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search function and alert service


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I'm new in the forum and new in the world of PHP and SQL. I know HTML, but only the very basics of PHP. I'm trying to teach myself PHP and SQL through books and tutorials, but I don't know where to start for my new project, so I'm hoping that you might be able to help me out.

I'm planning on making a website that allows users to search a database of events that includes basic data such as locations and dates. The database will be maintained manually.

Once that is set up, I'm also planning on adding a customized alert service that lets users choose from a set of parameters such as frequency or locations and allows them to add keywords (for example, they can choose to be notified on a monthly basis about events in their area, or on a weekly basis about events with a certain theme, or whenever there is a new entry in the database that matches their keywords, and so on). The alerts should be sent out automatically, and users should be able to set up more than one of these alerts for the same email address (I would like to avoid requiring them to login or set up a user account though, if possible, but that's not too important).

I hope this description makes sense. My problem is now that I don't know how to go about this project. Which topics do I need to look into to start settig up my database and coding the search function? Is there a tutorial about this? (I have searched, but I couldn't figre out which keywords give me the results I need.) And how would I set up the automated alert service?

I would really appreciate your help!

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This is a large project for a beginner, but having a project is the best way to learn to code. 


Anyway, most of concepts you mentioned are pretty basic. Just breakup the features you want into smaller parts and start building.


Don't worry about the automated alert part yet, save that for last. You can accomplish the automation using cron jobs which basically just runs a php script every x minutes.


Post some code if you get stuck

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