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Webmasters: There Is Nothing To Fear About PHP But Fear Itself

Copyright (c) 2010-2023

I remember when I first started on the Internet as a webmaster. I remember I was so scared I was going screw something up, I was scared to death to install scripts into my website.

My First Experience With Online Script Customization

In those days, I had a mailing list with more than 2000 people subscribed to my newsletter. I remember thinking that people may think I was less professional, if I keep my mailing list on Yahoo groups. I remember that I had the bright idea to operate the mailing list from my domain. My web hosting company offered mailing list software, within my web hosting account.

Because I had the ability to operate my own mailing list from my server, I decided that I should move my Yahoo groups mailing list to a mailing list on my own domain. That was in 1999, the year that I had purchased my first domain name.

My very first experience with Perl scripts was when I was managing my mailing list. I recall that there was some customization that I desired to do within the coding for that script. I read the documentation for that mailing list software, and the programmers make it sound so easy...

I read the documentation several times to make sure that I understood what I was trying to do. I recall that in Perl scripting, a comment tag is denoted by the #, in front of the comment.

After three days of preparation, I opened up the Perl configuration file to customize how my particular mailing list operated. Once I opened the file and found hundreds of lines of code, I have to admit, I was deeply intimidated by the task that lay before me...

After seeing the code, I went back to the documentation and started reading again... I was so scared that I was going to screw something up that I felt I needed to make absolutely certain that what I thought I was doing was actually what I should be doing...

I was scared I was going to screw something up, and I was intimidated by the process...

To be honest, it took me more than one week to comment out three lines of code and to un-comment another eight lines of code, because I was so uneasy about what I was doing...

I Can Fix Anything I Break

Finally, I took the attitude that I could not screw up anything too bad... I took the attitude that if I broke something, then I could fix what I broke... That was the real turning point for me when dealing with computer scripts...

I figured that so long as I remembered what I changed, I could fix anything that I broke...

So, I kept good records in a notepad on my desk, documenting every change I made and where I made it...

Customizing Existing Website Scripts

For the first couple months, I only played with other people's Perl scripts... If I found something that I wanted my website to do, I would go find a Perl script that was designed to do that task for me... Then I would install that script on my server and customize it if I needed to do so...

Customization of Perl scripts was painful and slow, because I would have to look for sample online that would show me how to do what I wanted to do... Then with a sample in hand, I would try to make my website jump through the hoops I wanted it to jump through...

In my case, I spent a couple years customizing other people's scripts for my websites... In those early days, I only played with Perl scripts, because that is what I was familiar with... I had heard people talk about how easy and efficient PHP was, but it was unexplored territory for me, so therefore, I remained intimidated by PHP and stayed away from it for much too long...

In the spring of 2005, I was looking for a particular solution that I could only locate in PHP scripts... Literally, I was forced to step outside of my comfort zone and to start looking at code written in PHP...

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone Into PHP

Using online tutorials for PHP, such as those found at, I got to speed really quickly on PHP...

My first impression of using PHP for online programming was that I could do one line of code in PHP for ever 20 lines of code in Perl... Of course, that could only be “my impression” of the difference between the two programming languages, because I was never really skilled in Perl to begin with...

After customizing two or three scripts in PHP, I realized that PHP was a really intuitive programming language... I realized that writing scripts in PHP would be much easier for me than writing scripts in Perl...

In the summer of 2005, after having written from scratch three or four scripts in PHP, I took the plunge...

To that date, my entire website had been written and developed in Perl... I spent the summer of 2005 converting all of the primary operations of my website to a PHP format...

I spent roughly 30 days programming in PHP format, bringing my website finally into the 21st century...

It is a decision that I have not regretted...

Compared to working with Perl, I find programming in PHP to be an absolute joy...

Overcoming One Problem At A Time To Find Solutions

Over the years, I have taught myself to program for the Internet, one step at a time, only writing the code that I needed to write to make my websites do the tasks that I wanted my website to do...

What I'm telling you is that I am not the most proficient programmer on the Internet, but I can program anything that I need to program. When I needed to create a script that enabled me to auto submit to Twitter, I spent two hours studying the problem, then one hour creating the solution...

When I needed to adapt my Twitter script to enable me to auto submit to similar sites, I spent 30 minutes coding a solution... Mind you, before sitting down to write the script, I spent one week researching the solution...

