The chapters in this book are written in a specific order, first introducing all of the core technologies it covers and then walking you through their installation on a web development server, so that you will be ready to work through the examples.
In the following section, you will gain a grounding in the PHP programming language, covering the basics of syntax, arrays, functions, and object-oriented programming.
Then, with PHP under your belt, you will move on to an introduction to the MySQL database system, where you will learn everything from how MySQL databases are structured up to how to generate complex queries.
After that, you will learn how you can combine PHP and MySQL to start creating your own dynamic web pages by integrating forms and other HTML features.
In the next three chapters you will get down to the nitty-gritty practical aspects of PHP and MySQL development, learning about a variety of useful functions, how to manage cookies and sessions, and how to maintain a high level of security.
With an understanding of all three of these core technologies, you will then learn how to make behind-the-scenes Ajax calls and turn your websites into highly dynamic environments.
Finally, you’ll spend two chapters learning all about using CSS to style and lay out your web pages, and then you’ll put together everything you’ve learned in a complete set of programs that together constitute a fully working social networking website.
Along the way, you’ll also find plenty of pointers and advice on good programming practices and tips that could help you find and solve hard-to-detect programming errors. There are also plenty of links to websites containing further details on the topics covered.