And PHP and HTML — an endeavour to briefly explain the difference email sent August 23, 2014

Hi Chris

Firstly HTML

Webpage files on your smartphone, tablet, desktop come down as “hypertext”, with markup commands / instructions for the browser (Android, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape — these are all browser programs written by different companies) and they are all free programs that run under the hardware’s operating system.

The webpage files tell the browser program how to markup, layout the page using graphic images, background colours, text, and importantly, hypertext, it’s called that because it references (“hyperlinks”) to other text, which the browser can immediately access, through standard rules in the language.

This markup language, HTML, is universal, it has to be, else the different browsers would get the file / files and wouldn't know what to do with them



The second two letters of PHP stand for “Hypertext Preprocessor”. It’s a free language that runs on servers. Because it’s free, it is very popular out there.

If you’re a business, then you’re paying for a server to host your webpages, and paying for IT people to program, not only the HTML that’s going to be downloaded, but also the pre-processing that’ll need to occur whenever you need to finetune what the customer has requested.

If they’ve requested their account statement, it needs to look up those figures on an SQL database. If they’ve requested the status of their order, it’s had to look up that status. etc, etc. So yes, there are many, many more commands available to run on the server, and that can be, yes, more complex, more labour-intensive in the programming, debugging (and ultimately can be pretty expensive). But to get the job done, that’s what you'll need.

Trust that’s a little clearer. Cheers Steve

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