sites becomes a pleasure and they can put more of their time and energy into being creative, rather than frustrated.

WordPress is SEO Friendly

Being passionate about SEO, we just love how search engine friendly WordPress is by default. It allows for the quick and easy implementation of SEO opportunities that seem almost impossible to implement on other website platforms. And as we run Search Engine Optimisation programs for many of our clients, that makes it so much quicker and easier for us to get them ranked well in Google.

Google Loves Your WordPress Site

Everyone’s out to impress Google and WordPress seems to have caught the eye of the search giant.

Conspiracy theories aside, it seems that Google has a bit of a love affair with WordPress. We have noticed for a long time already that it is so much easier to get great rankings with WordPress sites. This is important; as it helps our clients achieve much bigger and broader marketing and sales objectives with much lower budgets.

WordPress Offers Responsive Web Design

WordPress is nothing if not flexible and its responsive capabilities mean your website will look and function just as well on a mobile phone or tablet as on a desktop computer or laptop. You can rest assured to have a fully responsive website from the get-go.

 

The Need for Automated Website Monitoring
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The Need for Automated Website Monitoring

The Need for Automated Website Monitoring

 

Internet

Typically, every website is tested thoroughly before it goes live for the public to make sure that it works fine without any disruptions. No matter the geographical location and network connection of the users, the website must provide continuous accessibility and stable performance for users. Yet, many times its uptime & performance will not be the same as it should. Several factors such as design, coding, network, servers, and even web traffic influence its working and affect user experience with the website. For any website, monitoring its uptime & performance is not easy because it requires tracking several site components and third-party services that the website is depending on. Unless a holistic check is made on networks, servers, custom website metrics, and others, it is less likely to draw conclusions on website downtime & performance issues.

Can website monitoring be a manual process?
Some website owners have their own methodologies for checking the website. Visiting the site will tell them whether it is working or not, but with manual methods, they cannot identify why the site is truly down. Also, it is less likely they can figure out how long the site is down for users. With a manual process, it is less practical to realize the issue the moment it happens because it is hard for humans to survey their website continuously for 24×7. Even if they inspect the site once a while, they can only check its availability at that time. Also, they cannot analyze performance issues at every point of their site functionality.

Are free tools helpful in website tracking?
As a site owner, when you rely on free tools for website monitoring, you should remember that you are compromising on many things that are critical to your online business. As these tools are typical of low quality with limited ability to test websites, you may not get a holistic report on all site parameters and third party services involved. Since most of these tools are function-specific, even to test a few parameters, you may need to deploy more than one free testing tool. The tools allow only basic features but if you want to assess the functionality of several key aspects of the website in one context, they may not support. There are also some free tools that can help understand the site response under different traffic loads, but the downside of using them is they cannot anticipate downtime and alert like automated monitoring systems. So if you are choosing a free tool for monitoring your website, remember they are good only for comparing and getting exposure to several services but not for real monitoring.

The convenience of working with an automated monitoring solution
When you are using an automated monitoring solution, you are having a business protection tool employed 24×7 for your website against downtime issues. Unlike a manual process, automated systems allow continuous monitoring of websites for uptime & performance and notify immediately when the site is down. It also evaluates the working and performance impact of external dependencies like hosting, CDN, and other third party services. Website issues may occur anywhere in the functionality, identifying of which is difficult even if you are technically sound. The good part of the automated system is, even a person with a non-technical background can track the data about their servers and networks that are associated with their sites. The service provides a detailed report on several site components and load & response metrics that allows site owners to easily detect and troubleshoot performance issues.

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WordPress Blogging Tips to Help You Get Started

WordPress Blogging Tips to Help You Get Started

 

If you want to start a blog, WordPress is probably the easiest and most user-friendly application you can use. There are even simpler options -such as using a free online blogging service such as Blogger.com, but then you really don’t have much control over your own site.

With WordPress, you get the best of both worlds -an easy to understand the platform and unlimited features that enable you to grow your blog and add bells and whistles as you learn.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

First, I should point out that there are two WordPress. They are run by the same company, but WordPress.com is a service that hosts your blog for you -like Blogger, Tumblr, and other third party sites. These are often called Web 2.0 sites. There’s nothing wrong with creating your blog this way, but it does limit you in some ways.

