I am building a website that will have tons and tons of content. (e.g. NY Times, CNN, Yahoo, etc.)

I've got a couple of pretty good templates to work with, however, everything is static because it is hard-coded in HTML/CSS.

My home page is a 3-column layout with the left and right columns fixed-width, and the middle column "fluid". And most other pages will be a 2-column layout with the right column being fixed-width, and the main column being "fluid".

I would like to find an easy way to change the content of the middle content, and I believe PHP is the way to do this, but I'm very very rusty on PHP. (Started studying it in the past, but haven't cracked a book in ages!)

I'm probably not ready for anything fancy like using a database, but just want an easy way to swap in and out 15-20 articles in the templates mentioned above.

Can someone help me to better understand how I go from a "static" website to a "dynamic" website?