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php or perl?

I know HTML and CSS.
I want to create a website where users pay for access.
A user will be able to fill out a form, and upon posting the form retrieve information stored in an online database.
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I was under the impression that Perl would be the best language to learn to accomplish this, so I went ahead and bought "Programming Perl". I've spent the last few days learning the language and found it is very complex.

I have noticed there are several books available that combine PHP mySQL and JavaScript.

My question is, can PHP do what I am after? I don't want to go ahead and buy another book if it is not needed.

Thanks,
John
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