PHP and MySQL are highly adaptive programs that can be used to create a variety of dynamic website potentials. Although fairly simple to use once you understand the basics, the learning curve on these programs is a little high at first. In order to use the capabilities, the user has to not only understand what the programs do and how they work together. However, probably the hardest part of the process is learning all the vocabulary associated with these systems.
Learning PHP & MySQL is a very good reference, especially for this latter challenge. The guide not only defines and explains each of the different concepts but gives examples that better illustrate these aspects while giving the user a glimpse into how they could use them for their own purposes. Especially for the more difficult sections, I really liked that I could replicate the code on my computer and see the results for myself. This aspect gave me a far better idea of how I could use these programs in conjunction to create the effects I want.