OK so my sister wants me to make her a website so she can attract customers to her massage business, the website is going to be basic as it's going to be my first but I want to make it look nice and maybe dynamic using PHP.

A question I had about php is - Do I have to use it? Or does it just make the website more functional? You can just run a basic XHTML and CSS page but that wouldn't look so good.

I can't imagine what she'd need php for, I want to use it so I can practice with it, but would it be better if I just left it out? If I am creating the website on php do I embed the XHTML and javascript in it?

I've been recommended to use wordpress as this is quite easy to use but I'm not sure if it's good for practice, if I don't challenge myself then I won't get better, if I try to run away from the errors that I may face without wordpress then once I'm given a hard project without wordpress, I'd be screwed.

What do you think my sister will need on her website, their won't be any transactions processed on the website so I don't need to make it that complex but I want to put some nice features in and make it attractive to people that are viewing it. Just writing it with XHTML and CSS seems a little basic and boring, I want to put some javascript in it, not sure if PHP is needed.

Is their any other languages that I should use?