If you are starting to build your brand new website, there are a few things you may want to consider before creating your documents and even before you choose your hosting service.
The main thing you need to know is that not all hosting servers will enable you to display your pages; if these were built, let us say, with php programming. Furthermore, most applications that you could eventually benefit from are written using php, asp or cfm.
Why would you want to use any of these? I will mention a few options that will hopefully clear up the above question.
1- ) Once you become a successful webmaster or marketer and your site is attracting waves of visitors, you will need to find ways to automate many of the tasks that the operation of your site will require.
For instance: The first thing I can think of is a well automated mailing system. Obviously, if you have the free time and would not mind to be in front of the screen, waiting to see whether someone has written to you in order to reply quickly, then this may not apply to you.
However, if things go for you as smoothly as you wish, you may find that not even this option would be sufficient. Why? Well, an obvious situation would be the case where a customer is emailing you from a completely different time-zone country! For example: At the time of writing (from UK), you are (in the States) probably holding your bear and dreaming with the millions of dollars you may potentially make with your site. The same applies to many other countries all over the world.
Furthermore, if you are selling either physical or digital products from your site, the above case will definitely require you to implement an automatic mailing response. Remember, a potential customer will want the products immediately and at least a prompt confirmation
with relevant information regarding the shipping of the goods.
If you cannot offer this from you site, chances are your visitors would want to buy from another site with more comprehensive features.
2- ) Guest books, forums, rss feeds, shop-stores, administration scripts, live help scripts and many other useful (free) applications, that you could eventually take advantage of are usually written using any of the following programming languages:
PHP: It is a HTML-embedded web scripting language. This means PHP code can be inserted into the HTML of a web page. When a PHP page is accessed, the PHP code is read or parsed by the server the page resides on. The output from the PHP functions on the page is returned as HTML code, which can be read by the browser.
Because the PHP code is transformed into HTML before the page is loaded, users cannot view the PHP code on a page. PHP is freely available and used primarily on Linux Web servers.
ASP: Active Server Pages enables web pages to be dynamically created using HTML, scripts and reusable ActiveX server components. When a browser or a search engine spider requests an ASP page from a server, the server generates the web page with HTML code and gives it to the browser or spider.
ASP is a default scripting language written with VBScript, although you can use other scripting languages like JScript. ASP is developed by Microsoft and is used mostly on Windows servers.
CFM: Cold Fusion Mark-up Language is a scripting language like ASP. It is also a popular tool for building e-commerce sites. It may be used to interact with a database and to dynamically create HTML or XHTML pages on a server.
For instance: With Cold Fusion, a user could enter a postcode on a web page and the server would query a database for information on the nearest restaurants and present the results in HTML form. Files created with CFML will have the file extension .cfm or .cfc.
CFM files are standard Cold Fusion files, which may be plain files, included files, or custom tags. CFC files are Cold Fusion Components (reusable Cold Fusion objects).
Cold Fusion has strong Windows support. At the same time, it also supports non-Microsoft platforms like Linux, Solaris, and HP-UX and non-Microsoft databases like Oracle, DB2 and mySQL.
These three examples, are just a few of the many languages you could use choosing the appropriate hosting server. So, before you even rent your hosting space for your web pages, ensure to review your options in order to have a clearer idea of what you may eventually want to implement on your site.