Building modernwanderlust.com (my old blog site) was a fantastic starter project to break into web development. I basically followed a tutorial on Udemy that used an AMP (Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack and hacked, smashed and sweated my way to a working prototype over about a month during the summer of 2012.
And ever since it launched, I've been terrified to change anything. Think about the first thing you ever built... how robust and modular was your code? Yeah, this is probably worse. Couple that with the fact that all my focus has gone into learning Ruby and Rails (NOT PHP), and you can understand why I've had this thing in my sites for a major overhaul. Given my new Rails wizardry, it couldn't take more than 4 hours on a weekend, right?
Famous last words for a side project, of course... It's been several weekends spaced out over a couple months :)