"PHP"...what a strange sounding name for a programming language. How did they come up with it? Answer:
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a recursive acronym; the first "P" stands for "PHP," and the first "P" of that
stands for "PHP" as well, thus the cycle continues. It originally stood for Personal Home Page, but was renamed when
the language fell into common use on the web, at version 3.0.
PHP is a server side scripting language that lets a programmer move websites beyond the humdrum world of static text and images on a web page. PHP makes your web pages dynamic so they come to life. Interactive data entry web forms, navigable scroll lists, simple to use email contact pages, live database connections to MySQL databases, data streaming from a remote web server and more.
So you ask, "PHP sounds like a keeper. What are some examples of what it could do for a website?"
You are running an e-commerce website and you have a great idea to ramp up future sales. You want new programming that will list some of your online store products that are similiar to those that came up from a previous search. The idea is to record an audit trail for each visitor of the queried products from the searches they did. These will be stored in a database table on the website that will cross reference them to similar products you sell that didn't appear in the visitor's prior searches. The next time the visitor is in your online store, you could use this cross referenced data in conjunction with appropriate programming to display the items that did not appear in the visitor's prior searches. You have just created a mechanism for suggestive selling.
Let's say you decide to add a new section to your website. This new page will display testimonials that each of your customers have written about their experience with your company, both good and bad. It sounds like a great idea that will add more credibility and marketing leverage to your site. But how will you implement this so it's as automated as possible while still screening out vulgar, hateful submissions at the same time? I would approach it this way. First, I would create an administrative section that is entered through a secure login screen. This would have a section that would list all administrator approved testimonial submissions, which had been previoulsy screened for unacceptable material. These approved submissions would be stored in an "approved testimonials" MySQL database table on the website. The administrator would have the option to delete any of these approved submissions. The approved testimonials database table would also populate the "front end" web page on the website that lists all the approved testimonials for public viewing. I would have a "pending testimonials" database table. This would be stored in the same MySQL database as the "approved testimonials" database table. This pending area would be the direct recipient of any submissions that come through the testimonial submission form, which is available to the public. In addition to having the capability to delete any of these pending submissions, it would also have the functionality of sending appropriately worded submissions to the "approved testimonials" data table.