It is one way. There are a lot of possibilities if you haven't selected a server yet. Otherwise you'll have to do with what your server supports. In my opinion php is one of the easier ways to get started.
Well you are new to that and PHP could be a great language to start with learning just the basics of algorithms. If you have the money and time I would suggest starting through Java, in that way you will get a strong base of OOP and then you could move to PHP knowing a lot more than just scripting.
But this needs time and few recourses more. Maybe you could do both. Start PHP without OOP to have speed results and in same time learn OOP in PHP or in C++ or in Java. My advice is that if you programming PHP without OOP it is just waste of code (and I have done that in past).
PHP is nice and easy to get quick results. However, like most self-taught hobbyists, I learned the procedural stuff and stopped when it got difficult with OOP. I lament my laziness. I still get problems with OOP, I just wished I'd learned it at the start, so that it would become second nature by now.
However, most of what I do (small project stuff), really doesn't need OOP (I hear afficionados screaming at that!), and I get by with simple functions, arrays and control structures.
If you really want to become a proper programmer, as opposed to a hobbyist like myself, I'd say OOP is a must.
PHP is extremely accessible and is open source. Scaling projects on Linux servers is extremely easy and cheap. The same cannot be said for Microsoft-based solutions. However, for the samll scale developer, I doubt that you'd notice any difference. Java - I've heard good things, but I have next to no knowledge of it.
Ok maybe I will point something against what I am pointing usually but I need to answer ardav comment “proper programmer, as opposed to a hobbyist”. Programmers where out there before OOP , some of us had to work also in dinosaurs languages like COBOL and find ways to make them reusable and logical clear.
Also a hobbyist might be a proper programmer and not knowing it and a “doctor” programmer could be just a user of a programming language. OOP is just a step in programming logic in my view, there will be more steps out there and I am trying to figure out what will be.
I don’t like to point any good characteristics of anyone (I prefer to be the bad one) but this “hobbyist” of ardav is what a good manager looking for.
i am new to this and was wondering the following question 'Is PHP a good way to implement a database driven Web site?
For a newbie, its awesome...When you go more further in web development, you'll find that with JSP Servlets you can implement more security. However the market favours PHP. WebHosting for PHP driven websites are cheap and by cheap I mean damn cheap.
For JAVA Hosting you'll have to shell out some extra bucks. Donno for ASP.net hosting.
just as an example, facebook initially was completely on PHP.
youtube is written in PHP.
stackoverflow, askw5h, etc are all written in PHP.
Avoid everything that has to do with Microsoft. Microsoft is only good for visual basic 6 and exe in Windows. After that they try to copy OOP but in their way of dealing a programmer isn’t a creator but just a user of their packages. Maybe Microsoft could go further in future with different management … but with this one it doesn’t have not even 100 years future …
I have to respond to jkon's comments about OOP. I didn't wish to denegrate fellow hobbyists, however, if a person is serious about a future in web dev and joins a team, that team may use frameworks, where a working knowledge of OOP is essential. If you have no idea about OOP, shoehorning an open source class into your app/site could become very problematic. I often use 3rd party classes in some my sites and have a basic working knowledge of what's going on - if I didn't I wouldn't be able to modify them to my purposes.
With everybody jumping on the OOP bandwagon, there are implementations of CSS, JS as well to contend with.
So, in conclusion, I would say TODAY's programmer (hobbyist or pro) needs an understanding of OOP. How deep that understanding has to be, is debatable.