I would like to be pointed in the right direction of creating an “availability checker/search”. It is an act/band/entertainment website so we would like a search box on the home page where people can choose the date which they would like an act and an option to choose the type of act e.g. a comedian or a rock band. And when they press search it will list the acts which are in the category they chose and available on the date they specified.
What you really want is a “content management system” (CMS) which has inbuilt functions like categories and search functionality etc. Popular examples include Drupal, ExpressionEngine, MODx and Joomla.
Not really, as this is all about “managing content”, so to speak. You’ll need that data stored somewhere (in a database) and need some way to retrieve it and serve it up as required … which is really what content management is about. Even if you just this part of the site is a CMS that is plugged into an otherwise static site.