Getting started with PHP and MySQL
Learning PHP and MySQL is a great way to offer clients a more dynamic website. PHP is a web-based language which interacts with a database (MySQL). Combined they offer a robust platform for building dynamic websites and content management systems (CMS). Some examples of popular CMS which are based on PHP and MySQL include WordPress, Zen Photo and Drupal. In addition to building a CMS from scratch, it’s also possible to customize an existing CMS such as WordPress to better suit a clients needs.
Setting up a local programming environment is a great way to learn the in’s and out’s of how a PHP / MySQL solution is hosted. One of the most popular server environments is LAMP which stands for Linux (the OS), Apache (the webserver), MySQL (the database) and PHP (The scripting language). A popular and easy to use/install LAMP package is XAMPP (link). After installing XAMPP (or another webserver package) you’l be able to host a website directly from your computer.
Visit http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_intro.asp for a great tutorial on how to get going with PHP and MySQL.