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Say I have a debian-based server, and I want to put a website on it... From a technical perspective, I want to build something similar to kickstarter. This is my ...
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  1. #1
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    What do I need to build a website from scratch?


    Say I have a debian-based server, and I want to put a website on it...

    From a technical perspective, I want to build something similar to kickstarter.
    This is my first time attempting to seriously build a website, so I have no idea how this works - I probably need a lot of server based software, content management systems, the works.

    I was wondering what could be recommended to an inexperienced programmer?
    Any advice welcome I'd like a more experienced person's opinion before I take steps to get started.

  2. #2
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    From the server side, you need web server software.
    For a typical web server, this consists of Linux, Apache 2, MySQL, and PHP.
    You need to install and configure those things. Lots of good articles on the internet how to do this, such as how to forge, etc.

    How the build the actual website is another story. That requires knowledge of web programming languages, such as PHP, HTML, CSS, etc.
    Again, plenty of tutorials available for how to make a website.

    Lastly, there are plenty of 'content management' systems available these days. You don't really have to worry to much about the coding, just upload the content after basic server setup. Wordpress and Joomla are popular choices.

    If you have zero web programming experience, I suggest you start by learning basic html. You can simply create an empty text document, and save the extension as .html and open on your local pc. After you have figured that out, install webserver software, and create a 'hello world' php file.

    What you need to learn should become self explanatory at this point.

  3. #3
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    mizzle gives good advice.

    To add: While php is considered the "default" approach for web tools, there are a lot more languages out there.
    Ruby or java or python (among others) are also not only possible, but viable alternatives.

    So maybe try to write a small webtool in multiple languages and see, what fits your style and way of thinking.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  4. #4
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    On top of the good advice given, I'd add Perl as a "P" option in the LAMP stack. It is a great text-mangling language and is thus, great for CGI programming. Plus it has a load of pre-canned modules available.

    Also, I'd recommend checking out the Firebug and Web Developer add-ons for Firefox.

    A text editor with syntax highlighting is a must for me, when doing web/CGI stuff. Some people prefer a full IDE (like Eclipse), but I like to keep it light and use Nedit.

    One final thing: if you need a domain name to play around with (to associate with your hard-to-remember public ip address on crazy port 2345), check out no-ip.org, and get a free account before they go the way of dyndns.org (that is, pay only).

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