Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Changing the document root


PHP with MySQL Essential Training

with Kevin Skoglund

Video: Changing the document root

In this movie we are going to learn to change the Document Root that Apache is going to use. The document root is the place where we are going to locate the web files that Apache is going to be serving up when we make web requests. Apache has a default document root and that exists at Library/WebServer/Documents. So that's the root of your hard drive inside each of those directories, and that's the place where we could drop documents, right now. And we would be able to access them from our browser. That's where that it works file lives. We'll see that in just a moment.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      3m 8s
  2. 15m 6s
    1. What is PHP?
      3m 52s
    2. The history of PHP
      2m 51s
    3. Why choose PHP?
      4m 10s
    4. Installation overview
      4m 13s
  3. 1h 3m
    1. Overview
      2m 33s
    2. Working with Apache Web Server
      6m 56s
    3. Changing the document root
      7m 24s
    4. Installing to Yosemite
      8m 13s
    5. Enabling PHP
      6m 16s
    6. Upgrading PHP
      3m 30s
    7. Configuring PHP
      10m 3s
    8. Installing MySQL
      5m 46s
    9. Configuring MySQL
      7m 24s
    10. Text editor
      5m 1s
  4. 31m 25s
    1. Overview
      3m 27s
    2. Installing WampServer
      5m 46s
    3. Finding the document root
      2m 24s
    4. Configuring PHP
      8m 12s
    5. Configuring MySQL
      5m 45s
    6. Text editor
      5m 51s
  5. 19m 12s
    1. Embedding PHP code on a page
      6m 43s
    2. Outputting dynamic text
      5m 55s
    3. The operational trail
      2m 27s
    4. Inserting code comments
      4m 7s
  6. 1h 18m
    1. Variables
      7m 50s
    2. Strings
      4m 38s
    3. String functions
      8m 54s
    4. Numbers part one: Integers
      6m 27s
    5. Numbers part two: Floating points
      5m 25s
    6. Arrays
      10m 0s
    7. Associative arrays
      6m 37s
    8. Array functions
      6m 33s
    9. Booleans
      3m 50s
    10. NULL and empty
      5m 15s
    11. Type juggling and casting
      8m 27s
    12. Constants
      4m 43s
  7. 27m 37s
    1. If statements
      6m 0s
    2. Else and elseif statements
      4m 16s
    3. Logical operators
      7m 30s
    4. Switch statements
      9m 51s
  8. 42m 15s
    1. While loops
      8m 41s
    2. For loops
      5m 59s
    3. Foreach loops
      8m 16s
    4. Continue
      8m 28s
    5. Break
      4m 8s
    6. Understanding array pointers
      6m 43s
  9. 37m 25s
    1. Defining functions
      8m 25s
    2. Function arguments
      5m 32s
    3. Returning values from a function
      7m 33s
    4. Multiple return values
      4m 53s
    5. Scope and global variables
      6m 2s
    6. Setting default argument values
      5m 0s
  10. 20m 18s
    1. Common problems
      3m 47s
    2. Warnings and errors
      8m 36s
    3. Debugging and troubleshooting
      7m 55s
  11. 57m 57s
    1. Links and URLs
      5m 33s
    2. Using GET values
      5m 35s
    3. Encoding GET values
      8m 41s
    4. Encoding for HTML
      9m 26s
    5. Including and requiring files
      7m 40s
    6. Modifying headers
      6m 45s
    7. Page redirection
      6m 43s
    8. Output buffering
      7m 34s
  12. 1h 3m
    1. Building forms
      7m 28s
    2. Detecting form submissions
      5m 59s
    3. Single-page form processing
      7m 57s
    4. Validating form values
      10m 40s
    5. Problems with validation logic
      9m 54s
    6. Displaying validation errors
      7m 23s
    7. Custom validation functions
      6m 28s
    8. Single-page form with validations
      7m 25s
  13. 28m 5s
    1. Working with cookies
      2m 49s
    2. Setting cookie values
      5m 55s
    3. Reading cookie values
      6m 1s
    4. Unsetting cookie values
      4m 51s
    5. Working with sessions
      8m 29s
  14. 48m 39s
    1. MySQL introduction
      6m 43s
    2. Creating a database
      7m 41s
    3. Creating a database table
      7m 42s
    4. CRUD in MySQL
      5m 48s
    5. Populating a MySQL database
      7m 32s
    6. Relational database tables
      6m 40s
    7. Populating the relational table
      6m 33s
  15. 56m 4s
    1. Database APIs in PHP
      4m 51s
    2. Connecting to MySQL with PHP
      7m 45s
    3. Retrieving data from MySQL
      8m 47s
    4. Working with retrieved data
      6m 12s
    5. Creating records with PHP
      6m 58s
    6. Updating and deleting records with PHP
      9m 6s
    7. SQL injection
      3m 5s
    8. Escaping strings for MySQL
      6m 45s
    9. Introducing prepared statements
      2m 35s
  16. 35m 58s
    1. Blueprinting the application
      7m 19s
    2. Building the CMS database
      5m 14s
    3. Establishing your work area
      4m 38s
    4. Creating and styling the first page
      4m 22s
    5. Making page assets reusable
      6m 36s
    6. Connecting the application to the database
      7m 49s
  17. 32m 49s
    1. Adding pages to the navigation subjects
      5m 58s
    2. Refactoring the navigation
      6m 7s
    3. Selecting pages from the navigation
      6m 2s
    4. Highlighting the current page
      5m 26s
    5. Moving the navigation to a function
      9m 16s
  18. 1h 45m
    1. Finding a subject in the database
      9m 48s
    2. Refactoring the page selection
      10m 52s
    3. Creating a new subject form
      6m 55s
    4. Processing form values and adding subjects
      11m 20s
    5. Passing data in the session
      9m 16s
    6. Validating form values
      9m 40s
    7. Creating an edit subject form
      8m 30s
    8. Using single-page submission
      7m 44s
    9. Deleting a subject
      9m 44s
    10. Cleaning up
      10m 37s
    11. Assignment: Pages CRUD
      4m 30s
    12. Assignment results: Pages CRUD
      6m 10s
  19. 39m 26s
    1. The public appearance
      8m 52s
    2. Using a context for conditional code
      11m 37s
    3. Adding a default subject behavior
      6m 9s
    4. The public content area
      5m 51s
    5. Protecting page visibility
      6m 57s
  20. 1h 3m
    1. User authentication overview
      4m 3s
    2. Admin CRUD
      8m 41s
    3. Encrypting passwords
      7m 26s
    4. Salting passwords
      5m 42s
    5. Adding password encryption to CMS
      11m 54s
    6. New PHP password functions
      3m 13s
    7. Creating a login system
      11m 28s
    8. Checking for authorization
      5m 48s
    9. Creating a logout page
      5m 40s
  21. 2m 4s
    1. Next steps
      2m 4s

