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Thread: How to Store/Edit/Retrieve Central Data for Free?

  1. #1
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    Default How to Store/Edit/Retrieve Central Data for Free?

    Hello, I am a JavaScript newbie with many years experience writing Windows software using C++, and a tiny smattering of html and css, but no other web experience.

    I am currently building a website.

    What I want is to get some data from the user. I reckon I can use a form for this. Specifically I want to get a couple of strings, and I want to increase a global counter and then feed the result back to the user. Or more concretely, I want to let the user know that they are the nth person to order my product, and I want to give them the opportunity to add a comment which will then be displayed on the website for posterity.

    Currently I'm teaching myself JavaScript, which is great for basic interactivity, but I presume I'm right in thinking that because it's a client-side thing, it's not much use for writing data away to / fetching data from a central location. I'll need to be able to store a string, access the current number of orders, increase it, and display the result to the user.

    I have no software and no money (and no job).

    Is there a simple server-side wotsit I can use for free that will allow me to store/access/edit/retrieve simple data on a server?

  2. #2
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    Your server must have a serverside language like PHP. Any serverside language will work-- PHP, ASP, JSP, CGI, Perl, etc.

    And it'll be easier if you have a database (like MySQL). If you don't, you'll need to store things in text files which can be fine for some data but once it starts to get complex, it can be very hard to keep everything organized.

    There's no reason this should be expensive aside from the monthly fee for a host, and you probably already have that. In fact, there are even some free hosts out there that have php/mysql, but they often have odd limitations. If you don't require everything from a host, then find a free host that has a catch that doesn't fall within what you need. For example if you don't expect many visitors, get a free host with very little bandwidth, but lots of features. The basic rule with free hosts is that some aspect will always be bad, but often many aspects are very good, just not all.

    And there are lots of tutorials.

    Finally, you can use Ajax to use Javascript to interact with the serverside language directly rather than reloading the page. That's just part of JS, so it's free as with the rest.


    The only thing you'd need to pay for is software that isn't open source, so PHP and MySQL are good. ASP (for example) is from Microsoft and is not free, so that's probably not a good idea. But again this will depend on your host, so it may not even matter-- some hosts come with ASP "for free" (included in the price).
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

  3. #3
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    That's really helpful - thanks so much.

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