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Useful Tips

The members of the Programming Team offer the following suggestions to help you get the most from your time here.

  1. Try a search.[INDENT]Your problem or a similar one has probably been discussed/answered before. SitePoint has two search features.
    The vBulletin search
    And an advanced search[/INDENT]

  2. Use a descriptive thread title.[INDENT]Posting “HELP!”, “newbie” or a similar thread title will not help people solve your problem.[/INDENT]

  3. Describe the problem.[INDENT]Post as much detail about your problem and the context in which it is occurring to help people to help you.[/INDENT]

  4. Post the code.[INDENT]If you want help with some code you usually have to post it.
    Also post a link to your page (if available) and to any HTML/CSS/Javascript you want people to look at.
    For larger files, consider posting them as attachments. For .php files you can add the .txt extension. For multiple files you can zip them.[/INDENT]

  5. Limit the amount of code.[INDENT]Post minimum examples - only enough of the relevant code needed to explain your problem. Posting “everything” could be so much that it might scare other members away from helping.[/INDENT]

  6. Write clean code.[INDENT]Format you code properly and comment it so it’s easier for others to follow.[/INDENT]

  7. Keep Sensitive Information Out[INDENT]Make sure your code does not include such things as Passwords, Email Addresses, Folder/File names/paths, Database table/field names etc. For your security, replace them with ***** or with something generic like mypassword, mytable. If you’re afraid someone might see it, don’t post it! The Internet is Forever.[/INDENT]

  8. Don’t Post Script-Kiddie Hack Code[INDENT]If you want to know what a suspicious looking script does, please don’t post it. There is no need to make it more available to others. Put your curiosity about how it works and what it does on hold, and ask for help on how to clean-up and improve your security against further attacks instead.[/INDENT]

  9. Use code tags.[INDENT]Use the appropriate code tag - e.g. [NOPARSE]



[/NOPARSE] - to make your code easier to read.
See for the available bbcode tags and how to use them.
Also consider using the [NOPARSE][HIGHLIGHT=“…”]

[/NOPARSE] tags available in the "Select Syntax..." menu to the top right of the message box for [B]language specific highlighting[/B].[/INDENT]

10) [B]Turn off unnecessary items.[/B][INDENT]Turn off "[I]Automatically parse URLs[/I]" and enable "[I]Disable Smilies in This Post[/I]" to avoid problems with the code you post. (Options are available on the advanced post reply page)[/INDENT]

11) [B]Always preview.[/B][INDENT]There is a time limit for which you will be able to edit the post. - Use the preview button before posting. (Option is available on the advanced post reply page)[/INDENT]

12) More information on how to use the forum to your best advantage can be found in the [FAQ](

[SIZE="4"]Where to post?[/SIZE]

* When deciding where to post a thread the decision is often clear. For example, when the topic is about [ColdFusion or [URL=""]Ruby](

* Once in a while there is some confusion between [JavaScript and [URL=""]Java and JSP]( Although the names may have some similarity, they are entirely different languages. For best results, please post your thread in the correct forum.

* At times there is also some confusion between [Classic ASP and [URL=""].NET]( They are both Microsoft, but as the word "Classic" suggests, Classic ASP is the older and .NET is the newer.

Without any doubt, many threads here at SitePoint are about PHP.
To help you to choose the correct place to post your PHP related threads consider the following guide:

* If your thread specifically deals with a [B]database specific[/B] problem, like queries that don't work or produce incorrect results, please post it in the [Databases forum. Please note that MySQL has it's own [URL=""]MySQL]( forum.

* If you have a [B]mod_rewrite[/B] question or another question related to [B]apache[/B], please post it in the [Apache Configuration forum. For other server management problems there is the [URL=]Server Management]( forum.

* If you are [B]looking for a full program[/B] to use on your website, such as a forum, chat or calendar program, then please post in the [Scripts and Online Services]( forum.

* If you wish to discuss topics such as [B]Object Orientated Programming[/B], [B]Design Patterns[/B] and [B]other software development[/B] techniques [I]related to PHP[/I] then please post in the [PHP Application Design]( forum.

* If you want to discuss the above [B]development techniques[/B], but [B]not specifically relating to PHP[/B], then please post in the [General Application Design and Theory]( forum.

* If you want to discuss an issue that is [B]not related to any particular programming language[/B], please post in the [General Development Issues]( forum.

* If you need help with a parse error, or would like to know how to achieve something with PHP or have a PHP question that [B]does not fit any other forum[/B] then please post in the 
( forum.

* And of course there's [Perl, Python and Other Languages]( for, well, like it says.

* Two other Program Your Site forums are [XML and Web Services and [URL=""]Web Security](

If after considering the above you still have some uncertainty, don't fret. Just post it in the forum you feel is the best fit for your topic.

Thank you