When you use WordPress.com or any Web 2.0 site, you don’t own the blog. You are simply renting space on it. This means that the host can delete your blog at any time. This happens if you are deemed in violation of any TOS (terms of service). It’s surprisingly easy to do this, even without meaning to.

For example, WordPress.com does not allow you to make your blog commercial in any way. So if you want to start a business or even make a few extra dollars every month, this is not the way to go.

Another reason why WordPress.com and other such sites are not ideal is that you will have a harder time with SEO and generating traffic than if you owned the blog. That’s because most of the “link juice” generated by your article will go to the host rather than your specific site.

That’s why WordPress.org is what I’m going to focus on here. This is when you buy a domain, get hosting, and start your own blog.

Choosing a Domain and Web Host

Your domain is your URL -the address of your website or blog. If you haven’t chosen one yet, you will have to do this first. If you don’t have web hosting either, you will also need this. You can combine these if you want. Many web hosting companies offer you a free domain when you sign up for hosting.

When choosing a web hosting company, it’s good to pick one that has a lot of experience with WordPress. If you really want to be sure of this, you might go with WP Engine, a company that specializes in WordPress. They are, however, a little more expensive than most web hosts.

If you want to save money, you can still find a good web host that can support your WordPress site. Bluehost, for example, is highly recommended for this. They are even recommended by WordPress itself.

One suggestion I will make here is that, whatever web host you choose, try to pick a plan that gives you unlimited domains/websites. Sometimes one host will offer several different plans. The difference in price is usually only a few dollars per month.

The point is that creating WordPress blogs can be addictive! You will probably not want to stop with one. So you may as well have a hosting plan that lets you create as many as you want.

When choosing a domain, try to keep it short and simple. If you want your blog to rank well in the search engines, choose some good keywords in the title. These are words that people will actually search for when looking for information.

If your domain is something like Bobsblog.com or Marysblog.com, you will have a personalized name but not one that is likely to help you with SEO (search engine optimization). This is of particular importance if you intend to sell something. If you only want a blog to share with your friends, family members, co-workers, etc. then it’s not important.

How to Install WordPress

Installing WordPress is quite easy with most major web hosting companies. You usually use a script installer such as Fantastico or Softaculous (your web host probably has one of these -looks on your control panel). You can then install WordPress in a few clicks.

I don’t want to waste too much space here describing the steps of installing WordPress because you can find this at your web hosting company. There are also numerous articles and videos on this topic.

What Should You Blog About?

This doesn’t seem like it should be a problem, but many people experience “blogger’s block” after writing a post or two. I’m assuming that you’ve already chosen your topic. After all, if you can’t even think of a topic, it’s not really a good time to start a blog yet!

But even when you have a topic that interests you, it can be challenging to think of actual posts to write. For this, you may need to do some research for inspiration. Here are some ideas.

    • Set Google Alerts -You can get emails from Google that will deliver news to your inbox based on some keywords you choose.
    • Amazon -Check out what books are popular. Also, check out their magazine section!
    • Other Blogs -check out Google Blogs and see what others in your niche are writing about. You don’t want to copy them, but you may get ideas you can put your own spin on.
    • Offline Books and Magazines -Go to the library, bookstore, and magazine section at Barnes & Noble (or wherever magazines are sold). Read newspapers. These are all great sources of ideas.
  • Consistency is the Key to Success

If you have a blog, you have to write blog posts! This is really the most important “secret” to having a successful blog, believe it or not. You hear a lot today about “quality content,” which is, of course, important.

If you are populating your blog with auto-generated or spun content (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it -you’re better off!) you won’t get very far. The search engines are quick to recognize this as low-quality content. However, you do have to generate posts on a regular basis.

Forgetting about the search engines for a moment, when a visitor sees that a blog hasn’t been updated in months, he or she is likely to conclude that it isn’t very active or relevant. You probably do the same when you are looking up new sites online.

Search engines also love blogs that are frequently updated. It also gives you more content for them to index. Let’s say a few words about SEO, as long as we’re on that topic.

