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  1. #1
    Senior Member mossoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Englandshire, United Kingdomsville y'all!
    Member #
    1 times
    Hot to start making a site with user logins and posts

    If you want to make a site that has a members login or accepts users input then you're going to have to learn a couple of scripting languages. You won't be able to do it overnight but crack it and your sites will be much easier to maintain.

    The first step is to find out what you need to know. ASP (active server pages) or PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) with a MySQL, SQL or Access database are languages that are designed for this type of job. Neither is better, just take a look at them and decide which ones you want to go for.

    Next, find a host that supports your selected page types and database.

    You must have a database to store any data added by your visitors. If you're not sure how to use a database then take a look at MS Access as a nice easy (and above all viewable) example.

    Once you've got used to using a database you need to learn how to make your pages (ASP or PHP) connect to, and use, the database.

    Both these languages are server side languages, ie. the page is rendered before being sent to the client. JavaScript is a client side (mostly) language and doesn't have a great deal to do with storing and recalling DB records.

    Don't bother with anything that looks remotely fancy at this point, just practice getting pages that send and recall data. Making it look pretty is easy and can be done right at the end.

    Consider the data that you are going to need and how to relate it all together (eg. how do threads in a forum relate both to the user who posted them and to the comments made about them). Avoid making one table that holds all the data as if somebody changes their user profile for instance, you'd have to change every thread, comment or whatever that they posted in the DB. Take a look at relational databases before you start with anything big. (Trust me, it's boring but it'll save a lot of time later).

    Once you're happy with manipulating data then take a look at CSS. This makes designing your site far easier than HTML markup.

    As for JavaScript, it doesn't really play a huge role in making a dynamic site it is much better at adding extra features to the site as a whole. If you've survived learning PHP or ASP then JavaScript comes very easy.

    Good luck, it's hell to begin with but after a while it starts to become natural. You've got to make sure you know HTML first though because you can't be debugging two languages at once and stay sane.

    Sorry if this is a bit verbose but that's an overview of the whole process. It's not something that can be done in a night and Dreamweaver et al. won't really help you until you understand the processes behind it.

    One last thing - if you're making a forum don't expect one like webdesignforums at first. Start small and build it up. The admins here have done a great job creating an interesting and slick site with plenty of customisable options but if you start your site with smilies and avatars and signatures you'll soon get bogged down. Get the basic name, date, message formula right and then add the extras.

    Take a look at ASP, PHP, HTML - What do they all do? for a brief summary of the main file types. Incidentaly that site is written using an Access database and ASP. No Javascript. It's formatted using CSS. is a good place to start and has lots of examples and tutorials on coding for the web.


  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Member #
    yes that basically explains it. if i have some spare time tomorow i may even write a basic membersscript and release it here for free for all members to download!

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