Having joined this site recently, I found there`s a wealth of great information and I thought I`d add something here. I see many people here who are "do it yourselfers" when it comes to web design and development using tools like Dreamweaver (if they can afford it!) and NVU which are great WYSIWYG tools. One thing that I noticed that is not mentioned is creating a local enviornment on your computer. It`s one thing to use the "preview" to see what your design will look on a website but when you start using server side scripting (php, jsp, etc), then it`s not so accurate. Normally you have to FTP to your webite to see exactly how looks and behaves.
I would recommend you check out XAMPP
. It`s standalone software installation that contains Apache webserver, mysql database
and Perl. It`s a easy install (follow the documentation) and allows you to run pretty much all you need. Just create or point your dreamweaver project to it`s working directory and use it`s easy control panel to start and stop the server and mysql database as needed. With the web server started, open up your browser to http://localhost and you are good to go.
Feel free to give it a try and let me know if you have any questions. It can get a lot more complex with the database integration, creating multiple websites using alias and playing with the configuration files. If you are already building your own websites, give this a try to give you some more options and ability to create dynamic sites and use more powerful server side coding.
Brandon Eng, Owner, Lead Studios
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