I am seeking some advice, as I am in the process of helping a friend develop a website. Basically an online store that will have a catalogue of 1,000 items.

I know that doing it the old fashioned way (Creating an HTML page manually for each item) is not practical. I know that I will have to use a database solution of some sort in order to accomplish this task.

My question is this. What is the best solution to taking a web template of my design, and integrating it with a database solution so that we can have a database of products easily updatable without having to manually create HTML pages for each product?

Any and all help would be highly appreciated. I am pretty good at designing HTML/web site designs, but when it comes to database, I am still quite the newbie.

The language and database system to use are governed by a couple of factors, such as your webhost and hosting package/platform. That is, are you hosted on Windows/Linux/Unix etc. What database do you have access to and support for at your host? Lower priced hosting packages rarely offer database access, though you can purchase them as an additional item. The hosting system often determines the database used, for example, Windows platforms offer Access and SQL Server, Linux offers MySQL.

There is then the consideration of the size of the website (ie the database) and it's future growth, and the amount of traffic the site will receive. Simple databases like Access will be fine for most small, low volume traffic sites, but has limitations which will seriously affect the sites performance if the traffic increases beyond a reasonably low level.

And so onto your choice of web development language - PHP, ASP, .Net, etc - again mostly the choice will be governed by your hosting package, and your personal preference.

All that said - the process of integrating the database content into the website design is reasonably straightforward. Design your site and it's pages as per a static site. Get the layout you want and determine the functional relationships and navigation, etc. Then for each page that pulls data from the database, replace the content area of the page with code to query the database and return the results you want.

There are numerous sites with tutorials that cover connection to and returning results from a database, formatting output, manipulation of results, etc. Everything you could need is out there. And if you get stuck hit the forums and ask questions.

Good luck with your project:cheesy:

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