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CMS Website Development using linux


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This covers CMS based website development covering administration, design and testing. It must be noted that none of the packages covered will cost you
anything, but there are often ways you can contribute if desired to those projects.

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CMS Website Development using linux

  1. 1. CMS Website Development using LinuxWe’ve been covering CMS based websites for a while here on the Neogain blog. Now it’s time for us to covercreating a development environment for your website projects using a linux based system. You do not need tobe a hardcore programmer to warrant a development environment.It makes perfect sense to use a locally connected server to put together a website. Before you setup your contentmanagement system on a live server, it is wise to work on the project in-house before going live, or reaching abeta stage. There are many types of web servers you can setup and on a variety of hardware, from modifiedwrt54g linux routers to expensive rack mounted systems. Do you require a website developer? Click here to request a proposal from Neogain.Some website developers even use their own desktop computers and turn web server functionality on and offad-hoc. For many types of website projects there is no difference between using a linux distribution orMicrosoft operating system. For most developers all that is required is graphic editing, web server apps/servers,a decent ftp client, a text editor and some other related applications. One area though in which linux can make adramatic difference is cost.This article covers CMS based website development covering administration, design and testing. It must benoted that none of the packages covered will cost you anything, but there are often ways you can contribute ifdesired to those projects.You can easily use open source licensed applications on a MS Windows system to develop, but the reality isthat Microsoft Windows itself brings costs in regard to the operating system and often people pay for anti-virus,trojan and firewall protection.On a Microsoft Windows system you might use IIS or a package such as XAMPP. Whereas on a linuxdistribution you can easily install Apache2, php5, MySQL and other technologies. Plus all can be set to runupon request, which means your development server, does not need to be a dedicated box and can serve otherpurposes.This article though is not an anti-Microsoft directed article, as for many using a Microsoft Windows system fortheir development requirements is ideal. If you are interested in CMS website development on a MicrosoftWindows system please see our XAMPP article here: PackagesBelow are a small selection of packages you can use on your linux system, they all have Microsoft Windowsversions and even though this article is aimed at Window users, it should prove useful for people interested inusing a MS Windows system instead.Note: We won’t provide download links as linux users generally use their distributions repositories for themajority of their package requirements.
  2. 2. Apache2 + Php5 (www server + scripting language)Enables you to design basic html and php web pages. Ideal for holding page and static website design anddevelopment. If you install a MySQL server as well, then you can use CMS packages such as Joomla, Magentoor WordPress. Apache is naturally mentioned in our article, but isn’t the only linux web server you can use andthere are others that are more suited to low processor environments, but apache is the most popular web serverworldwide and best to use it when possible.Q. How do I start or stop the Apache server?A. Via a terminal window you can enable or disable Apache.Note: We will be covering Apache in the next CMS related post.Examplessudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stopsudo /etc/init.d/apache2 startsudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restartFileZilla (FTP Client)Like its windows counterpart this ftp client makes handling multiple site profiles a breeze. Plus you can ifdesired move the site profiles between operating systems. Naturally it isn’t just installing your website files inthe first instance where this ftp client can help, but also for quickly accessing ftp servers to change filepermissions or make backups.Q. Can I use transfer my ftp ‘site manager’ settings between Windows and Linux?A. On a windows computer you can find the sitemanager.xml file in the ‘Documents and Settings/profilename/Application Data/FileZilla’ path. On a linux machine you can find the sitemanager.xml in a hidden sub-folder named ‘.filezilla’ located within your home folder.Q. What if there is no sitemanager.xml file to replace on the target computer?A. Just place the file within the correct directory and FileZilla Client will use it upon you selecting ‘SiteManager’, which isn’t to be confused with bookmarks within the FileZilla Client application.
  3. 3. Gedit (Text Editor)A very useful text editor that although not installed by default on some linux distributions, is worth your time toinstall this small package. It is not as feature rich as notepad++ a popular editor for the Windows platform, butstill is easier to use than emacs and superior to many other linux editors. Features such as find, replace and spellchecking make life far easier for website development.Q. Where can I download gedit?A. For users of Ubuntu, Xubuntu and other linux users, it can be found in the main repositories.Q. Does it do syntax highlighting?A. Yes, which makes it perfect for editing code such as css, php, html.GiMP (Graphic / Image Editor)The GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program and although it is no photoshop, it can help you tacklemost basic and many moderate graphic editing requirements.Q. Can I use it to covert between image formats?A. Yes, the GiMP can easily convert between formats such as gif, jpg and png.Q. Can I resize images?A. Yes and this is called ‘scaling’ when using the GiMP.IcoFX – via Wine (Icon Designer)This is a free windows application, so what is it doing in a linux software list? IcoFX is an incredible iconediting application, that is perfect for creating website favicon’s and other website icons if required. It runspretty smoothly on linux via the Wine package, which means linux users also can use this popular icon editor.It is also worth reading our ‘How to create a favicon file for your website’ article here:
  4. 4. MySQL serverThe MySQL server is what makes the majority of CMS projects possible, as many content management systemsrely on a MySQL database. i.e. Joomla, WordPress among many others.Q. How can I setup databases?A. The easiest method is to install phpmyadmin as well. It makes setting up, configuring and maintainingdatabases relatively easy.ConclusionUsing these tools you should be able to create / develop and test a website, including theme design and crossbrowser testing. If you need a website developer, please hire Neogain. Click here to find out more.