The Vast Universe of WordPress Plugins

Once you get more familiar with WordPress, you may want to start looking into more advanced features. This often means adding plugins. These are tools that you upload to your WordPress site to perform a variety of functions.

Plugins can be used for security, SEO, to create forums or membership sites, to place contact forms on your site or hundreds of other things. Plugins give you the ability to accomplish many tasks that would otherwise require advanced knowledge of coding.

There are so many plugins for WordPress it would be impossible to keep up with them all. At first, you may not think you need any plugins -and this is true. Yet it’s so easy to use them that you may as well get your feet wet and install some basic ones.

You can access the plugin’s settings from your WordPress dashboard.

    • Akismet -This anti-spam plugin is already included when you install WordPress, but you have to get an API key to activate it. There are instructions on how to do this.
    • Google XML Sitemaps -This makes it easy for Google and other search engines to index your posts and pages.
    • W3 Total Cache -This is a great plugin to help your site load faster and operate more efficiently. It does this by caching posts, pages, databases, scripts and other elements that take up space.
    • BulletProof Security -Helps keep your site safe from attacks. This is important, as hackers often target WordPress sites.
  • WordPress SEO by Yoast -Makes it much easier to optimize your site for the search engines.

The above is a very abbreviated list of what you can do with plugins. If you have any particular needs or ideas for special features for your blog, chances are there’s a plugin that can help you achieve this.

WordPress: The Perfect Place For Your Blog to Evolve

What makes WordPress so amazing for bloggers is that it can help you at any stage of your blogging career. For rank beginners, it makes it easy to set up a barebones blog. Advanced users can play with all the configurations and plugins.

Yet WordPress is still just a tool. It’s up to you to come up with awesome content so people have a reason to visit your blog!

What is the best web hosting for a WordPress site? There are many options, but there is one clear choice if you want real experts in this field. If you have a WordPress blog, you’ll want to check out the Best Web Host for WordPress [http://www.blogging-tips.info/wp-engine-expert-hosting-for-wordpress-sites/].

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ron_Aldrich/113140

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7510480

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Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

Whether you’re just getting you business started and you are still learning how to improve your online presence or you have had a site for a while and you just aren’t happy with it, you may have heard of WordPress and might be wondering what WordPress is. Simply put WordPress is a publishing platform used for building websites and blogs. It allows for a highly customizable user interface. WordPress powers millions of websites worldwide, and many big brands use WordPress: CNN, PlayStation, New York Times Blogs, People Magazine, and even Ford- they all use WordPress! A pretty impressive list of users, if it’s good enough for the big boys, it’s good enough for your site. Still not convinced?!?

Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

 

Reason 1: WordPress is not going anywhere

As an open-source CMS (Content Management System) it has taken the world by storm – as of August 2011, “14.7% of the top million websites in the world” are powered by WordPress. WordPress is often praised by web designers, web developers, and users alike for its ease-of-use. This is part of the reason it has become so popular, and why its growth just keeps on accelerating. I love stats, so here are a few more good ones: two years ago, WordPress was used by approximately 8.5% of the top million websites in the world, so to jump from 8.5% to 14.7% in one year alone speaks volumes for how popular WordPress is becoming, and how much people love this platform!

 

Reason 2: WordPress is no longer just for blogging.

A long time ago, when someone said WordPress, everyone automatically thought of blogging. While it is still the best solution to use for blogging, it has come a long way and has become a very comprehensive Content Management Suite used to power many different types of websites, including business sites, job boards, sites featuring classified ads, etc.

 

Reason 2: WordPress is cost-effective… it’s free!

It would cost a lot of money to have a custom CMS developed that could do the same thing that WordPress does; so why not save money with WordPress? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, with WordPress being freely available and customizable. Like WordPress, the plugins are generally free as well. These plugins are usually not only free but open source as well. This means that like WordPress, you can edit them if you need to.

