I think Forebird will do a great good job.
As for the development, you will likely haver to use PHP, unless you're into Delphi or C++ Builder.
To design and test database structures, tables etc I recomment IBExpert. Personal edition can be downloaded for free from http://www.ibexpert.com.
There are some limitations with the free version (database sizes etc) but at least you can see if you like the tool before you buy the full version which is around $200 for one license.
If you decide to go for Firebird you may want to go to Firebird mailing lists if you need some more help. The groups is pretty good and responsive. Look for them at http://ibphoenix.com