So there you are, wondering how I work all of this magic. How can one man produce miracles with just a lap top, and an internet connection? While what I do is a lot less confusing than computers in the Matrix, it is not far off. Here are my main tools.
Some times you want to go really deep in web architecture, all of the way down to the operating system. You may run a dedicated server, or VPS. In that case Linux is my specialty, I prefer Nginx as a web server over Apache. I have worked with Apache, and it is OK, but Nginx is leaner, more efficient, and more manageable than its predecessor. In fact the page you are on right now is served through both Nginx, and Apache, but most applications are fine with just Nginx.
When it comes to professionally using Unix, you need the command line, and I find no thing better suited to the task than the Bourne Again Shell. You never realize how easy life can really be until you can script, and automate common routines like database backup, file synchronization, and more. Basically if you can do it with a GUI, bash can do it better, including
working with your IDE.
I usually work with OpenSUSE, but most Unix flavors ship with bash, and as long as we have that we can get down to business.
MySQL is the natural complement to PHP. It is not entirely necessary, but the dynamic web requires some sort of database engine, and MySQL is as good as any. Once again, popular platforms like Wordpress, and Drupal are built on MySQL to enable clients ( like you! ) to customize your content without directly interacting with code while still empowering developers ( like me! ) to deftly manage the logic, and data when necessary. PHP, and MySQL go together like chicken, and waffles, which apparently is a pretty popular thing.
You may have multiple developers working on different areas of your site. You may only have contractors working on your site intermittently. You may just REALLY want to back up the different versions. In these cases you are a wise individual, and you will want version control. Rest assured that I use git for all of my site development to protect your file integrity every step of the way, and minimize the damage of accidental data loss. No one likes that, least of all the developer who has to fix it.
So you have seen what I do. You have a sense what I am all about, but how can I apply that to you? How can I start to address your specific needs? Rest easy. You can just tell me what you want to accomplish, and I will tell you how we get can get 'er done. You want better exposure? We can improve your SEO, and start an online advertising campaign. You want more user engagement? We can get going with user analytics, integrate a web forum into your pages. You just plain old want more money? Well, you will need to be a little more specific than that, but not by much. I can figure out the rest for you.
You need a brand new web site. You never had one before, or want to toss the old one out wholesale. No problem, I have you covered. I work with a few designers that can do any thing from simple logo design to retemplating to a complete rebranding of all company materials to ensure that you look good. Then I step to the plate a true G, and code all of your dreams into reality. Where there is will, there is a way, because that is the power of the open source web.
Perhaps you like your site the way it is, but it could be just that little bit better. You got it, bud. Open source technologies lend their selves well to allowing contractors to come in, code up that feature that you REALLY want, and then leave the site ready for the next guy to do his thing. Just tell me what you have in mind, and I will tell you how long it will take.