I'm a pretty basic php user, and I'm wondering how someone would go about implementing a message system into a website with different users. It doesn't have to be anything specific, I'm just wondering about the basic design of it.
You can use PHP to send emails/store messages from one user to another in a DB. This implementation can be as simple or as complex as you like.
If you're interested in making a simple messaging system. A possible mysql setup would be:
msg_sender (foreign key on user_id)
msg_recipient (foreign key on user_id)
msg_status (e.g. pending/read/etc)
notify_when_open (find out if your msg has been read)
If you're new to php, you will have some fun creating forms for msgs and validating /cleaning input and then improving the design to incorporate diffrent msb folders, send to multiple recipients etc. This is a really good 'project' to get your teeth into. Ready made scripts may be useful, but if you're starting out, they may cause more confusion than anything, especially if they're object-orientated.