Hello! I am reasonably new to all this web development malarkey and am completely self-taught, so there is loads I still have to learn. A friend has asked me to help him with a site he's making but I'm stuck and I really hope you can help!

I want to create a database driven, multiple field search box to search for a specific service. If, for example, it were a dog walking website (it's not) and we have on file all the dog walkers in the country, users would be able to search:

Years' experience:
Preferred time of day:

...and so on. Some would be multiple choice, drop down menus, but the location would be an open field.

The idea is that all the dog walkers would send their details and they'd be on a database which the search would access and display the results in a list, which can be re-ordered according to each field, such as distance or years' experience. Then if you clicked on a result, it would bring up a page with all the details we have for that dog-walking service, including links to websites and so on.

Also, it would be preferable have a "top picks" bit at the top of the list, for about three sponsored links that would garner cash from the affluent dog-walking fraternity. We all know how much money they have...

Anyway, I don't even know where to start with this, I am really hoping someone can help!

First of all you need to learn a bit more php take online tutorial and try and understand different example. When you know a bit more php break the project in steps for example.

Find a good HTML/php editor i suggest adobe Dreamwaver.

1) Design - Design the fields you need and with dreamwaver you can drag and drop fields and buttons and rename then accordingly.

2) Name fields - Naming the fields is important , make sure you give the fields like text boxes, buttons and drop down menus the correct names, this will make things so much easier when it comes to the coding.

3) Create the MYSQL database - Create the database where the data is going to be stored and make sure it has the right connection to the directory where your php code is saved. phpmyadmin is a very common mysql database

4) PHP coding - With all your fields added and your database set up correctly it is now time to begin writing your scripts. Do it bit by bit instead of trying to do it all at once, and save your frequently.

5) Testing - When every thing is done test to see that the scripts you got does what you want it to do, make sure that all the data entered is being save.

When all that is done make sure you look through your code and find ways to improve your code like using functions to simplify your scripts and stop repetitions. use comments so you and other can understand your work

good luck on the project.

Its actually real simple. But if you are new to web design and development, I believe that you might be in over your head as this may sound easy, but can get very complicated very quickly. With that said, I will try to give you an approach.

1. Learn php
When you get to the point in which you stop you using the term 'malarkey', it will be at a point when you are discovering a respect for what programmers do.
2. Learn Mysql
Your going to have to understand databases, how to create and normalize, how to write to them and extract data from them.
3. Learn How To Connect To Databases With PHP
4. Learn How to calculate distances with using IP / LAT/LONG Coordinates

You have alot to learn...
Good Luck!

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