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PHP and MySQL are often available as part of LAMP web hosting plans. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Linux is an operating system, Apache is a web server, MySQL is a database, and PHP is a programming language. These components work together to create a web hosting service.
Other free web hosting configurations may be based on Windows operating system (WAMP), Mac operation systems (MAMP), FreeBSD (FAMP), or Solaris operating system (SAMP). Though these web hosts use a different operating system, they generally still use the Apache web server with MYSQL database and PHP programming language. The P in these acronyms sometimes stands for another programming language, such as Perl or Python, but PHP is the most common. SQL and Oracle are examples of other databases.
Many web hosts use the LAMP technology because the components are all open source, which means they are free and users can modify them to meet their needs. The components of LAMP were not developed together, but they do work well together to create an efficient, user-friendly web hosting experience.
PHP is the programming language used most often for web hosting. PHP is available for free under the PHP License, instead of the GNU General Public License (GPL) that is usually used for free open source software.
Rasmus Lerdorf developed PHP in 1995 as a programming language for his own web page. PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page, though it is now known as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor. It was designed specifically for creating dynamic web pages, which can interact with a database like MySQL to create user interaction. PHP is considered easy to use and learn, and it interacts well with HTML and XTML, which are the languages used to create web pages that can be read by web browsers. For these reasons, PHP remains the most popular programming language for web site development.
Since 1995, PHP users have been updating the language so it stays relevant. PHP 5.3 is currently available, and PHP 6 is under development.
MySQL is a database often used with web sites. MySQL stands for My Structured Query Language. A database like MySQL is an important component of a web site, especially if you want a dynamic web site that a user can interact with. MySQL allows a web site to include:
- Search forms
- Rotating advertisements
- Media galleries
MySQL is owned and developed by the Sun Microsystems corporation. There is a free version of MySQL available under the GNU General Public License, as well as commercial versions of the software. MySQL is considered fast and reliable, and Sun Microsystems provides support for MySQL users. MySQL 5.1 is available now, and 5.4 is being tested for release.
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