Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pre-Packaged PHP User Login System

I have a project I am working on that requires a user sign-in/registration system. All of the user data needs to be tracked and there are requirements for limiting access to certain content based on login status, etc. It's not terribly complicated and my first inclination was to go with a WMS like DotNetNuke, which has a very robust user management system built into it. But this project will require some special modifications that would be difficult (at least for me) to accomplish with DNN.

So, my next thought was a custom PHP application with a MySQL backend. But I was concerned about the time involved in doing all the legwork just to duplicate the user account functionality that comes with DNN out of the box.

Luckily a bit of Google-ing found me a real gold mine. As is so often the case with PHP, it turns out that somebody has already done all the legwork and is willing to share. (Three cheers for Open Source!!!) Here is the URL:

The download consists of about a dozen very well commented PHP pages that handle just about all the basic aspects of a web site user login system, including:
  • Session-based User Login/Registration with a "Remember Me" option
  • The ability to set different access levels for members (user, admin, etc.)
  • An Admin page where you can view user info, upgrade/demote user levels, delete users, delete inactive users, and ban users
  • Users can view and edit their own account information
  • Visitor tracking that tracks both Guests and Registered Users in real time
  • "Forgot Password" features
  • Optional welcome email to new users
  • Nice error handling features

He gives you the SQL you need to create the required database tables as well as some sample pages to see how the features can be integrated into your site.

It's very easy to use. I had this up and running in a test environment in about 20 minutes. The code is very well structured and commented, so I have already been able to make a number of modifications (like adding more data fields to the account profile) very quickly.

Highly recommended.

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