Yep, I'm all I've got, but I would still like to hear what would be your first choices, if PHP isn't? I'm going to have to learn whatever syntax I use because I have never done more than basic HTML, so I'll be doing a "helloworld.[fill-in-the-blank]" before I do anything else as far as coding. Go ahead... clue me in!
To be honest, I don't know enough about web frameworks to choose The One To Rule Them All - and that would probably depend on the phase of the moon. Look at what your client uses currently - don't choose JUST that, but base your decision on it. Easier said than done
Some current good choices seems to be Ruby On Rails
, something based on Sling
(Java), the Play!
framework, CakePHP or Yii
Anything but PHP will probably cost a lot in hosting, so you'll probably want something PHP based. The most important thing is choosing a frawework instead of hand-rolling everything - it will be a MAJOR learning curve, but unless you're dealing with a really trivially small site, it will pay off in the end.
If you go the PHP route, there's some things to keep in mind:
1) use your chosen framework for as much as possible, unless it doesn't make sense and make you feel cramped
2) NEVER, never EVER construct SQL queries using string concatenation (the PHP '.' operator). Use the capabilities of your framework, or at the very least Parameterized statements
. Or die.
3) Be very careful around the standard library - especially when dealing with string or date functions. Those are two of the major PHP shortcomings, and are full of pitfalls. SEEK HELP!