What languages do websites use?

A website such as this one, which is similar to millions of other websites, requires  different “languages” to display a web page on a user’s screen.

For this to happen, there are a few different computer “languages” which will be used and understood by the website and then your computer.

3 and a half language names

PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor), this is a scripting language that is used on the server side of the the website before the information arrives on your computer. For example displaying products and prices and preparing your shopping cart.

HTML (Hypertext markup language),  the HTML contains the basic page format with the initial content and layout.

MySql (My Structured Query Language) is used to manipulate and query  databases where information is stored. For example it will be able to save your login details and your shopping cart contents on a server for future use.

Javascript, is derived from the Java programming language developed by Sun. Javascript is an on page scripting language used for many tasks such as validating email addresses before sending them to the server, changing  the display and content on the fly, sending and receiving information to the server without reloading the web page. Since the introduction of jQuery, using javascript on web pages has become so much easier.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheet), although not a language,  the syntax is slowly growing in complexity and offering more and more functionality. It’s purpose is to control the design and layout of a page.

This is not an exclusive list of languages and other sites do use different technologies methodes.

If you are interested in learning more about building websites contact us and also check out the following links:

jQuery, MySQL, PHP


Prestashop and Plesk

I’m updating a Prestashop version 1.5.3 to version 1.6.3 on a Plesk server.

On the live server I backed up all the files and database. I switched off caching and re-exported the database to use on a test site. On the Plesk interface I quickly created a sub-domain and database for the test site.

I copied all the file contents into the sub-domain to make the test site and imported the database.

I modified the file settings.inc.php for the database name and user.

The url in the table “ps_shop_url” need to be adjusted to that of the test server.

At this stage I thought I was ready.

Using the “1 click upgrade module” I’ve encountered a few problems.

After correcting  the folder permissions which were indicated as being incorrect, the first few attempts to update failed but it was easy to roll back to version 1.5.3 . There wasn’t much feed back apart from a parseJson error, searching for help didn’t give much advice.

There is now point in having PHP Errors on as this will make the AJAX fail and the installation is immediately aborted. So you have to refer to server error log.

As the problems seemed to be timing out on the Database upgrade, I changed the the PHP memory_limit to from 64M to 128M.

I also noticed that PHP was running as an Apache module, so this was changed to FastCGI, (however this proved to be a bad idea later as there is a problem with the image uploading).

I emptied some of tables which are used for stats and searching, hoping this would reduce time.

I gave up trying to go from 1.5.3 to 1.6.3 and used the option of upgrading to a proposed minor stable version 1.5.6. This was successful, but only using the step by step option and ignoring the messages in the DB updating.

Now I wanted to try for 1.6.3 and it worked first time.

Don’t worry if you think that all your images have disappeared or that you have to upload them again, there is an option in Preferences/Images to use the old or the new system.

Prestashop and Plesk