 

Reason 3: WordPress is Flexible

A great thing about WordPress is, as I mentioned above, that it’s completely open-source – which means that the source code used to run WordPress is available to the general public. This means that anyone on the planet can modify the code if necessary and customize WordPress even further to be what they need. Often, this isn’t necessary, but it also means that any plugins and themes (templates) created for the platform are also open source! Imagine a world-wide community working together to add more features and functionality to WordPress – you’re not limited to only being able to use specific employees or developers to produce customizations, which means it’s a powerful CMS system ready to do what you need it to, it’s flexible and easy to customize.

 

Reason 4: WordPress is SEO friendly

Search engines such as Google love WordPress because it uses well-written code. If you’re looking to get a head start with Search Engine Optimization, WordPress is the way to go for your website and/or blog. While I am on the topic, adding fresh relevant content to your website is easy with WordPress which is highly recommended as part of your online marketing strategy since it tells search engines that your site is alive and well, thereby increasing your website’s rank and your chances of being found via organic searches.

 

Reason 6: WordPress Has Cheap Premium themes

Themes are what provide WordPress with its design, it’s what connects the CMS to the end-user. WordPress is very flexible and adaptable. While there are some pretty good free themes, I have found that for $70 bucks the good premium themes are simply worth every penny. Most need almost no customization!

 

Reason 7: WordPress Makes it easy to find a solution.

Plugins are basically add-ons that can be easily installed in the WordPress dashboard area to add features that are not part of the core code. If you need a specific feature or features that are not built-in, there are literally thousands of plugins available to enhance WordPress’ functionality. In almost every case so there is likely a solution already developed for anything you need – the possibilities are literally limitless!

 

Reason 8: WordPress is supported by a worldwide community.

Because WordPress is open-source, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are working to help make it better. You will find WordPress has a very actively supported worldwide community of WordPress developers, and users! WordPress is updated regularly, with new functionality, bug fixes, and security fixes. Also, because there is such a large community surrounding WordPress, any developer can work on a WordPress-based site to update it, make changes, etc., so you will never be held ransom by any one designer or developer. YOU own your website!

 

Reason 9: WordPress is easy to use!

This is maybe my favorite thing about WordPress. You don’t have to be a technical genius to learn how to use WordPress. I always tell my clients: if you know how to use Microsoft Word, (and let’s be honest who doesn’t?) YOU WILL be able to easily update the content on your WordPress site. You don’t have to be a web designer to update your content. That’s the magic of WordPress! Beyond editing content, WordPress offers a backend administrator interface that’s visually easy to navigate and very effective. Everything is organized in a logical manner, so it’s easy to find what you are looking for, whether it is adding/editing a page, Adding/editing a post or article, uploading images, managing users, etc. WordPress is the best Content Management System to use to build your website!

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_P_Mon/1320866

 

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Upgrade WordPress – Should You Click the Button?

Upgrade WordPress – Should You Click the Button?

Many people with a WordPress website wonder what to do when they see the notice in the WordPress admin prompting them to upgrade to the latest version.

 

Upgrading WordPress yourself can be as simple as clicking a button, but things can go wrong. Many people take it for granted that all WordPress websites should use the latest version. There is some risk involved, so it’s worth considering why it’s worth bothering – and what you can do to minimize the risks.

 

The latest major release of WordPress was version 3.3, released in December 2011. As well as the new features for WordPress developers, there are loads of improvements to benefit the average blogger or website owner:

 

  • My favorite new feature is the hover menus in the WordPress admin navigation, which gives you single-click access to any screen. It sounds simple, but it’s a big improvement that rather than having to click – for example – pages, than wait for the page to load, THEN clicking ‘Add New’, NOW you can hover over pages and immediately click ‘Add New’ in the flyout menu. As a WordPress designer, this has already saved me a huge amount of time and it will help you too.
  • It’s easier than ever before to upload images and other media via the single upload button in the WordPress toolbar. The drag and drop media uploader allows you to drag and drop files directly from your computer into the WordPress admin, rather than having to browse to the file’s location.
  • Whenever you add a new feature, a pointer tip appears to provide useful information on how to use the feature.
  • Touch support has been improved for those using iPads or other tablets to manage their WordPress website.
  • Version control has been improved for larger companies with multiple users editing the same pages and posts – the improved co-editing support locks posts who are being edited by someone else.
  • And more.

