Admin Digest: Setting Up Your Own Web Server - page 3
Why You Need Your Own Web Server
You will no doubt be aware of PHP scripts and their typical uses for processing forms and serving up dynamic content using databases. To make PHP scripts work, just make sure the it is installed, along with Apache, when you build Linux on your machine. On the server, you will also need to set up a special web directory so you have a place to put the scripts.
Create a "php" directory under your main web server directory (in SuSE 8.0 that's /usr/local/httpd/htdocs). You can also use your ~/public_html directory, if you like. That's what I'll use in my example. In this case it would be /home/rreilly/public_html/php.
Then you can enter the following text for your first php script. Call it inputform.php.
You'll also need an html file to go along with it. Put this file (call it form1.html) in the same directory as your php script.
Call up the form1.html file in your browser (http://localhost/php/form1.html, for example), enter your name and click on "Submit". You should see "Hello World, (your name)" in the browser window.
That's pretty much how PHP scripts work. Nothing complicated.
Web server security, especially with PHP, is another topic that you should investigate. Of course, it's not possible to adequately cover it in this article. Pick up a good book on PHP, if you want to really want start learning the language. I've found Larry Ullman's Visual Quickstart Guide "PHP For The World Wide Web" to be an easy to read and very useful basic text. Then look for some current how-to articles on the Web about security and PHP to fill in the security gaps.