PHP Websites

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by apblue, May 19, 2006.

  1. apblue

    apblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    Hey everyone I'm working on a website for a landscaping company in Southern California. For the site when a customer logs in along with the basic company information it shows their ten most recent work orders and all their information (phone number, address etc.) all done dynamically. Employee are able to login and create work orders also. Obviously the employee sees more on the work order form than what a customer would see. My question is if you were a customer what would you want displayed about your work order and what are some good examples of work order forms for landscaping.

    Right now the work order form looks like this roughly. Obviously it needs a little work.
    work order #
    customer id
    created date
    completed description
    completed date
    work order open/closed

    I'm creating this dynamic site using Dreamweaver 8 to give you guys an idea of just how powerful it really is so if any of you have any questions I'd be happy to answer any of them.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Can a customer check on an ongoing / not completed / hasn't been started on project? Just curious, if so, a 'projected date' entry might be cool.

    I imagine you're doing this all via the sql database which is very powerful as you can use the same data to create your invoices and schedules / work orders for the crew, so while the customer uses the data to keep themselves informed, you use the data to get things done.

    The php / sql combo is tough, there is no limit to what you can do with it, just be careful about data leaks lol so you might watch how much info you allow the db to process.
  3. apblue

    apblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    Yes I am using a MySql database and yes the customer can check on going orders/open work orders. Theres not going to be any credit card information, social security number or anything like that stored. The most personal information would be their address I guess.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    That's sweet, I've been dreaming of setting something like that up but the sheer amount of work involved is beyond what I'm willing to deal with. The closest I've come is setting up a couple of games that are also php / sql based and it's right tight, I can only imagine the possibilities in a real-world scenario. Did you buy the software or did you code it? If you coded it, you're a few light years ahead of me.

    As for the leaks, I would be less worried about hacks than what people can access, I think you're fine with what you said... In years of doing this I've never had a problem but one thing I try and remember is only keep that stored that you really need, and you should be good.
  5. apblue

    apblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    I use Dreamweaver 8 for the basic design and setup but dreamweaver can only do so much so I have to go into the code view and edit and insert my own codes. Dreamweaver is good for PHP but if you want to really use PHP to its full potential your gonna have to know the code yourself. I got Dreamweaver through my school, aparently its pretty expensive software and my webhost like most has database software already setup. If you want a MySQL database on your home computer I'd suggest downloading wampserver here

    What takes the longest using databases is actually designing it beforehand and making sure everythings going to work together, after that it takes probably an hour to code it all depending on your knowledge. My friend and I are going to start a web design company where I do the backend stuff and he does the design. I'm a computer science major and hes a graphic design major.

    As for leaks, theres really no such thing as a secure website, theres always a flaw whether its a coding error or just faulty software. In high school I got into hacking so I know a little bit about getting into things I'm not supposed to which is good for securing websites. (you can actually search google using a code that brings up database usernames and passwords from insecure databases)

    I learned PHP just by buying books online, if you'd like to know which ones they are let me know and I'll post them.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    I see...

    I dare think we're about on the same level, if we do things different, I started back in high school as well but back in the 80's it was Apple II's and Basic programming, thou I took a year of Pascal, things have changed... I stuck with computers as a hobby for all these years, I am no expert but I know a little more than the average person, got started with the IBM clone back in the early 90's with a Dell 386 sx20 (yup, a 20 mhz single process, the dx came later).

    Thou I code my own xhtml, even with Web sites I need a basic template or some kind of skeleton to get me going. In that same way I can not code straight php but use free software to get me started (usually find stuff on but the drawback is it takes time to find things in huge repositories, it is a bit like the flea market or going to yard sales, but the programs are free then I might re-do some parts by hand, once I have the layout it is not so bad. Unfortunately I'm not nearly as familiar with php as I am with xhtml, it is a bit like perl, I can make out what various parts do but I can't always figure out where or how to make the changes. And it takes time, lots of it, I have to be in the mood.

    I lease a small server on which I host two sites of mine, one is my business site which I just finished putting online in March, the other is a fun site I've worked on for around 5 years lol... So I have and use the sql db and am familiar with it, I'd say we see security and its issues at about the same level, I agree there is no such thing as a perfectly secure server.

    I wish you the best of luck in your ventures, I think you'll do better than most of the guys out there who see the computer world as easy money, but I am sure you know it is anything but... The work isn't as physical as lawncare, but mentally it is at least as demanding, you'll work that mind like lawns work the muscles for sure.

    Right now I'm having a day with crontabs and ownership issues and just really stupid background stuff isn't working right and Unix can be such a pita ! But it works, so I leave it all for another day, when hopefully I will be in the mood.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Hey you know, I was just thinking...

    To prevent certain security issues, such as if you ever have problems with spammers attempting to use your forms or worse, bots probing into them, the use of a random image password is probably one of php's strongest points, also known as a captcha, it looks rather like this:
    (this is on my fun or hobby site):

    It was a pita to install as I had to insert the code from the captcha into the form, a better way to say it is the form that processes the information entered ended up being built around the captcha. It's really just a simple php-mailer but to make the entire algorhythm work from ONE submit button was a trick. Once the user clicks the program has to first compare the captcha and then process the information IF approved and if not, revert... Took a while (2-3 months heh) but this nifty has really helped reduce form abuse, a sad but unfortunate side-effect of popularity lol.

    If you ever need a captcha, here's the free one I used:

    So now you kinda see how I do things :)
  8. apblue

    apblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    Thanks for the advice, I run another site and in the past month in a half that its been up I've gotten over 100 members and had a problem with spamming the first week. The way I got around it was to use member only posting and then email verification. But now I don't have a problem with it because all the spammers IP's are blocked. Your absolutely right using image verification is perfect against bots. I haven't looked at the coding for the one you suggested but if you think its truly spam proof I'll go with it if not i'll just code it myself. I like coding things myself because I can learn more and modify it to my liking. That why I love Dreamweaver also because you can see the code and the design view. I've looked at the code so much and messed with custom codes that for PHP websites I don't even look at the design view anymore I'm just pouring through lines of code.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    You guys think PHP is fun, you should check out C++ :)
  10. apblue

    apblue LawnSite Member
    Messages: 0

    Funny you say that, I'm majoring in Computer Information Systems and just got done with Intro to Computer Science class where all it was was C++ its interesting but bores me. I love PHP its similar in some ways I guess.

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