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With all of the available web hosting plans, now is the time to start building sites whether your goal is fun, education, profit or all of the above. The days of plain static HTML sites is past. Today’s servers feature access to programming languages and database capability to provide dynamic web pages with just a little bit of coding. You may have run across a new word, lampp. Lampp is an acronym for Linux, Apache, Mysql, PHP, and Perl. Keep reading to see why these words are important to you.

L – The Linux operating system, open source, fast and flexible, and constantly being approved
A – The Apache web server, the framework for your website
M – Mysql – the most popular open source database
P – PHP – a flexible scripting language that makes it easy to create dynamic web pages
P – Perl – the old standby language of the web, excellent for text manipulation and data analysis

An excellent example of the use of lampp is the blogging software, WordPress. It is also a case study in the success of the open source community. Beginning with some simple code in 2003, it has evolved into a sophisticated blogging and content management system through the efforts of thousands of volunteer contributors. Today there are hundreds of available plugins (add in features to increase the flexibility, performance, and ease of administration of your blog) and and an almost infinite number of easily loaded themes to change the total look of your site with the click of the mouse.

Software is also available to produce database driven niche sites. It is easy to template sites to display complete catalogs of products with descriptions,available options, images, and just about any thing else you might desire.

All this capability may be overwhelming. It is reassuring to know that you can construct full featured sites offline. Xampp can be downloaded from their site and installed on a windows computer in just a few minutes. With it on your home computer, you can create databases,try out several content management systems, experiment with themes, and see just how easy it is to work with databases. All this without worrying about the search engines finding and displaying the mistakes that go with your early education efforts. If you don’t want to be a geek, that’s OK. Just try some of the open source blogging and content management systems to see how easy and simple it is to build and maintain web sites.

I encourage you to search for xampp, install it, and in a very short time you will be comfortable with building sites with hundreds of dynamic web pages.

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