Does your ISP support PHP?
When you host your site on your own server, it is easy to install and configure as much software as you want. Hosting remotely, though, these luxuries come at a price, and it is quite possible that your ISP may not provide the functionality required for PHP to work.
Ideally you need three basic components to work with PHP through your ISP: FTP access to your ISP, a working, well-configured installation of PHP 5, and a working installation of MySQL with connections to PHP. Without these you will not be able to get the most out of this book, so make sure your host provider is fully compliant before you commit.
If you are not sure whether you have PHP installed, create an empty file on your desktop, info.php, and enter into it the following code:
Upload that file to the public directory of your web server and load it up in your web browser - if you see something like the picture below then you have PHP installed and working correctly. As long as you have MySQL also working, you should be set for most of the key scripts in this book.
Note that whenever we use particular extensions, e.g. mail, sockets, etc, this will require support from your ISP. Many ISPs have well-configured PHP installations by default, allowing you to use a selection of extensions without problem. Not at all are this friendly, though, so it is best to ask around.
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