Given that you’re reading this book, the chances are good that you’ve built a
web page in HTML. You’ve styled it by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
and maybe written a little JavaScript to validate your custom-built web
forms. If that wasn’t enough, you’ve learned a lot more JavaScript, threw in some
jQuery, and constructed a whole lot of web pages. Maybe you’ve even moved your
JavaScript into external files, shared your CSS across your entire site, and validated
your HTML with the latest standards.
But now you want more.

Perhaps you’ve become frustrated with your website’s inability to store user informa-
tion in anything beyond cookies. Maybe you want a full-blown online store, complete

with PayPal integration and details about what items are in stock. Or maybe you’ve
simply caught the programming bug and want to go beyond what HTML, CSS, and
JavaScript can easily give you.

If any of these are the case—and you may find that all of these are the case—learn-
ing PHP and MySQL is a great way to take a giant programming step forward. Even

if you’ve never heard of PHP, you’ll find it’s the best way to go from building web
pages to creating full-fledged web applications that store all sorts of information in
databases. This book shows you how to do just that.