Don’t let others personal language preferences sway your decision. If you want to learn PHP, go learn it. If you want to learn Python or Elm or whatever, go learn that. The only “wrong” thing you can do is to keep switching languages because people make fun of your language of choice.
I am a professional web developer and have used just about all the web-centered languages, as well as databases from IBMs DB2 to Microsoft SQL. No language is really better than any other, they are just built to do different things.
You can always make fun of different languages.
- PHP deserves all the hate it gets from the php4 days
- Java is (or was, I have not kept up to date on it) a walking security disaster
The list could go on and on. There is quite literally no language you can not make fun of, or find a reason not to use it. At the end of the day though, its not the brand of tools available but how you use them.
@Vitalius mentioned that watching Laravel tutorials might be a good place to start. I personally love Laravel. I use it in many of my personal projects, but I would not recommend it to new PHP devs at all. It gives you a lot of power and uses a lot of very advanced development practices. It will just end up frustrating you.
If you are really starting from absolute scratch, give PHP: The Right Way a look. It is a great resource that I reference myself from time to time.
The only other piece of advice I have for your app is to use a database abstraction layer such as PDO. It will save you some headache.
Of course feel free to stop by and ask more questions. Lots of smart people around who would love to help out!