This final workshop contains some questions about content management systems, as well as a quiz and exercises.
What about security? I've read about security holes in some web applications.
A number of popular web applications have been found to have bugs that can cause security problems, and when you install an application, it's important to keep an eye on subsequent releases to make sure that you install updates that fix any security holes that arise. Deploying an application and not keeping it updated can leave you vulnerable not only to malicious users who want to break into your servers, but also spammers who look for problems with applications that can send mail to use them to deliver spam. The bottom line is that putting up an application on the Web places some responsibility on the person who deployed it to keep it up to date and prevent it from being used for nefarious purposes.
Is there a way to automatically keep my applications up to date?
Some servers run operating systems with package managers. As long as you install your applications from packages supported by the package managers, you can let the operating system keep them up to date. Doing so generally requires that you run your own server. If you are using a web hosting provider, you're probably on your own when it comes to installing updates.
Will my web hosting provider install and maintain any of these applications for me?
Some web hosting providers maintain installations of popular applications so that their customers don't have to install the applications themselves. For example, there's a list of web hosts that support WordPress at http://wordpress.org/hosting/. If you're sure which application you want to use, it may make sense to select your hosting provider on that basis.
What are some of the tradeoffs between hosted applications and those you install yourself?
Why do some applications require you to change the file permissions on the server?
Why do most installable applications ask you to specify a prefix for table names in a database?
Hosted applications tend to be less work up front and easier to maintain, but offer less flexibility than applications you install yourself.
Applications that make changes to the file system, either because they store their data in files or because they allow users to upload files, generally require you to change the file permissions for specific directories when you install them.
Each application has its own table prefix in order to prevent naming conflicts when several applications use the same database. For example, several applications might have their own table called "users." Adding an application-specific prefix to it will prevent conflicts.
Find out which operating system, application development environment, and database are available from your web host, if you have one. If you're working on internal projects, find out about your servers from the Information Technology department.
Install one of the applications mentioned in this lesson, or one you find yourself, and try it out.
Go forth and put your new web publishing skills to good use.