Creating a login on my website

I’m interested in setting up restricted area in my website : only registered users can log in and see those pages. Dreamhost does not provide a user management system. So I was wondering if any of you could provide some instructions on getting that setup. I would need the usual stuff: the user chooses the username, and provides an active email. If the username is not already taken, an email is sent to the provided address with a password. The user will then log in with his username and the password received. This is not a definite procedure : I need something quite easy, since my goal is just to monitor in realtime the users connected to the website and not really avoid unauthorized accesses (in fact the access is free to anybody). I thank you very much for any help. Regards.

Are you familiar with PHP and MySQL? If so, you can do this using them.

I’m not sure whether this is an easy way but it works.

  1. you need to create a database to store user’s email addresses.
  2. you need to use PHP to create a user login page. of course, you also need a page to sign up and retrieve password.
  3. when user logs in, PHP retreives user’s email address and password and checks with the one stored in database. If they match, create SESSION and proceed.
  4. At the begging of the pages you want only registered users to see, check whether SESSION is defined. Display content only when SESSION is defined.

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You can always choose a Content Management System to implement that for you, but if you’re site is already up, it might be a little too much.

After researching into Joomla for a while I decided to do that with Adobe Dreamweaver Developer Toolbox, a great product that allows you to implement all those things with tools and widzards.

It required a lot more knowledge than implementing a CMS, but it allows you to choose only what you need and implement it on an already done site.

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Just getting started?

Check out PHP & MySQL for Dummies.

There are examples in this book.

Big caveat: The samples are not secure. You do need to figure out what you want to do, and check the input provided by a user. Just because you expect them to enter an eMail address, or a password into the appropriate field does not mean the user will actually do what you want. A user can put anything into a field, it is up to you to check the input and make sure it is reasonable.