I started all those years ago, right here on Sitepoint by reading Kev Yank's "Build your own Database Driven Website using PHP & MySQL" tutorial.
The series has been kept up to date and is now in it's third revision. It's a great starting point, walking you through the steps for setting up a simple CMS. For me this worked great as a starting point because it allowed me to see the code come to life, walking me through the steps needed to actually make something that works rather than just reading reams of code about the more complex aspects of PHP that might scare a beginner off.
as you and others have recommended Kevin Yank's book *Build your own database driven ...* I would like to ask you and them: Does the JOKES-Database work perfectly on your machines (servers). I have installed Apache 1.3 and copied the scripts supplied by Kevin into to root doc folder, but they do not work properly. I can insert jokes, edit or delete them, but I cannot select the jokes on the basis of the given parameters like *author* or *category*.
The book is fantastic, granted - but I would like to use / adjust this database for my own purposes -- once it works as it should.
Any comment or help would be greatly appreciated.
I've had many people say to me that Yank's book is the best for learning PHP but i used a different one. I used "PHP and MySQL for Dummies". Its a very good book and got me making a site within a week and a bit. Id recommend one of them, and then you should read PHP Anthology to further your knowlage.
Kevin Yanks book is great, but make sure to get a nice primer in first othewise you will get to chapter 5 and start to bang your head like I did. Learning never ends. The best thing to do is setup a place on your own site and tinker away .
I'm still relatively n00b in the world php. Started learning about February this year and thus far have built this site -> http://jiggle.decivex.net - with the help of #php @ irc.freenode.net of course ^_^
But yeah dont waste time asking people just go google and search for some tutorials, print them off and have a read, it ain't something that comes quick. You gotta put in the effort.
It helps if you have a decent understanding of html. Myself I'd recommend learning html before jumping into php.
PS: The tutorial about the jokes database by kev or whoever it was is one of the tutorials I printed off. Reasonably Useful. Print off 3 or 4 tutorials because once you start getting into it you'll be looking through them all for snippets and things you learned etc.
go to the library and hit yourself up with "PHP For Dummies" by uhmm, no idea but you know the "For Dummies" books? this one is another great book in the series. it helped me a lot, it teaches you all the basics and you end up creating a webshop in php.