PHILADELPHIA REFLECTIONS
Musings of a Philadelphia Physician who has served the community for six decades

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Website Development
The website technology supporting Philadelphia Reflections is PHP, MySQL and DHTML. The web hosting service is Internet Planners. The development of this website has provided an opportunity to learn new technology, to try out different techniques for getting noticed by the search engines and the trials and tribulations of dealing with malicious hackers and spammers who range from the annoying to the abusive. This collection of articles documents some of our experiences and we hope that people surfing the web looking for solutions to problems we've encountered will benefit.

Web hosting providers

Choosing a web hosting service provider is difficult. There's no brand to rely on and an Internet search turns up confusing claims and offers. We have used two providers:

  • Internet Planners is the service currently running this web site. They have provided what they promised. They do not run the latest versions of MySQL or PHP which means certain newer features are not available but it probably improves their stability and what they offer is, in fact, provided. What was missing that we noticed included
    • RSS parsing (Magpie was a good substitute)
    • and HTML Tidy, which we've just lived without, substituting our own Regular Expressions.

  • Network Solutions, on the other hand, has provided very poor service and has high fees. They run later versions of PHP and MySQL than Internet Planners, but their implementation is poor and the result is that critical functions are not available: user authentication for example (how can an Internet service provider not support user authentication?).

Based on our experience, Internet Planners is a reasonable choice for web hosting; Network Solutions is a bad choice.

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