Category Archives: Web Design

A Complete Guide to Installing MySQL and PHP with IIS

One of my latest projects was setting up WordPress, the popular content management system, on a client’s web server which was running Windows Server 2008. WordPress requires installations of MySQL for the database back-end and the PHP scripting language in order to serve up the WordPress content. On a local Windows machine, I’d probably just use a pre-configured WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack package like EasyPHP which is installed quickly and includes all the necessary components. That’s not quite an option in a professional environment, though. I was also working with Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5 for the web server instead of Apache so the process is a little more involved.

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ASP.NET for Beginners

31dfef58-1812-4523-ab35-c8bf20fcfd83If you’ve been wanting to learn how to design websites with ASP.NET, here’s your chance! Check out my latest three-part series on OcalaITPros.com where I explain the basics of Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework and how it’s used to create dynamic websites. This series will guide you through creating and publishing a sample application completely from scratch. The series is based on my speaking notes from a recent meeting of the Ocala I.T. Professionals.

Part I – What is ASP.NET?
Learn about the difference between static and dynamic websites and how ASP.NET is used to serve dynamic content.

Part II – Getting Started with Visual Studio and ASP.NET
Installing Visual Studio 2013 Community and starting your first ASP.NET project.

Part III – Building and Publishing Your ASP.NET Application
Completing your ASP.NET project, testing it on on your local machine and publishing it to a hosting service.

 

Importing Meta Descriptions to Yoast SEO

In a recent post, I talked about using the WordPress plugin Add Meta Tags for adding meta descriptions and titles to posts and pages within my WordPress sites. It’s a simple SEO tool but works well. Nevertheless, I decided to switch my sites over to Yoast SEO for all its extra features and guidance in constructing pages. I was anticipating quite a job as this blog alone has almost 100 posts and all of those descriptions needed to be transferred from the fields created by the old plugin to Yoast’s fields. Yoast does have some import tools of its own but they didn’t include the one I’d been using and my experience with a third-party converter had not been good so I was glad to find that I could do it so simply with one query in phpMyAdmin.

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5 Great WordPress Plugins for Your Site

One of the great things about WordPress is the thousands of plugins available. With a little bit of research and just a few clicks, you can quickly add almost any kind of functionality to your site from SEO features to full eCommerce packages. Since I manage multiple sites of my own and more for clients, I’ve had the opportunity to review a number of WordPress plugins and thought I’d list some of my favorites here.

You can find any of these plugins by searching for the name I’ve provided through your own WordPress site. I’ve reviewed the free versions here and included the names of the authors and their sites for reference.

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Article – Three Content Types to Keep Off Your Website

From ComeauSoftware.com …

“Running a website is easy and inexpensive these days. With cheap domain names, hosting packages running under $5 per month and gigabytes of space and monthly data transfer, anyone can quickly get started with a new site and put their name and message out there. Better yet, user-friendly tools like WordPress and Joomla make it easy to go far beyond a few static pages and to create a full multimedia experience, adding audio and video content to your site to entertain and engage your visitors. With all the space and resources available to you through the average hosting package, however, it’s often better to store some of your content, such as video, on other sites and then display it on yours so your visitors can still see it.”

Read full article at http://www.comeausoftware.com/three-types-content-keep-off-website/.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language that is used in the majority of the world’s websites. While HTML is the primary language of the web and is used to display most of the content, JavaScript is used to carry out special functions on the web pages. These functions can include such things as displaying the date and time and showing notifications to the user, processing information entered by the user into web forms, displaying sophisticated graphics and animations and much more. In addition to websites, JavaScript is also used in some desktop applications to create custom scripts for document processing and other functions.

javascriptJavaScript routines, known as functions, are run in response to page events such as the page load or the click of a button. One feature that makes JavaScript distinct from other web languages like PHP and ASP.NET is that the code is run by the web browser, i.e. Chrome or Firefox, on the user’s machine rather than on the remote web server. The advantage of this is that operations can be carried out and the page content can be updated in the browser without refreshing the page and having to resubmit the data involved. This reduces the transfer of potentially sensitive information and saves time for the user.

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What is HTML?

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the basic language used to create web pages that can be displayed on the Internet and read by web browsers such as Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. It uses plain text like the text that you see here, which is marked up with formatting codes that web browsers recognize and use to format the text on the screen. While other scripting languages might also be used in various websites, HTML provides the foundation. The current version of the language is HTML5 although this version is not yet used by all websites, many of which still use HTML4 and other variations of the language.

The idea of hypertext, the addition of links to electronic text, goes back to 1974. In 1991, this concept was adapted for use on the Internet by physicist Tim Berners-Lee when he released the specification for HTML in order to provide a standard format for sharing information over the Internet. This invention and the creation of the protocols and software necessary to transmit and receive HTML documents enabled the development of the World Wide Web.

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Web Design – FREE Online Training!

Visit W3Schools.com.If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to design your own website, W3Schools.com is an excellent online resource that offers instruction in all the technologies you need including HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript. The site offers easy to use tutorials and complete references for these languages with examples and online demos that you can use to practice your new skills.

Before you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on classes and specialized materials, check out what’s available online for FREE. Very often, the only investment you need to make now is your time.

Reboot …

If you’ve been to Drewslair.com before, you’ll notice some changes this time around. After more than a dozen years of managing the site with manual tools, I’ve finally decided to got to a content management system (CMS), specifically WordPress. In the last year, I’ve put my design energies into a new website at AndrewComeau.com and hadn’t done much with this site. When I looked at it again a few weeks ago, I realized that it no longer met the standard that I wanted associated with my name so it was time for a redesign.

This blog has been present on the site for a few years under another address and I decided to move it over to serve as the primary site.  I found out in the process how easy it is to move a WordPress blog from one subdomain to another and that was a nice bonus.

A couple of the old articles from Drewslair.com remain but, to be honest, much of the Microsoft Access content was obsolete and other things have been moved to AndrewComeau.com so what you see here now is pretty much what there is. I’ve had the idea to start blogging about some of the many software and online resources that I’ve found over the last couple years and as I find time around a new full-time job that I’ve taken, honing my skills with PHP and MySQL and maybe doing some more work on a new book project, I’ll be doing that here.