HTML documents are plain text files, or static documents that live on a computer connected to the Internet, ready to be viewed. A Web server waits for and sends out those files in response to requests from Web browsers.
There is nothing dynamic or interactive about HTML documents, they are "flat" files. If you want your site to do something dynamic or interactive, like handling information in an HTML form, you have to run a separate program outside your Web server.
Many web designers create web pages and graphics on a desktop computer, and upload them to the server, having their only exposure to the server as a very small part of a much larger process. For the same reason that a basic understanding of networking is extremely helpful to a web designer, having a basic understanding of web server technology helps to work with other technology team members in troubleshooting problems, as well as having a better understanding of the total picture of all the elements in a functioning web site.
LAMP technologies make website dynamic
In web technology the acronym LAMP refers to the core components of an open source web server, Linux - Apache - MySQL - PHP.
Linux is the operating system, Apache is the HTTP Server, MySQL is the database software), and PHP is the scripting language designed for Web development that bring the dynamic Web pages to your desktop web browser.
The original authors of these specific components did not design them all to work specifically with each other. The open source community and web developers sharing open source principals have developed the LAMP tool set to work well together.
Using LAMP technologies for dynamic updating and interactivity features has taken websites from the early hand coded HTML pages of the 1990s to the interactive multimedia pages of today.
Apache, while considered an HTTP web server application, is usually taught as part of the Linux operating system, as it is a core component of any installation. As a web designer you do not need a comprehensive understanding on Linux, but the ability to execute a few tasks will come in handy as you troubleshoot problems.
As a website designer or developer you will need to understand databases and at the very least, you should have the ability to use web based tools such as phpMyAdmin, a free Web-based front end widely installed by web hosts, to create a database as well as import and export data.
While HTML is the core scripting language that is used to create a web page, Perl, PHP, and Python are all languages used in addition to HTML to create dynamic web pages. Once you get a very basic understanding of how they work, it is likely you will focus of learning one of them, or perhaps even a similar web language to create a dynamic page.
PHP is the most commonly used scripting language in open source content management systems. It is an HTML embedded scripting language designed for producing dynamic web pages. Tags can be mixed with regular HTML tags so PHP code is needed only where a dynamic portion of the page is desired.