Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Connecting to MySQL with PHP


PHP with MySQL Essential Training

with Kevin Skoglund

Video: Connecting to MySQL with PHP

In the last movie, we decided that the database API that we will use, is the procedural version of MySQL. Now we're ready to learn how to use PHP and MySQLi to connect to our database. There are five basic steps for database interaction in PHP. First we create a database connection. That's a bit like picking up the telephone to call somebody. Then, once we've got the database on the line, we're ready to start issuing commands to our database. So we perform our queries, those can be Select statements, they can be Insert statements, they can be Delete, all but MySQL that we just learned. That would be in step number 2.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      3m 8s
  2. 15m 6s
    1. What is PHP?
      3m 52s
    2. The history of PHP
      2m 51s
    3. Why choose PHP?
      4m 10s
    4. Installation overview
      4m 13s
  3. 1h 3m
    1. Overview
      2m 33s
    2. Working with Apache Web Server
      6m 56s
    3. Changing the document root
      7m 24s
    4. Installing to Yosemite
      8m 13s
    5. Enabling PHP
      6m 16s
    6. Upgrading PHP
      3m 30s
    7. Configuring PHP
      10m 3s
    8. Installing MySQL
      5m 46s
    9. Configuring MySQL
      7m 24s
    10. Text editor
      5m 1s
  4. 31m 25s
    1. Overview
      3m 27s
    2. Installing WampServer
      5m 46s
    3. Finding the document root
      2m 24s
    4. Configuring PHP
      8m 12s
    5. Configuring MySQL
      5m 45s
    6. Text editor
      5m 51s
  5. 19m 12s
    1. Embedding PHP code on a page
      6m 43s
    2. Outputting dynamic text
      5m 55s
    3. The operational trail
      2m 27s
    4. Inserting code comments
      4m 7s
  6. 1h 18m
    1. Variables
      7m 50s
    2. Strings
      4m 38s
    3. String functions
      8m 54s
    4. Numbers part one: Integers
      6m 27s
    5. Numbers part two: Floating points
      5m 25s
    6. Arrays
      10m 0s
    7. Associative arrays
      6m 37s
    8. Array functions
      6m 33s
    9. Booleans
      3m 50s
    10. NULL and empty
      5m 15s
    11. Type juggling and casting
      8m 27s
    12. Constants
      4m 43s
  7. 27m 37s
    1. If statements
      6m 0s
    2. Else and elseif statements
      4m 16s
    3. Logical operators
      7m 30s
    4. Switch statements
      9m 51s
  8. 42m 15s
    1. While loops
      8m 41s
    2. For loops
      5m 59s
    3. Foreach loops
      8m 16s
    4. Continue
      8m 28s
    5. Break
      4m 8s
    6. Understanding array pointers
      6m 43s
  9. 37m 25s
    1. Defining functions
      8m 25s
    2. Function arguments
      5m 32s
    3. Returning values from a function
      7m 33s
    4. Multiple return values
      4m 53s
    5. Scope and global variables
      6m 2s
    6. Setting default argument values
      5m 0s
  10. 20m 18s
    1. Common problems
      3m 47s
    2. Warnings and errors
      8m 36s
    3. Debugging and troubleshooting
      7m 55s
  11. 57m 57s
    1. Links and URLs
      5m 33s
    2. Using GET values
      5m 35s
    3. Encoding GET values
      8m 41s
    4. Encoding for HTML
      9m 26s
    5. Including and requiring files
      7m 40s
    6. Modifying headers
      6m 45s
    7. Page redirection
      6m 43s
    8. Output buffering
      7m 34s
  12. 1h 3m
    1. Building forms
      7m 28s
    2. Detecting form submissions
      5m 59s
    3. Single-page form processing
      7m 57s
    4. Validating form values
      10m 40s
    5. Problems with validation logic
      9m 54s
    6. Displaying validation errors
      7m 23s
    7. Custom validation functions
      6m 28s
    8. Single-page form with validations
      7m 25s
  13. 28m 5s
    1. Working with cookies
      2m 49s
    2. Setting cookie values
      5m 55s
    3. Reading cookie values
      6m 1s
    4. Unsetting cookie values
      4m 51s
    5. Working with sessions
