For those of you novice website designers, here is my review of the book "PHP & MySQL - The Missing Manual" written by Brett McLaughlin and published by O'Reilly Media Inc. (ISBN number is 978-0-596-51586-7)
The "Missing Manual" series of books published by O'Reilly are generally straightfoward, give you a good basic groundwork of concepts, have examples that help you understand the subject matter, and provide tips, implementation notes and advisory warnings. The book is a good "read" and will be helpfull for beginers wanting to understand how PHP and MySQL can enhance their website development experience.
The book starts off with the assumption that the reader will have basic HTML and CSS knowledge and is looking to gain an introduction to PHP and MySQL. The publisher maintains a website where you can download the book's examples and other resources, although this version of the book did NOT include a resource CD/DVD.
The content is structured to take you on a trip towards building a complete site, showing you PHP basics, MySQL basics, how to connect, creating "dynamic" web pages, forms, variables, syntax, error handling, and giving you a very basic introduction to security, authentication, sign-in login, cookies, and sessions.
There are illustrations as well as code snippets, FAQs (and answers), tutorials, notes and warnings, but there are also some code errors, omissions, and a few unclear references, which may make it tough on bare newbies. These may be corrected in future editions, but in some cases, the time you take to plough through these errors may actually help you learn the subject matter even better!
All in all, the "Missing Manual" series of books should be a "must have" resource for many different subjects, and this PHP MySQL edition will satisfy many beginner website programmers.