please wait ...
PHP with MySQL Essential Training from
14h 24m Beginner Jun 04, 2013 Updated May 20, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.

Topics include:
  • What is PHP?
  • Installing and configuring PHP and MySQL
  • Exploring data types
  • Controlling code with logical expressions and loops
  • Using PHP's built-in functions
  • Writing custom functions
  • Building dynamic webpages
  • Working with forms and form data
  • Using cookies and sessions to store data
  • Connecting to MySQL with PHP
  • Creating and editing database records
  • Building a content management system
  • Adding user authentication
Kevin Skoglund

Changing the document root

In this movie we are going to learn to change the Document Root that Apache is going to use. The document root is the place where we are going to locate the web files that Apache is going to be serving up when we make web requests. Apache has a default document root and that exists at Library/WebServer/Documents. So that's the root of your hard drive inside each of those directories, and that's the place where we could drop documents, right now. And we would be able to access them from our browser. That's where that it works file lives. We'll see that in just a moment.

But instead of doing that, we want to use our user document root. The first one is just a general location that all users of our Macintosh can see. Now, even if we're the only user, It's still a good practice to go ahead and locate our websites in our user directory. So we're going to need to create a folder for that, and that's going to be the Sites directory. The unit shortcut for that is just the tilda sign that says go to my user directory inside Sites. The full path for it is Users and then your name and then Sites. And that's where this folder is going to live.

This folder does not exist, righ now, in all likelihood, Apple used to provide it for us. It used to be on all Mac OS 10 installation. But, starting with 10.8, they stopped adding it. So, if you've upgraded from previous versions of Mac OS 10, you may still have it. It may be a folder that still existed and carried through the upgrade. If you've just installed 10.8 from scratch, then you probably don't have this folder, and you'll need to create it. And then, after we've created the folder, we'll have to tell Apache that it has permission to serve up files from that folder.

So we'll have to give it a little bit of a configuration in order to make that happen. Let's take a look now, so the first thing I want to do is I want you to see the existing page that's there. If we move around in Unix, and we can do that with the CD command for changing directories. We change directory to Library, and then Web Server, and then Documents. You don't need to do this, you can actually just watch me. I've now moved into that directory. If I type ls, it'll show me a listing what's in that directory and there's an index.html.en page. If we take a look at that page, cat index.html.en and that will output the contents of that file. So you can see it's just the simple html page that says it works, that's what's there by default.

