In a divergence from me reviewing apps or gadgets, I decided to share some knowledge. My profession is web and application development; although as of late, it’s been more systems admin and support specialist. In this tutorial I talk about two very useful tools that I use often. XAMPP and Joomla.
Web development can be challenging and sometimes daunting. These days, unless your a control freak or very patient, there’s not much reason to dive into building a web site from the ground up; in fact, there are many pre-built web site tools to choose from that can be catered to your needs, all for the price of FREE. Now, free does come at a cost, and that’s usually time and energy to work and configure the tools.
Developing a web site usually consists of building html pages and maybe even server side scripts using a language like PHP. But the problem is unless you have a server, you can’t just write scripts and have them run in your browser. You can view html files in a browser, but for more advanced functions you were stuck looking for a hosting solution that supports PHP. The problem though, is what if you just want to try things out without having to pay for a hosting service? This is where XAMPP comes in. XAMPP is a self contained application suite that bundles a set of very popular open-source (free) tools that make up a web development environment. The bundle contains an Apache Web Server that supports PHP and a MySQL database. Once installed and started, you now have a self contained web development environment on your desktop/laptop.
Joomla, is an open-source content management system (CMS). What’s a CMS? Well, simply put, it’s a complete web site with tools around allowing you to build your content, it essentially takes the hard work of building the infrastructure of your web out of your hands so you can concentrate on building the content that is your web site. So for example, you want a blog? it’s in there, you want user management? It’s in there. A magazine style web site? The capabilities are there. You just need to configure the tool. Now I’m not going to go into details about how to use Joomla, but hopefully you get the idea that Joomla is basically an application that is pretty much a ready to go website that supports blogs, article writing, user management, and much more. Of course, out of the box, it’ll look a bit dull and default, but if you take the time to learn the tool and customize it. It can yield great results.
I can go on and on, but I’ll cut this short. Below is the tutorial video that walks you through installing XAMPP and Joomla. Enjoy, and please send me feedback.