Whats the easiest way to create an online web database?

I have an idea for a website that I would like to play with a bit before I outsource it to a professional. I want a flashy clean looking interface that asks simple questions of the user and as you enter the responses it is creating a library of information which will be mostly used for personal use. What is the easiest way for me to get something workable done to present my idea?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    If you're looking to build a database driven website as a hobby I would recommend trying Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Komodo Edit, Netbeans, or Eclipse to write the website interface. Preferably you should read some tutorials on basic XHTML and CSS as well. I often use Dreamweaver and write the HTML, CSS and Javascript by hand and the program lets me view the results through my browser quickly then upload changes to my websites. You can also use Photoshop or GIMP to create and edit nice images and backgrounds to develop your nice flashy interface.

    For the website itself, the most reliable way to have a domain is to go to a hosting company and register one through them. They have sites that run 24/7 and you don't need to worry about your internet company changing your IP address or blocking the incoming web port to a home based web server. They also have tools to help build websites, although I personally think the tools aren't much better than using notepad.

    A simple and reliable server scripting language to validate input and pass it to the database is PHP and the best database for your needs would be MySQL. In recent years both PHP and MySQL have been re-developed to enhance web support and are simple to use through with free administration tools like MyPHPAdmin, again, a hosting company will have this installed on any shared server you rent from them.

    This might sound complicated and it is. In reality to develop a simple working model you will want to have working knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, introductory database design, and possibly Ajax.

    There are tools such as Jquery that help develop some of the flashy animation and Drupal that runs the interface through database schemas, but for a simple project like this I would avoid them and just build the simplest pages that meet your needs one by one. As you get to know the fundamentals of Javascript you can add the JQuery animations, etc.

    So again:

    1. Use a local web server that lets you develop and view your site on your computer.

    2. Lease a shared server from a host like JustHost or StartLogic.

    3. Develop the simplest pages that fit your needs in reliable HTML editors like Dreamweaver or FrontPage that use current XHTML and CSS standards.

    4. Learn the code yourself so you don't rely on JQuery or the automated stuff thrown in by HTML editors that may or may not work for you.

    5. Use PHP to communicate with MySQL.

    If this is something you want to develop with the prospective of building a business I would recommend to develop the look of the pages and then use those to present your idea. Anything else would cost more from the time you spend on it than you would pay to have a professional put it together.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Install xampp - http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html That will give you the same site as any hosted site, but on your computer - including MySQL for your database. Its address, once it's installed, is http://localhost/

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