After having gone through the process, I can assure you of one thing...

I purchased a half a dozen scripts, written by other programmers, to help me understand the process of submitting content - via PHP script - to the social media websites...

I can assure you, from personal experience, that most of the PHP scripts in the marketplace that have been designed to enable you to submit content and social media websites, are just plain garbage...

In almost every case, the scripts that I purchased did not even do what they were advertised to do... In fact, most of the scripts available online that you can purchase today that claim they will help you submit content to social media and social bookmarking websites require you to manually place all content, one site at a time...

At the end of the day, I wasted $100 purchasing scripts that taught me absolutely nothing... and strangely, I wasted that money purchasing scripts where the social media websites listed no longer existed... What I mean to say is that one script was advertising that it had 120 social media websites built into its scripting... But while trying to register at those sites, I quickly figured out that more than 60 of those sites were no longer in business...

I researched and analyzed more than one dozen social bookmarking scripts... I was absolutely stunned that many of those websites were not even written my own language... The scripts that pull together the ability to submit a web page to more than 100 social media websites rely upon German, French, and Far East websites to give their scripts the appearance of offering good value...

In my particular case, I wanted to only submit content to English-speaking social media websites... After all, I only speak English... I don't want to be in the minority, putting English-language tweets in foreign language websites... Much in the same way that I don't want to see a bunch of German or Chinese in my Twitter public timeline...

I found the available solutions for social media marketing to be lacking, therefore, I had to create my own solution to do this for me...

As A Webmaster, You Must Learn To Overcome Your Fears

But the point of this story is not to say that I'm a programmer with some awesome scripts; it is meant to say that as a webmaster, you must be willing to overcome your fears, to do what needs to be done for your website, or you must be willing to hire someone to do that for you...

There are also tools and tutorials online that will teach you how to do custom PHP coding for your websites... Even if you don't want to do the coding yourself, you can often find code online that will help you do what you want your website to do...

Some of the best resources online for learning how to program in PHP are:




  • For example, if you wanted to build a custom contact form for your website, there are tutorials that will teach you how to do so... If you're intimidated by the process of learning how to do it for yourself, you can even find existing scripts that you can customize to serve your own needs... If you just don't want to have to look at the code, then there are others who are willing to do that coding for you...

    I have programmed entire websites before, but most people do not need someone to build an entire website for them... Rather most people are happy with the website that they currently have; they just wish they could add specific functionality to that website... That is what I do today... I create specific scripts to solve a specific problem, then I sell those scripts to other people...

    I have found real job satisfaction in knowing that I can give people the added functionality that they want for their websites...

    Answering The Call For Custom PHP Scrips, One Problem At A Time

    People do not want a complete website overhaul, and I cannot blame them... But when the web designer built the website, he or she may have excluded an XML Sitemap... Those folks knock on our door, and we create XML Sitemaps for them...

    If you want to learn how to build you own XML Sitemaps, you should visit:

    But, if you want to avoid the headache of doing that, then you should consider using our services at the website shown below...

    If you simply want to add a small script to your website that permits your visitors to social bookmark your web pages, then you should go to:

    But, if you want a more automated approach, you should consider purchasing my script for doing that at the website shown below...

    If you want to add a free PHP contact form to your website, then you should take a look at:

    However, if you want something customized just for you, then you owe it to yourself to visit the website shown below in my Author's Resource Box...

    The Only Thing You Have To Fear Is Fear Itself...

    After ten years of online programming, I can assure you that the title of this article is correct... The only thing we have to fear is fear itself...

    The tools and resources you need to have to be able to learn how to do your own PHP coding is available online, if you are willing to invest yourself to that end...

    You just have to be willing to open the source code of the files on your website and to learn your way around the code... Once you have overcome the fear, online programming with PHP really is not that hard...

    You can teach yourself how to program for the Internet, or you can hunt down people who are willing to do the programming for you...

    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    If you need a custom PHP script coded for your website, or if you need help installing a script that you have purchased or otherwise acquired, my co-workers and I will be happy to take care of it for you... We also do XML Sitemap installations... Visit our website at: to learn more... I am Hartford Rhodes, and I look forward to helping you do things on your website that until now, you may have only dreamed about...

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