Programming in php has always been a passion for me. HTML alone is not useful. You cannot feel enough power with HTML. So I really hated to switch or even learn web-languages. But, now its not so... website designing using php is something that can give you opportunity to take over the world. Amazing is its features!
Let me slowly brief about it...
Php is a server side scripting language. This means that all the execution are basically done in the server side and not by the one executing it. Why should we go for a server side scripting?
Basically, lets take this scenario where I use Solaris Operating system, you use Windows Vista and someone uses a Linux. If I program for a page which works fine with Solaris, I can't be sure that it works as fine as it did for me (There's a change in platform right???)! Hence it becomes necessary for us to write pages that use server side scripting. Did you know? Almost 75% of the webpages are made using php. Even the wikipedia uses php. Try opening a tab and giving it a try. But don't bounce directly now...!
Fine, coming to the part...
Php is a scripting language right? You can just embed it in a normal HTML and the awesome part is that, if you give a tag for bold, underline or something, it even works and modifies your php output.
There is a very close relationship between php and MySql. Whats MySql?
Its a Relational Datanbase Management System. Its very very easy to start with MySql. All you need is just an e-book which helps you out fine. MySql Query Browser is a good choice.
Not much to tell about MySql. The giant Google also uses it! All your searches are done using MySql.
If you need to maintain such a database, you need to maintain an apache server inside your system and access your pages using local host.
I'll talk about this in a detailed manner soon.