Integrating Web page with Database?

I am sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I am hoping to make a page that will pull data from a database. An example of the page is here:

The Terminator Jacket

Each item, such as “Jacket Suggested By,” “Photo Submitted By,” “Original Manufacturer Located By” etc. as well as the manufacturer and photo credits, the jacket description, etc. will be stored in a database.

Ideally, I would like to make one page for this, and have the data populate the fields based on the selection made by the user instead of having a page for every jacket.

I would also like a form that only I can access that would allow me to populate the database remotely. Even if I can do this by importing from an Access Database.

I have very little knowledge other than basic phpBB and HTML and CSS. Please help lean me in the right direction so I know what to learn.

Hi Rick5150. Welcome to SitePoint. :slight_smile:

As I see it, you have two basic options here. Either make use of a content management system (CMS) that does all this for you, or you could learn how to do it yourself with a book like Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL. (As an alternative to the book, you can also do [URL=“”]this video course over at Learnable.)

Doing it yourself is a steep—but no doubt rewarding—learning experience, but the usual way is to get a CMS, as I said, of which there are many, both free and commercial.

Thanks Ralph! It is good to be here. I really appreciate the answer.

I was trying to learn Joomla - do you know if this CMS has that capability? I really do not want to go through the entire learning process only to make one ore two pages.

In the end, I may wind up paying someone to build a page if it is that complicated. I would love to be able to do this myself if doing it via CMS is easier and save a few bucks.

It probably does, but I’m not familiar with it. But that’s basically how any CMS works, I’d say: you have one template for a page like this, and it pulls in the content based on some kind of selection. I use a different CMS, which is easier for a non-PHP person to use, but it’s probably the same basic process for all CMSs.

What do you use? I have been trialling Joomla/Virtuemart, modx, magento, etc. to see what I find most intuitive. I am leaning towards the Joomla/VirtueMart combo for ease of use and integration.

These are my choices:

I may not be much help to you, as I use a commercial (though not very expensive) CMS, ExpressionEngine. It’s far better than the rest, in my view, and is easy to learn and use. It does have some really nice cart addons, too, the best being [URL=“”]CartThrob.

If you are looking for free options, my preference would be MODx, though I’m not sure what cart options it offers (I’m out of touch with it). Though WordPress is not the best option for standard sites, it does have some very impressive cart addons, so that’s also worth looking into.

Drupal is the big daddy, with some very good cart addons too, though from all reports it’s a pretty confusing system to get your head around.

Hi Ralph,
I do not mind paying for the software if it does what I need it to do. I have spent money on add-ons and programs before to find that they do not work for what I need. ExpressionEngine is only $299 for a commercial application, I think, so if it is easy to learn and it does what I want, that would be great. I would just have to be certain first.


Using any software will take some learning. but I do find the way EE works is simple to understand once you get going, and the real advantage of EE over other systems is that you have total control over layout without having to fight with a lot of pre-written code. You build your HTML template just how you want it and plug in the database content where you choose. So it’s very flexible, and a very good option if you are not a programmer.