Biting off more than I can chew… first PHP project

For my first PHP project, while I learn this PHP/MySQL thing, I’m creating a sort of Social Media website…. users register and join, upload photos, make friends, send messages, etc… This project will use a lot of web technologies to make it work… SQL, Mail, File Uploading, Security, Forms, etc.

So far, I’ve been progressing steadily with my personal project and I’m at the point where I can create database-driven websites for paying clients, if I need to… and I’m only what?… about 2 weeks into learning PHP/MySQL.

That’s why for my first project, I picked something that is a little more complex with lots of database JOINS and database interaction. If I can do everything I need to do on my little project, then taking on projects for other people should be easy peasy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been creating complex sites using ASP… so this is not really a “first” project for me… but it is my first “real”, “working” PHP website. So for me,  it’s just a matter of finding the equivalent PHP function or command to do something similar I do with ASP.

For this project, I’m also using Google Maps… and it’s actually easier interfacing with Google Maps using PHP rather than ASP… since Google provides examples in PHP (but none in ASP).

Talking about “biting off more than I can chew”…. I’m investigating using Code Igniter to use as my PHP Framework.  This is something totally new to me… and it looks like CI will be interesting and will make creating websites easier and faster… I think I’ll finish this project first, then later on convert it to CI for version 2.0.

Last month, I was thinking of buying Expression Engine (costs $300+) and now I’m glad I didn’t… since now I’m just creating the whole website from raw PHP without the use of Expression Engine…. but from what I read, EE uses CI…. so I think down the road, I may use EE for future projects. But I think it’s nice to learn the nuts and bolts of PHP and really get deep into the code, before I start using EE or CI… this will make me appreciate more CI and also have an idea of how to make it work using raw PHP code.

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