 

Website security is constantly evolving. Hackers are constantly working to discover and exploit loopholes, and WordPress developers are continuously working to close them. The latest version will usually have a number of important security fixes to protect your website. The responsible thing to do is to update to the latest version and protect your WordPress website.

 

Upgrading WordPress should be as easy as clicking a button, but things aren’t always that simple. Things can sometimes go wrong – for example, the new version might not be compatible with your website theme or some of the plugins. The worst-case scenario is that upgrading WordPress could actually break your website.

 

Problems are most likely to occur if:

 

  • Your website is particularly complex or has a lot of plugins installed
  • You haven’t updated for a whole and are running a particularly old version of WordPress, your website theme or any of the plugins

 

If any of this applies to your website then it might be worth getting a professional WordPress designer to upgrade WordPress for you. This is less likely to be necessary for simpler sites.

 

Upgrading WordPress will affect all files and folders included in the main installation, including all the core files that run WordPress and the plugins that come pre-packaged with it. If you have made any customizations to these files then your changes will be lost.

 

It’s not best practice to modify the core WordPress installation anyway, so if you have done this then I suggest that you find an alternative way to achieve what you’re trying to do. If you don’t know how then any good WordPress designer can help you with this.

 

Follow the instructions in the WordPress Codex to upgrade WordPress with minimal risk. This includes instructions on backing up your WordPress website before upgrading, so you have something to roll back to if anything goes wrong.

 

I would add a further precaution to make things extra-safe. As well as backing up your site, create a separate test site – this is basically a duplicate of your live site that you can test any changes on (i.e. upgrading WordPress) before applying the same changes to the live site. Although backing up is a good backup option (excuse the pun), restoring your WordPress site to a backed-up version is a hassle so it’s best not to let things go wrong in the first place. Upgrading WordPress on a test site first is the way to do this – as with any other major changes you make to your site at any point.

 

I’d also recommend checking that each of your plugins is compatible with the new version. You can do this by finding the plugin in the WordPress Plugin Directory and checking the compatibility box in the right-hand column.

 

Another tip is to wait a week or so until after a new version is released before applying the upgrade to your website. This gives the WordPress plugin developers and theme designers a chance to test their work with the new version and to release a new version if needed, which you can upgrade to at the same time. Don’t leave it too long, though, as running on an old version of WordPress is too much of a security risk.

 

If you update WordPress and the worst does happen then there are some things you can do:

 

    • If you backed up your site then you can roll back to the previous version. If you didn’t, don’t panic! Your WordPress web host is likely to have made regular backups of your site. Although there may be a charge for this service, they should be able to roll the site back to a previous version before you made the upgrade. This will get your website working again, but you will still need to work out how to upgrade to the latest version without breaking it again.
    • You can try to identify the problem yourself by deactivating all the plugins and reactivating them one by one. If the problem re-occurs after activating a particular plugin then try deleting it and replacing it with something else.
  • If you can’t get to the bottom of the problem then you could ask a WordPress designer to get everything working properly again.

 

You may ask whether it’s worth the hassle, and I would say yes. Any upgrade carries a risk, but this is more than outweighed by the benefits.

 

Most WordPress designers offer a WordPress upgrade service and can do it for you, including full testing to make sure everything still works properly – this may be worth considering for complex sites with lots of plugins or custom features.

 

And if you do it yourself, follow the tips above in most cases, your upgrade will be successful.

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Katie_Keith/1370851

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Basics Of PHP

Practical Uses of PHP

It almost goes without saying that you will want your business website to be compelling, interactive, and secure. All of these characteristics will make your website more effective at bringing in and keeping customers. But how to go about it in a way that is stable, cost-effective, and easy to manage? One popular solution is to use the server-side scripting language PHP to help you solve those problems.

 

What is PHP?

Created in 1995, PHP originally stood for “Personal Home Page”, however it is now generally understood to mean “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It was originally designed to create dynamic or more interactive web pages. It is a widely-used, open-source, general-purpose scripting language. PHP is a “high-level” language, meaning that it’s generally more human-friendly (and easier to learn) than other programming languages such as C, ASP or ASP.net.

