This may be cheating slightly, but i done it for my first year projects at uni. If you have a look round the net and find a site whose set up you like. Go to the task bar on the browser, go to view, and select source. It'll display the HTML code for the website in notepad. Saves most of the learning process. Could also back it up with a simple html book and itll fast track the process.
Totally cheating but it got me through many a HTML project
As for php. ill ask some of my buddies. iv never used it and cant comment.