Simple Machines Community Forum

Customizing SMF => Building Your Community and other Forum Advice => Topic started by: D.Rich99 on July 22, 2019, 02:41:14 PM

Title: How to develop offline?
Post by: D.Rich99 on July 22, 2019, 02:41:14 PM
Hello,

Can someone please explain how to install and develop a forum offline, before then transfering it to my host to get it online.

Thank you.
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: Bigguy on July 22, 2019, 02:56:57 PM
It would be much easier to do it online. To do it offline would require a webserver installed on your computer.
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: njtweb on July 22, 2019, 03:05:07 PM
Do it online. Keep the forum in maintenance mode until complete and ready for production.
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: shawnb61 on July 22, 2019, 03:36:18 PM
This is a very big topic... 

At a very high level, you will need to:
 - Install & configure a web server (like Apache)
 - Install & configure a DB server (like MySQL)
 - Install the forum software
 - Develop away!
 - Optional - Install & configure something for your source code control

Each of these steps has a fairly steep learning curve. 

There are tools out there that make it easier.   E.g., both XAMPP & EasyPHP offer "all in one" downloads and installs that bring up apache & mysql.

The main benefit of developing & testing locally is the ease of debugging, & has the added benefit of not struggling with any limitations your host may inflict... 

I did the same thing back in late 2016.  I had a #of issues with my forum and wanted to try fixes on a local test server instead of my live site.  I now use EasyPHP (Apache & MySQL), Eclipse (php Debugging), Notepad++ (for editing) and git/Github (to contribute to SMF2.1).  I made local copies of my forum via backup & restore, so now I can flail away safely...

And yes, the learning curve can be frustrating... 
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen on July 22, 2019, 03:42:14 PM
Just to add my 2 cents in to this.
Eventually, you will need to learn to work with your server and a live forum anyway, so as a beginner I think it is easier to skip learning tools you don't really need yet,
and head straight to a live environment. Just, keep backups, make notes, and don't rush it.
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: D.Rich99 on July 22, 2019, 04:19:42 PM
Ok, for the time being I will use a free host for working on the basic setup and mods.

Thank you very much for your replies.
Title: Re: How to develop offline?
Post by: Arantor on July 22, 2019, 05:13:47 PM
I've always found that working offline is most useful if you're going to do a lot of code-related work (e.g. developing your own mods) but if you're installing a forum and adding mods, doing it online is usually just fine. I did exactly that over the weekend, set up a specialised forum, dropped in the one mod I cared about, job done, never set anything up on my local.

The other problem with developing offline is the actual act of moving it online - every developer will be familiar with the symptom "well, it works on my machine..." where there are differences between what is on your machine and what is on the server (and it might be configuration, it might be data).