Although web development has changed over the years, the actual core details of creating a web page have stayed the same. You create a document and put it out on the web for people to view. Of course, to put something on the web you need to learn the special languages that are spoken on the web. No, we’re not talking about OMG, BRB, and all the other cryptic shorthand to communicate. We’re talking about the languages that are used to create web documents and sites.
This book looks at many aspects of web development, including the language used to make web pages and ways to make web pages look good, make web pages accept information from visitors, and create programs to create other web pages! If that seems like a lot of information, don’t worry. It’s all broken up into manageable pieces so that you can consume the information at your own pace.
About This Book
This book is intended as both a reference and, in certain places, a tutorial. Most of the information in the book doesn’t need to be read in a certain order. However, certain areas build on each other and, if you find that you’re stuck in one of the later chapters, you might find that reading an earlier chapter will reveal the information that you need.
To be successful with this book, you should have a computer with a recent version of Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux on it. You don’t need to know anything about programming or creating web pages but you should be comfortable with moving around on the computer. Words like files,directories or folders, editor, browsers, and other such terms should be familiar to you. You should also be familiar with installing software on whatever operating system you’re using.
How This Book Is Organized
Book I: Getting Started with PHP and MySQL
Book I looks at the technologies involved in sending a web page over the Internet. More specifically, in Book I, you learn how to install software to send web pages, how to install PHP to program web pages, and how to set up MySQL to provide data.
Book II: HTML and CSS
In Book II, you learn about the two primary languages of the web, HTML and CSS. You learn how to create a web page with HTML and then style it to look a bit nicer with CSS.
PHP is discussed in Book IV. You see how to use PHP to create dynamic web pages behind the scenes.
Book V: MySQL
Many websites use a database to provide information. In Book V, you’ll learn about MySQL, a powerful and free database system that you can use with PHP.
Book VI: Web Applications
Book VI puts all that information from the previous five books to good use to create web services, validate web forms, and set up a members-only website.
Book VII: PHP and Templates
Book VII wraps up the book with some additional configuration options for PHP and also shows how to build a templating system using PHP. With a templating system, you can have PHP do a lot of the repetitive tasks of creating multiple pages, and you see how to create one in the last chapter of Book VII.
Icons Used in This Book
We use some basic icons throughout this book to help you quickly scan and find useful information and tips.
Tips provide information for a specific purpose. Tips can save you time and effort, so they’re worth checking out.
This icon is a sticky note of sorts, highlighting information that’s worth committing to memory.
You should always read warnings. They emphasize actions that you must take or must avoid to prevent dire consequences.
This icon flags information and techniques that are extra geeky. The information here can be interesting and helpful, but you don’t need to understand it to use the information in the book.
Where to Go from Here
Begin the process of web development at the beginning, Book I, Chapter 1. Before you know it, you’ll be programming complex and nice-looking websites.