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What tools do I need for the following website?

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I am a beginner. I took a course on HTML so I can build your basic 5-page static HTML website, but that's it. I want to build a more complicated site but don't know how or what tools to use. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


The idea is as follows:

The purpose of my site is to create a custom URL that will take you to a very specific place in a different site that is very large and has poor search capability. (I am not the administrator of that site, but I can make it's search capability better through my site.) My site is a search page that has both text boxes and check boxes, and a Search button. For each text and check box that has text or a check in it, another element is added to the URL. When the user hits the "Search" button, another tab or window will open with the URL corresponding to what they entered in the boxes.



- If nothing is entered before the search button is selected, a window opens with the URL www.website.com

- If check box A and B are checked, a window opens with the URL www.website.com/A%B

- If check box A and B are checked, and "text 1" is entered in one of the text boxes, a window opens with the URL www.website.com/A%B%text+1


Make sense? The idea itself is simple enough, but I don't know where to begin.

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I may be wrong, but it sounds like you are wanting a dynamic form. You will need PHP for this. If you do not have any experience with this - I would recommend watching Stefan's (Admin. of Killer Sites) podcast course (an excellent one) on PHP at www.killerphp.com. If you are needing it done quickly and do not have time for this - Dreamweaver CS4 will produce you a nice looking form within several clicks of your mouse...

Edited by NuCoder
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PHP would be the best solution, but difficult to learn.


You could use "chained select boxes" which use Javascript and all the coding is given to you here:-



The item you select in the first box changes the options in the next, and so on.


It can't "search" for anything as you have to code a fixed set of options.

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PHP would be the best solution' date=' but difficult to learn.[/quote']


I disagree, PHP is easy to learn with the right teacher.






OK, I have used some of your video tutorials, Stefan, and they got me started, thanks, but I've still got a long way to go. It takes time and practice. Generally with javascript you can download a script and just use it unedited, but PHP code that you take from somewhere nearly always needs editing.

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Ah ... I hear you.


Javascript is cool but it should never be used for mission-critical applications because it can be easily defeated. With PHP, because it is a server side language, can be used with confidence regardless of the application.


... Each has their role to play.



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I'm far from being able to build a site in PHP, but I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.


Well, start with the basics .. learn about variables, functions etc. And more importantly, start using PHP in your pages today! For instance, start using the very powerful PHP includes.


What you will find is that the more PHP code you write, the easier it will be for your brain to understand it. It's really like jogging, where the first time you run a mile ... it practically kills you. But if you keep running every other day, you quickly find a mile run fairly easy.



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