When the Internet was new, web designers were content to design pages that remained static. Site visitors did not expect new content everyday and updates were infrequent. That has all changed. With the advent of scripting languages like PHP and database solutions like MySQL, pages are now dynamic. Dynamic pages feature regular updates and changes. They also have a high level of visitor interactivity.

Web masters can easily create dynamic web sites with PHP and MySQL, but first you need to know what these two things are.

PHP is a server side scripting language that was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. Lerdorf created PHP for the express purpose of building dynamic sites. The first PHP script was written to display Lerdorf\'s resume and to help him track web site traffic.

The advantages of using PHP and MySQL include the low cost of implementing the solution and making applications that are secure, reliable and scalable. There are many different popular applications that are written using PHP including phpBB, a popular forum application, and WordPress, a popular blog platform.

WordPress and phpBB both work by pulling data from a MySQL database. MySQL is a multi-user and multi-threaded SQL database management system. There are currently more than 10 million MySQL installations. Many of the MySQL installations work in conjunction with a PHP application.

PHP and MySQL together are the backbone of several popular content management systems like Mambo, phpNuke and Drupal. The PHP and MySQL combination can be scaled to run very small message forums. The combination can also be scaled to run large sites like Wikipedia and eBay.

There are many things that you can do to add interest to you site by using PHP and MySQL. If you want to display banner ads on your website, you can use PHP and MySQL to rotate the banners. You can also use the combination to track the number of times each banner is placed on the web page.

You can also use PHP and MYSQL to power a message board on your web site. It is easy to maintain a message board using PHP. One script can change every page in the forum. If your website is very large, all of you information can be stored in your MySQL database. A few scripts will carry the design of the site and will pull information from the database.

PHP and MySQL are inexpensive ways to launch a dynamic web site. You only need three things to run a site based in PHP and MySQL. You will need a web server. You can either have your own web server or you can purchase web hosting services from a reseller.

You will also need PHP installed on your server. Most web hosts have PHP installed. If you have your own server, you can download PHP from PHP.net and install it yourself. PHP is free to download.

The last thing you will need is MySQL software. Like PHP, MySQL software is free and can downloaded from the MySQL web site.