Chapter 1. Setting Up Your Server

In This Chapter

  • Introducing server-side programming

  • Installing and starting your server

  • Testing the installation

  • Inspecting phpinfo()

Welcome to the server-side programming portion of the book. In this minibook, you discover all the basics of PHP and how you can use PHP to make your pages dynamic and relevant in today's Internet.

In this chapter, you read about getting your server set up and ready to go. I walk you through the process as painlessly as possible, and by the end, you'll be up and running, and ready to serve up your own Web pages in a test environment. (I talk about making them available to the rest of the world in Book VIII.)

Introducing Server-Side Programming

I begin with an introduction to server-side programming. If you already know how this all works, you can safely skip ahead to the section "Installing Your Web Server", later in this chapter.

Programming on the server

Server-side programming is what you'd use to create pages dynamically on the server before sending them to the client. Whereas client-side programming is executed on the client's machine, server-side programming all happens on the server before the Web page is even sent to the user.

Client-side programming (as done in JavaScript) does most of the work on the individual user's machine. This has advantages because those machines have doohickeys, like mice and graphics cards. Client-side programs can be interactive in real-time.

The client has a big problem, though. Programs written ...

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