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php website

Hi there
My ISP is hosting our new website in php.  i.e all the webpages have 'php' extension.  I am a new person in php.  In order to make changes to my website.  Do I need a php server on my laptop? which one? link for installing php server?  Also do I need any special php editor? I have front page on my machine will it work?
Do I need to really know php in order to make changes?  At the moment I just want to add some links and add text to some pages.  Help
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amanzoor
Asked:
amanzoor
3 Solutions
 
Ray PaseurCommented:
Yes, you need to know PHP!
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Ray PaseurCommented:
Now, having said that, it would be helpful to know what your web site is doing now.  If it is not a dynamic site, you won't have any immediate issues.  But PHP will let you grow into all kinds of interactivity.
Llet me recommend an excellent book on PHP.  Useful as a tutorial and a reference, both.  It will get you a good underpinning of knowledge.

http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql1/

For and editor, I just use a plain-text editor.  There are several IDEs available.  The ZEND product is well thought-of.
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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Billing EngineerCommented:
there is no such thing as "php server". what you need is a web server (iis, apache...) with the php extension installed/configured.

in regards to the "php" editor, php code is "plain" text file, so you can use any text editor to do so.
however, there are some "php" gui editors around, including some free ones.

>Do I need to really know php in order to make changes?  
depends on the changes. knowing some php would make things easier, aka avoid that you do things that would break up the working stuff.


>At the moment I just want to add some links and add text to some pages.  Help
that sounds like you "only" want to modify the html code part of the web site?
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Ray PaseurCommented:
In terms of what you need on a local machine, that's really a matter of personal preference.  I use nothing.  Instead, when I am doing development I set up a "build" of my web site so I can upload everything to the server at once.  Then I can test in a live environment (just not one that is linked to a known URL) on the actual machines I will deploy on.

If you have any specific questions or you want to post a question about the pages, we will be glad to help.  But before you do anything else, get the Sitepoint book (you can get it in PDF format today) and read it over.  Also, be aware of the very wonderful documentation on the PHP.net web site.  All the functions are documented online with user-contributed comments.  Most useful!

Best regards, ~Ray
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AielloJCommented:
amanzoor:

While it would be great to know PHP, you don't have to know it right off to host your existing site, which I'm assuming is written in plain HTML.  Most web servers and interpreters (PHP, ASP, etc) will display a straight HTML file as well as the script language you are using.  So if the existing sight is straight HTML you should be able to run it "as is", even keeping the .htm ot .html extensions for now.  (See note below)

A word of caution on Frontpage.  It generates pages that favor Microsoft environments, such as fonts, etc.  Your ISP must also have "FrontPage Extensions" enabled on your site for pages generated with FrontPage to work.

You should be able to use your existing HTML pages without change for now.

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amanzoorNetwork infrastructure AdminAuthor Commented:
Great guys,
Please recommend me also, I am looking for a php editor now which after I make changes into 'php' file shows me right away into a web browser?
Thanks
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