Starting/runnib a php.file

Hello, i have learned the basics of html5/css3 and am compiling a climate change website. I have a site compiled and need now to create a forum for it so that users can interact. I find it straight forward to open my main web page and navigate between pages etc. with HTML5.
I have followed an initial part of a youtube tutorial and have three files: header.php, index.php and login.php. The example shows completing the login form but i am unable to get it to run.
Do i need to download a file to enable me to run an PHP file.
I have recently bought two books covering PHP Javascript and Mysql but in the meantime i want to activate these files so that i can follow the logic. in my defence of naivety I am 74 and have been learning code since October. In short how to I run a PHP file. I will not be so long winded in future…

You need a web server and probably a database server. Normally for development you will run these services on your local machine so you aren’t messing with the files that are in production (on the live public server).

Your easiest way in is probably to use an installer that sets up a developer environment for you. These all do the same thing so it’s mostly personal preference that decides which you like.

Later on you can run dev environments either in virtual machines or containers. But I suggest expanding on this later on as you can easily drown in all the stuff one “have” to learn.

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