 

PHP was originally designed for use in Web site development but rapidly grew to become a much more robust language. PHP’s primary use is as an “embedded” scripting language, which means that the actual PHP code is embedded in HTML code. When used in this way, PHP enables your web server to process web pages before they’re displayed in the user’s web browser.

 

Benefits of PHP

 

PHP is popular because it can be embedded directly into HTML coding.

PHP can be used on all major operating systems and is supported on most web servers.

PHP’s main focus is development for the web, so it has a quick development time and can solve scenarios much quicker than some of the other web design languages.

The latest version of PHP is a very stable and mature language used for web programming much like Java and Microsoft C#.

It is open source so it is free!

Database: It is very easy to write simple scripts which allow your Web site to interact with a database.

Cross-Platform: Both the PHP engine and the PHP code can be used on almost any platform, making it extremely versatile.

Development Tools: You only need a text editor to work on PHP; you do not need any development environment or compilers.

 

What can you do with PHP?

PHP generally runs on a web server, taking PHP code as its input and creating Web pages as output, however you can also use it for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. PHP is an extremely versatile language which enables you to create high-end, stable Web sites with plenty of bells and whistles. Here are just a few of the things you can do with PHP:

 

Make HTML Web Forms

Store Information in Databases

Remember Web site visitors (cookies and sessions)

Work with Arrays

Work with Files (File Management and downloads)

Parsing and Generating XML (also useful for large quantities of products on e-commerce)

Check which browser your visitor is using

 

How does PHP Work?

As its name (“PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”) suggests, PHP derives its power by “preprocessing” hypertext on the server side. This generally means that when the PHP script (saved as a .php file) runs on your web server, it performs the programmed actions, and returns HTML code that will then be sent back to your customer’s web browser. The PHP script itself is not included in the HTML that is sent to the browser, so the PHP code is invisible and secure to the user.

 

For example, let’s consider the following simple PHP statement. (This example is merely to show the basic syntax of PHP in action. Any detailed discussion of PHP code is beyond the scope of this article.)

 

In this statement,

 

is the PHP opening tag,is the closing tag, and echo is a PHP instruction that tells PHP to output the text that follows it as plain HTML code. The PHP software processes the PHP statement and outputs the following:This is a regular HTML statement that is delivered to the user’s browser. The PHP statement itself is not delivered to the browser, so the user never sees any PHP statements.

 

Using PHP to Improve Your Website.

 

PHP has many capabilities features designed specifically for use in Web sites, including the following:

 

1. Securing Your Website.

PHP can be used to secure your website (or certain areas of your website) so that your customer must enter a valid username and password. This can be used to reward preferred customers and to build an exclusive “membership” component of your business.

 

2. Working with Web Forms.

PHP can display an HTML form and process the information that the user types in. This can be an excellent way to learn more about your customers by asking them to provide profile information, and to collect information about their specific interests.

 

3. Communicate with Your Databases.

PHP is particularly adept at interacting with your databases, and storing information from the user or retrieving information that is displayed to the user. PHP handles connecting to the database and communicating with it, so it’s not necessary to know all of the technical details for connecting to or exchanging messages with the database. You tell PHP the name of the database and where it is, and PHP handles the details. All major databases are currently supported by PHP.

 

4. Customer Loyalty Functions.

You can also use PHP to create a number of different functionalities on your website that will further help you to build customer loyalty, including interactive polls, a guestbook, and a message board.

 

The popularity of PHP continues to grow rapidly because it has many advantages over other technical solutions. PHP is fast (because it’s embedded in the HTML code, the time to process and load a Web page is relatively short), PHP is free (it is open-source software), and PHP is versatile (is runs on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and most Unix variants).

 

Perhaps most importantly, PHP is a very well-established language. There are many user-run Internet communities that make very large amounts of information (and scripts) available. With so much experience behind it, using PHP for certain dynamic features can be a cost-effective and low-hassle way of increasing the stability of your website.

 

Jeremy Gislason is a leading expert on membership sites, marketing and online business. For more Business Strategies, Membership Site Software and Information visit MemberSpeed.com

 

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