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Website architecture question: what is best approach to this specific scenario?


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Hello:  I am an experienced desktop app developer, fluent in some ancient languages (e.g., Pascal, Lisp, C), but most of recent years developments were done in Livecode, which is a rapid-developing scripting language.  This just as background info about what I know.

My problem is as follows

I have been interested in getting skills for building web sites, and now an opportunity arose.  I was asked to update an old website, to make it PHP 8.1 compliant.  So I managed to do that.  But I realised that the website was originally rather hacked than coded and so I thought I could actually remake it from the ground up.  But I am not sure what is the best design.

The website needs to be able to do the following:

1) Language specialisation (german, english, french)

2) Display galleries of pictures.  The pictures are stored in a folder on the htdocs directory on the server, and a mySQL database contains the picture catalog with a lot of info on each picture.  

At present, the page uses html, css, javascript, and PHP.


There is also backend, providing an interface to the site owner to upload new pictures and add info about them into the mySQL database.

So a visitor to the page would basically click on a category, like "protraits" and then a grid of 6 miniature pictures would be displayed, ordered by the most recent addition to the mySQL database.  The visitor can click arrows to go through this gallery, each click on a forward button would then populate the grid with the next 6 pictures in the database.  very simple.  Also, when a user clicks onto one of the miniature pictures, a new window will open in which a large version of the picture is displayed alongside all info on the picture that is in the database, and this of course in the language that the visitor set.

requests to the mySQL database are made using PHP in the present site, which was developed in 2006, so is quite ancient and I am not sure whether this would be now the way to build this site.  I would be thankful for any pointers, including what technology I would need to learn, where to go to see examples, etc etc.  The owner does NOT wish to use anything like Wordpress etc, and neither do I.

Could you advise me with suggestions how to recode this site so that it uses the current technologies?  How to approach this project?  What would be the first steps?  Also, the idea is to change it into a responsive site, adapting its layout dynamically to whatever are the specs of the hardware used to access the site (smartphone, tablet, laptop/desktop).

Many, many thanks for your help


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