Learn to build database-driven websites in Dreamweaver and Expression Web

Eight years ago, after creating my first database powered website, I remember thinking man, this is cool stuff! Today, many dynamic PHP and ASP Dreamweaver sites later, I still have the same giggly, power-hungry feeling when I start coding the pages to display the database content. There is so much you can do with a simple database and a few lines of code, that static websites should be a thing of the past.

There is a really affordable set of database-driven website tutorials available from WebAssist that give you the foundation you need to start cranking out some really decent websites. The Database Starter Kits are available in PHP, ASP and .NET formats (.NET is currently available for Expression Web only) and they are only about ten bucks each. What you get with the starter kits is a complete interactive tutorial series that teaches the fundamentals of database website design, three complete databases (MySQL for PHP and Access for ASP and .NET) and a host of information that will get you started building your own dynamic websites.

When I created my first ASP/MS Access website, it was challenging and I’m definitely a “learn-by-doing” type of person. I’m not big on reading books or watching videos (video wasn’t big yet back in 2000), so I just struggled through the code and picked up tips as needed from the web. I really wished I would have something like the Database Starter Kits to help me learn the fundamentals of database web design.

The starter kits take you through setting up your database structure, making connections in Dreamweaver or Expression Web for .NET, querying the database and displaying your dynamic recordset on your website. The tutorials can be viewed at your own pace, and the included databases can be tweaked and torn apart as much as you like.

Since my first ASP/Access site, I have switched over primarily to PHP/MySQL just due to the fact that most hosting plans are on Linux servers and include MySQL support by default. ASP/Access generally requires a Windows Server installation on the box, and those plans usually cost a little more due to the software costs. The size of my sites hasn’t required MSSQL, so MySQL is a perfect (free) way to build database-driven websites.

If you are looking for a great way to make the jump into dynamic database website design in Dreamweaver or Expression Web, the Database Starter Kits would be an excellent small investment.

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