If you want to really simplify the task, give a try to our product PD4ML.
In order to produce PDFs you need to create PHP/HTML the usual way and let PD4ML to convert it to PDF. PD4ML is a tool/library written in Java, and it can be easily integrated into PHP environment on any platform.
Take a look to HOWTO document on pd4ml com site. (Sorry I am not allowed to publish direct links)
We tried to make PD4ML+PHP integration procedure as simple as possible.