php for website ?

  Cymru Wolf 23:23 01 Feb 2004

I am looking to ceate a new website using php.

What I am wondering is this; I want it to look like the php templates used by many forums.

Is it possible to easily configure these templates for this sort of use rather than use them for a forum ?


  PurplePenny 10:55 02 Feb 2004

What do you want the PHP to do? The forums are just that: forums. I can't see what else you would use one for.


  Taran 13:15 02 Feb 2004

I'm not sure that you understand what the PHP process is.

Your page or site will be held in an HTML or better yet, an XHTML template, and you call the content for the page from a MySQL database or proces a PHP echo command to write some content back to the (X)HTML template which is then displayed in the web browser as plain HTML or XHTML code.

Everything in the PHP code is processed by the web server and it returns a standard web page to the web browser.

I guess you could use PHP Nuke and similar portals as a standard site if you really wanted to but you'd be using a system that countless other people use and you would also be following a similar layout and a series of overall themes rather than running your own design and scripts.

  Taran 13:20 02 Feb 2004

Possibly too little information in that last reply of mine.

What I should have ended with is that your own web site design and graphics will help you to stand out.

Running the PHP scripts is arguably the easy part (as long as you know PHP) but embedding them into a slick design and getting your site working to its best is your real challenge.

Rearranging someone elses work and saying "here is my site" is a little too close to plagiarism for me.

Work on your own designs and make your layout stand out. Running your PHP programs in a good layout will be the finishing touches, instead of just nipping and tucking an off-the-peg solution until you can shoehorn your site into it.


  Cymru Wolf 14:27 02 Feb 2004

Thanks for the replies.
Its all a bit confusing LOL

What I was basicalling thinking of, is that I wanted my site to have a forum type layout as used by php, although its not actually a forum.

Does this help explain my original query ?

  Taran 16:18 02 Feb 2004

Let's say you want a site based on PHP Nuke click here

PHP Nuke comes with a forum, polls, user registration, admin panle and all kinds of other things built in. You can choose whether or not to use any or all of the features, and it is powered by PHP [obviously].

Now, the layout is a design. You can use the default designs that come with PHP Nuke or you can use one of many pre-prepared themes that other people have designed, or you can design your own.

A "forum type layout" has nothing to do with PHP, other than using PHP as a method of processing the user registration, log-in and comments/posting.

You can use any of the dynamic languages for forums.

The PCA forum runs using Macromedia Cold Fusion on a Windows server, other forums run using PHP on Apache servers while others use ASP [Active Server Pages] or even Perl.

If you have seen a specific page layout and design that you like and would like your site to resemble perhaps you could post a link to it ?

I say again, a site layout and design is just that: a specific design using colurs, graphics, tables and so on to acheive the overall look you want.

You can use dynamic web programming with any design or layout that you like.

PHP does not dictate how a site looks.

  Cymru Wolf 07:40 03 Feb 2004

Thanks Taran,

I think I understand now :D

One question though. What is php Nuke, and how does it compare to phpBB ?

  Taran 17:23 03 Feb 2004

phpBB is a bulletin or discussion board, a little like this forum in broad terms. It features user registration, log-in, discussion threads, topics and so on.

PHP Nuke is a web portal come content management system that includes discussion board features but also includes things like newsfeeds, articles, reviews, polls and so on. Well, what I should say is that it has those options built in, but you still have to link the actual content of your particluar site into PHP Nuke.

Neither one is for a total beginner to PHP and MySQL and I strongly suggest that you look into some tutorial and reference material on both subjects before trying to tackle your own data driven site.

Both phpBB and PHP Nuke [and most similar products] are a framework. You have to add the content yourself and link it into your own site and database.

Hope this makes things a little clearer

  Taran 18:31 05 Feb 2004

I wish you every success in learning PHP or any other scripting language, epsecially if you intend doing so in a fortnight.

Programming PHP is less than half of the story. To use it effectively you also need to learn MySQL, since anything other than the simplest of PHP scripts requires MySQL to manipulate your data.

So if you want to learn PHP, not only do you have to learn MySQL as well, you also need to get a reasonable handle on database design including data normalisation, or your dynamic application will fall flat on its face.

The effective performance of your database depends entirely on how you design it and so before you write your PHP programs you need to get into the nuts and bolts of MySQL.

The same goes if you decide to go for ASP instead of PHP, with the only difference being that you'd be using Access as your database program. Everything else [database design, normalisation and so on] applies to the scripting languages since their overall use for anythng beyond the basics hinges upon manipulating information in your database.

Best of luck with it

  Cymru Wolf 10:59 06 Feb 2004

Thanks Taran,

I will certainly give it my best shot

  PurplePenny 11:41 06 Feb 2004

Using PHP & MySQL" by Kevin Yank. Available from:

click here

Sitepoint books seem to get advertised and/or recommended by a lot of the sites that I trust (w3schools for instance). I've got this one and "Designing Without Tables" by Dan Shafer. So far I've only read the Shafer book but if the PHGP/MySQL is anything like it then I can recommend it.

(I bought the PHP/MySQL book to study up for a course I missed out on last term. I hoped that it would be run again this term ... it wasn't.)

The book is aimed at web designers who are comfortable with HTML and it does not assume prior knowledge of PHP or MySQL.


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