Setting up a Database to Handle Form Data

In this tutorial series, we are going to create a website at PHPandMySQL.inmotiontesting.com. This website is going to have 2 pages, and each page is going to allow for comments.

When users submit a comment, we’ll want to keep track of the following information:

  • Their name
  • Their email address
  • Their website
  • Their actual comment
  • The time the comment was submitted

In order to keep track of this data, we need to:

  1. Create a database for our website
  2. Create a table in the database that has values for name, email, website, and comment.

Step 1. Creating a Database

The easiest way to create a database is to use the MySQL Database Wizard available in cPanel. This will not only create a database for you, but help you create a database user and assign the user privileges to your database. For more help with creating a database, please see How do I create a MySQL Database in my cPanel?

If you’re following along with our example, we’ve used the MySQL Database Wizard and:

  1. Created a database named inmoti6_mysite
  2. Created a database user inmoti6_myuser with a password of mypassword
  3. Assigned inmoti6_myuser with privileges to inmoti6_mysite

create-a-database-using-wizard

Step 2. Creating a Table

Now that we’ve created our database, we need to create a table to hold all user comments. This table will be called “comments”. To create this table:

  1. Log into cPanel and click the phpMyAdmin icon
  2. Select your database in the left menu. (we clicked on “_mysite” because our database is “inmoti6_mysite”)
  3. On the right side of the page under “Create new table on database”, enter “comments” as the name and 7 as the number of fields and click “Go”
    create-a-new-table-for-user-comments
  4. On the next screen, we will need to fill in specific details for our table. Please use the screenshot and details below to create the table

    Field: id
    Type: INT
    A_I: (put a check in the box)
    To help manage individual comments, for example to delete one, we want to assign a specific id number to each comment.

    Field: name
    Type: VARCHAR
    Length/Values: 60

    Field: email
    Type: VARCHAR
    Length/Values: 60

    Field: website
    Type: VARCHAR
    Length/Values: 60

    Field: comment
    Type: TEXT

    Field: timestamp
    Type: TIMESTAMP
    Default: CURRENT_TIMESTAMP

    Field: articleid
    Type: INT
    Each comment needs to belong to a specific article, otherwise we wouldn’t know which comments to display for which pages.

    setting-specific-details-for-the-table

  5. After you have filled in the details above, click “Save”
    our-comments-table-has-been-successfully-created

Congratulations, as this point we have successfully created our database and setup our table! In our next article, we’ll show you how to create a form using HTML that asks the user for their comment.

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