For a long time I have been designing websites with dreamweaver 8 and photoshop in html. Static websites. I am happy with this process and plan to continue. I also want to expand into more dynamic websites with more bells and whistles. I have no idea the best way to start this off. I know about all the different types of methods like PHP, JOOMLA, WORDPRESS etc... but want to know what is the best to start learning and implement. For example I want to design a website that has a directory on it which can be searched using a search facility that allows different variables to be put in to define the search. I understand creating a database would be the best option to do this but are stuck at this point. Not sure if I can just use dreamweaver 8 to do this without other software....
My question is in a nutshell which track would you take software wise to create dynamic websites and what are the benefits ?
Thanks in advance for any answers