I want to create a predominantly static xhtml website as the content of many of the pages shouldnt change too often, however I also want to create other pages which could be forums or areas for members to upload pictures / info etc. 1) is it possible to do this with one database 2) Is it possible to get users to log in once and still be acknowledged as ‘logged in’ even on the static pages? Im good with xhtml and css but havent had much experience with databases.. so any advice would be great as Im looking to see which hosting package I should buy.
Dynamic pages can contain as much static content as you want. When building a site, it makes more sense to use the same filename extension for all pages. That way, you can add dynamic content to any page without the need to redirect users from the old static page. The first decision that you need to make is which server-side language you’re going to use. Dreamweaver supports ASP, ASP.NET 1.0, ColdFusion, JSP, and PHP. If you have no previous experience, ASP isn’t a good choice because Microsoft has switched all development to ASP.NET.
So you would be learning a technology that will eventually fade out (although I’m sure it will take many years for it to happen). Also a lot of ASP sites use Access as the main database. It’s suitable only for small sites that don’t get much traffic. ASP.NET and JSP have a steeper learning curve, and Dreamweaver doesn’t support ASP.NET 2.0. That leaves ColdFusion and PHP, both of which are relatively easy to learn, and fairly widely supported.