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  1. #1
    so shiny exigent's Avatar
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    Knowing when and when not to use PHP?

    I'm presently working on a site which displays a ranking of some sort. Immediately, my first thoughts were PHP all the way. As I delved deeper into the planning of this site, I began wondering whether PHP was neccessary.

    The ranking system is a manual one, as in a team of people review by hand many participants and take into account many factors and then decide how many points one participant should receive. These participants are then ranked if they make top 10 (out of say 50).

    I'm wondering whether the site needs a dynamic backend or will it be fine static. It has mabye 15-20 pages. I was thinking of creating a small CMS so that I could add participants to the database (manually, it's a relatively select process) and all their information and mabye something to update the rankings for me through a GUI (like I have forms to add points and when I submit it'll update the information in the table on the main page).

    I'm wondering, is this really neccessary? Am I wasting my time? It won't be updated that frequently. Mabye 2-3 times a month I'll change the rankings at max.

    I realize I've been a bit vague, I'll try and supply more details but I don't want to give away too much (I realize most people have good intentions, just a precaution I want to take).

    If I do choose to use PHP, I have a few questions. I'm only mabye 1/2 way through Kevin Yank's book and this question may be answered in there and I just haven't reach it yet, but, when an article or content based website is created (leaning towards articles here, not small 3 liners like jokes), how does page creation work? Do most people have CMS' that power the sites -- like they just paste in the article information hit submit, and it'll create a page automatically that's SE friendly with all the correct information? Sorry if its a bit of a dumb question.

  2. #2
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Even if you only update this 2-3 times a month, it might be handy at some point in time to have those rankings in a DB which would require your use of PHP or some other SS language.

    Try to be forward-thinking. It also doesn't seem like it would take much longer to make this site dynamic, rather than static and if you do the work now, you won't have to do it later.
    Sara

  3. #3
    so shiny exigent's Avatar
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    Once I had typed that all out, I sort of realized the implications I was making and how nice it would be to have a backend. A custom CMS for this site. How to go about doing it is one of my main problems.

    Do I design a CMS to create pages for me or do I have to create pages and use PHP to tell it where to place the data? I'm relatively confused about site structure and what's dynamically created and what is done by hand


    Oh and sorry you had to move it. Though I swear I posted this in the PHP forum, I must've had too many tabs open and hit create topic in the wrong one.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy someonewhois's Avatar
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    Well, if you're reading Kevin's book you're probably headed in the right direction. Learning PHP definitely won't be a downfall, I can guarantee you that.

    I'm not sure what you mean by page creation. When you request a PHP file (say, article.php?id=4) you're requesting a dynamic page. This page isn't being created, it's simply being fed through your server (Apache, IIS, Lighttp, or whatever you're using) to the client without ever existing on the server. It's all done in memory. There's not really any page creation.

    Once you know PHP really well saying "when not to use PHP" is like saying "hmm, should I skip dinner tonight?". Unless you're incredibly lazy (or poor, I guess), chances are you're going to at least throw something quick together (like a microwavable dinner).

    To be honest, I can't remember the last time I even considered not using PHP. The only time I don't use PHP (even then, I use it for including layout parts) is when it's a 5 page website that's never going to be updated. Writing a basic CMS that handles pages and users can take as little as 30 minutes (not counting the design part of things) if you already know where you're going with it (ie. you've done it 500,000 times )

  5. #5
    so shiny exigent's Avatar
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    Alright, thanks for the replies. I kind of see what I need to do now, just need to learn the code to do it. I guess I'll delve into the book and get through it and mabye then I'll fully understand what I'm going to do.


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