The Lane's

Web Design

After designing web pages with an HTML editor for years, I encountered PHP and MySQL. These tools make it easy to create dynamic web sites. PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that is optimized for web development and can be embedded into HTML. Perl and Ruby are also excellent scripting languages, but I prefer PHP. MySQL is a popular open source database server. PHP and MySQL can be combined to create excellent Content Management Systems (CMS).

Once you configure PHP and MySQL on your server or choose a web host, the next task is to select a CMS application. The abundance of open source CMS projects can make this selection difficult. I've been content with CMSimple for small sites and Joomla for larger projects. Other useful applications include Drupal and WordPress. Sites such as the CGI Resource Index, ScriptSearch, and HotScripts list numerous LAMP/WAMP applications. Turnkey solutions such as, Blogger, Google Sites, or Weebly may be sufficient for many applications.

OpenSourceCMS is a wonderful site that permits you to experiment with popular CMS tools. Server2Go provides another way to experiment with  tools that rely on Apache, MySQL, PHP, or Perl.

If you select CMSimple as a your CMS application, free templates can be found at DotComWebDesign. Joomla templates can be found at RocketTheme, JoomlaThemes, JoomlaShack, JoomlaHut, JoomlaTeam, and MamboTeamRocketTheme also provides high quality templates for WordPress, Drupal,  phpBB, and Magento. TailorMade and SolarEnergyHost offer opinions about numerous template sources.

Joomla has an active support community. Information can be found on the project help page and forum. Components can be downloaded from Joomla Extensions, Joomla Forge, and the MamboXchange. Joomla branched from the Mambo project and many components work on both applications.

Home-made web servers can be fun, but web hosts are typically faster and more reliable. I am a satisfied DreamHost customer.

Sites I designed include: