Point me in the right direction please?

I’ve never worked with databases aside from two VERY small school projects about a year ago. My company has asked me to create a page on our website where customers can order and pay for portraits instead of calling or faxing/mailing in their orders. I have been looking for the best way to do it while still using PayPal for the purchase. I figured a database would be the best idea because all the records would be stored for easy access and they’d be in one place instead of just getting hundreds of e-mails a month with orders.

The only problem is I have no idea where to start. I don’t know how to set the database up. I don’t know how to create a way for other departments in the building to access it if a customer calls with a question about their order. Basically I feel like I took on a project that’s a lot more involved than I first thought, and way over my head. Of course there is probably an easier way to do it to do what the owners asked of me, but I want to do it right in a way that makes sense.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

there are two major things you’ll need to do – set up the database and write the web page code that interacts with it

sitepoint has a great book that can guide you through the process

there is a learning curve, but the book will walk you through it gently