So, you have been building websites for a while now, and you would like to add some spice to your site, and start working with more dynamic websites. Now what do you need?
In order to build normal websites, all you needed was a text editor, and a browser to test the layout and look and feel of your website. However, for database driven websites you need a bit more. To build the pages, you can still use any texteditor you like. However, for easier overview of the codes, and spotting potential errors in the codes, it is easier to use a texteditor with highlighting capacity. An easy-to-use one can be found at http://jext.sourceforge.net/.
Of course, in order to build a database driven website, you need a database system. Since the database will be serving a website, we will need a webserver as well. To compile the PhP encoded webpages into valid webpages, we also need a PhP compiler. A combination which is fully free, and works well is a combination of the apache webserver (www.apache.org), with MySQL database (www.mysql.org) and a PhP compiler (www.php.net). To facilitate the creation of new tables and databases, and for easier content management of your database, install a management interface. The most popular and very easy to use is the phpmyamin package.
These can be downloaded from their individual websites, or download a combined pre-installed package from www.easyphp.org/ or any one of the packages from hotscripts. Use the manuals and installation kits to get the packages working on your local machie. Once you got there, move on to create a database.
Continue by reading about the first steps