The vast majority of websites are built using a mix of client-side and server-side technology.
Arguably it's a little harder to get started in server development. But it doesn't take too long. And it's the only choice for data-driven scenarios, such as product comparison information and e-commerce catalogues.
First you'll need a web server. Apache is a popular choice and offers everything required for a content-rich, high-performing web service.
But there's quite a few free, open source web servers around. Most come pre-configured with at least one server-side development language (invariably PHP), and a working SQL database (typically MySQL).
PHP is a powerful and flexible scripting language, with a rich library of web-friendly functionality and built-in database support. Yet it's also easy to learn. PHP source code can be embedded inside an HTML file or stored in separate '.php' files.
Databases are the key to efficient information management. An SQL database stores data in tables, each table designed for a specific purpose. SQL's english-like statements are easy to learn - for example CREATE, INSERT, UPDATE and SELECT.