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I went crazy too trying to learn everything. Everyone had the same advice: just use the Internet.

Try this book. it is phenomenal. Learning PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites http://www.amazon.com/Learning-MySQL-JavaScript-Step---Step/...

After you are done with that, try this book: PHP and MySQL Web Development http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dst...

And after you are done with it. Beef up your css with this one:CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dst...

Once you are done with that, get your jQuery groove on with this: jQuery: Novice to Ninja http://www.amazon.com/jQuery-Novice-Ninja-Earle-Castledine/d...

then you can go on to jQuery cookbook and Professional JavaScript for Web Developers

Personally I love ruby for rails (ror) rather than php. But for development/sys admin and the developer community, I would stick with php. I have used cakephp which is ok. Not like RoR (which I pine for). But the development community is much nicer. If you decide to learn RoR go with: Head First Rails and Agile Web Development with Rails. There are some others that I have not read but are have good reviews in Amazon.

Oh yeah - stay away from Dreamweaver. What a piece of crap.

And thanks for the books. Ill check all of them out. What do you think of the "for dummies" books? I ve seen a lot for HTML CSS and Javascript

I would avoid the dummies books. They are so unhelpful. They tell you the basics of basics and that is it. You are left hang to dry. Waste of time. I only say this with programming and hi-tech. The dummies book on Type II diabetes is superb.

wow really? I thought Dreamweaver was the best. I googled top tools used by web designers, and that always came up. I always see Dreamweaver everywhere I look. what tools do you use? If you dont mind me asking. It seems that notpad is good for me to start with, but I also have evernote and that shows me the results of the code ive typed. what do you think?

It's like fake UI programming. I mean there are a lot of companies that use it. But I hated it. I use eclipse as my IDE (interactive development environment). But initially I used Notepad++. I also used Netbeans but prefer eclipse now.

After starting with Dreamweaver, I went on to use Blueprints, which is nice but confused me. These days I hand craft everything since it is the best possible worlds for me by making the UI easier and more straight forward. Especially when you start using javascript, jQuery, Ajax, etc.

This becomes a bigger issue when you get into what are you really creating: a website or a web app. With web app, avoid Dreamweaver since Dreamweaver is more oriented for static content.

If doing a website, there are plenty of other choices: drupal, wordpress, joomla.

Personally I would rather use a php framework even then such as cakephp, codeignitier or non-php: Django or RoR since they are robust and have lots of plugins to make most features needed easy to implement.

remember this is only my opinion.

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