That's what's in that directory, we can go ahead and keep using that directory and local host always points to that directory. But instead, to get to our user directory, what we want to do, go to the desktop here, I'm inside the Finder, I'll pick New Finder Window. I'm inside my user directory. And I'm just going to create a new folder inside here and call it Sites, capital S and plural, so Sites. Notice that it picked up this special icon that's built into Mac OS 10, because sites used to be a normal thing. It used to be there all the time.

So it still picked up that icon, even though Apple has decided to leave it out of the install by default. So this is now where I'm going to put all of my websites. So from now on, all of my code is going to go inside this sites directory inside here. In order to make that happen I need to give Apache some additional commands. So in order to do that I'm going to cd again but this time I'm going to go into Apache's configuration directory. And that's inside /etc/apache2 So there it is, insideetc/apache2 and then inside there, there's another directory called Users.

So that's where I'm going to go to and you should navigate there as well So you want to be in the same location. if you type PWD It should report back that that is your current working directory. That's where you are right now. If we do ls in that directory, there's nothing there listed for me. Now if it came back for you and it said that you had a configuration file, you might want to take a look at that configuration file and see what's there first. But since I don't have anything, I know I need to create this file. I'll do that using the sudo command, which we talked about earlier. Basically saying creative it with highest level access privileges.

When you use the nano text editor. Just type the word nano and that will open up a text editor to allow me to edit and then whatever your user name is, .conf. Now don't actually type user name, type your user name. It's gotta match whatever your directory is that you just created that folder in. So for me that's kevinskoglund.conf. And then it's going to ask me for my password. I'll type in my main installation password on the Mac. And now, it's says, alright, now what do you want to put into this file? And I've got some text that I can just Paste in here.

And the only thing I'll need to do is change username in this to be my username, kevinskoglund. Alright, so that's what you want to put in this file, this is a set of directions for Apache, saying that the directory users Kevin Skoglund Sites. Should have these following permissions applied to it. And these permissions are some basic, standard stuff Apache's saying Hey, Apache, allow access to the directory. You should serve up things from this directory, it's okay. So pause the movie if you need to Copy that down. Make sure that you copy it exactly right. Make sure that you got all the capitalization right, all the spacing right, because it's all important.

These are directions that we're giving to Apache. And then when you're done, we're going to hold Ctrl+X. You'll see that down at the bottom, it says Exit. It's going to say, do you want to save the changes here? And we're going to say Yes, we do. Just have a Y. It'll say do you want to call it the file name kevinskoglund.conf, and I do, so I'm just going to hit Return. And now I had to Save that file, cat kevinskoglund.conf, and you can see the file and see its contents there. So now we've given Apache the instructions. There are two more things we need to do. We need to change the permissions on this file to make sure that Apache has permission to read it.

So we're going to do that with sudo, and then chmod, space, 644, and then the name of the file. Once you do that, it will have changed the permissions, the ability for Apache to read and write the file, to be the correct thing we need. And the last thing is sudo apachectl restart, right, remember that. We just need to restart Apache so that it picks up that new configuration file. So now it should be working and we're ready to check it out in our browser but we don't have anything in that folder to actually serve up yet. So let's just real quickly create something in that folder. I'm going to cd into my user directory.

Remember the shortcut for that is that tilde sign. Followed by a slash and then in that folder is sights. So going into my sights directory now from the command line. That's the same place, if I type open the dot you'll that it pops open the sites directory. This is unix commands that I'm entering to allow you to see the difference. That's the directory I'm in. And I'm going to just do nano again. And let's create index.html. We'll just type hello from my user directory.

We'll do an exit again, Ctrl+X, followed by Yes to Save my changes. Return to accept index.html. You can now see the file appeared here. And let's go to Firefox. If we hit Return here, we still get the It works page. But if we now append to it, tilde and then your name. So tilde, kevinscoglin, is now going to go to my user directory and return what's in that directory. We've basically told Apache, in addition to your main default document root, also serve up this user root file. And now we're ready to be able to start putting our PHP files into this directory.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about PHP with MySQL Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: This course was revised on 6/4/2013. What changed?
A: The old version of this course was 6 years old and it was time for a complete revision, using PHP 5.4. (The tutorials will work with any version of PHP and covers any differences you might encounter). The author has also added updated installation instructions for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8. The topics and end project are the same, but the code is slightly different. It also addresses frequently asked questions from the previous version.
Q: This course was updated on 5/20/2015. What changed?
A: We added one movie called "Changing the document root in Yosemite," which helps the Mac installation run more smoothly.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed PHP with MySQL Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.