I prefer to build every website from scratch. While this may add a few hours to the project it also allows for the most flexibility.
Building a PHP website from scratch allows me to define every part of the website. An interactive website consists of the layout, content, browser based code, server side PHP code, and the database.
I start by creating a base web page that has all the components listed above as needed. This is a reusable page that I can copy and make very few changes to, when creating a new web page. This allows for rapid website development. This is an intelligent page pulling some of it’s information from a database, based on it’s name and the directory it is located in.
This setup provides for an efficient way to update the website as needed.
The only exception is article management. I use two pages to display articles. The first page is a list of links to all the articles you have stored on your website. The second page is used to display your article.
The articles are stored in a database and are displayed upon request.
Managing articles this way provides for ease of adding, modifying, and removing articles.
Creating an interactive PHP website is both an art and a science. The art is how the code is put together to create the look, feel, and functionality of the website. The science is knowing the technology that is required to build a functional interactive website.
Building a PHP website from scratch provides the most flexibility and should always be considered. If you want it your way build your PHP website from scratch.