      8m 29s
  14. 48m 39s
    1. MySQL introduction
      6m 43s
    2. Creating a database
      7m 41s
    3. Creating a database table
      7m 42s
    4. CRUD in MySQL
      5m 48s
    5. Populating a MySQL database
      7m 32s
    6. Relational database tables
      6m 40s
    7. Populating the relational table
      6m 33s
  15. 56m 4s
    1. Database APIs in PHP
      4m 51s
    2. Connecting to MySQL with PHP
      7m 45s
    3. Retrieving data from MySQL
      8m 47s
    4. Working with retrieved data
      6m 12s
    5. Creating records with PHP
      6m 58s
    6. Updating and deleting records with PHP
      9m 6s
    7. SQL injection
      3m 5s
    8. Escaping strings for MySQL
      6m 45s
    9. Introducing prepared statements
      2m 35s
  16. 35m 58s
    1. Blueprinting the application
      7m 19s
    2. Building the CMS database
      5m 14s
    3. Establishing your work area
      4m 38s
    4. Creating and styling the first page
      4m 22s
    5. Making page assets reusable
      6m 36s
    6. Connecting the application to the database
      7m 49s
  17. 32m 49s
    1. Adding pages to the navigation subjects
      5m 58s
    2. Refactoring the navigation
      6m 7s
    3. Selecting pages from the navigation
      6m 2s
    4. Highlighting the current page
      5m 26s
    5. Moving the navigation to a function
      9m 16s
  18. 1h 45m
    1. Finding a subject in the database
      9m 48s
    2. Refactoring the page selection
      10m 52s
    3. Creating a new subject form
      6m 55s
    4. Processing form values and adding subjects
      11m 20s
    5. Passing data in the session
      9m 16s
    6. Validating form values
      9m 40s
    7. Creating an edit subject form
      8m 30s
    8. Using single-page submission
      7m 44s
    9. Deleting a subject
      9m 44s
    10. Cleaning up
      10m 37s
    11. Assignment: Pages CRUD
      4m 30s
    12. Assignment results: Pages CRUD
      6m 10s
  19. 39m 26s
    1. The public appearance
      8m 52s
    2. Using a context for conditional code
      11m 37s
    3. Adding a default subject behavior
      6m 9s
    4. The public content area
      5m 51s
    5. Protecting page visibility
      6m 57s
  20. 1h 3m
    1. User authentication overview
      4m 3s
    2. Admin CRUD
      8m 41s
    3. Encrypting passwords
      7m 26s
    4. Salting passwords
      5m 42s
    5. Adding password encryption to CMS
      11m 54s
    6. New PHP password functions
      3m 13s
    7. Creating a login system
      11m 28s
    8. Checking for authorization
      5m 48s
    9. Creating a logout page
      5m 40s
  21. 2m 4s
    1. Next steps
      2m 4s

please wait ...
PHP with MySQL Essential Training from
14h 24m Beginner Jun 04, 2013 Updated May 20, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

PHP is a popular, reliable programming language at the foundation of many smart, data-driven websites. This comprehensive course from Kevin Skoglund helps developers learn the basics of PHP (including variables, logical expressions, loops, and functions), understand how to connect PHP to a MySQL database, and gain experience developing a complete web application with site navigation, form validation, and a password-protected admin area. Kevin also covers the basic CRUD routines for updating a database, debugging techniques, and usable user interfaces. Along the way, he provides practical advice, offers examples of best practices, and demonstrates refactoring techniques to improve existing code.

Topics include:
  • What is PHP?
  • Installing and configuring PHP and MySQL
  • Exploring data types
  • Controlling code with logical expressions and loops
  • Using PHP's built-in functions
  • Writing custom functions
  • Building dynamic webpages
  • Working with forms and form data
  • Using cookies and sessions to store data
  • Connecting to MySQL with PHP
  • Creating and editing database records
  • Building a content management system
  • Adding user authentication
Kevin Skoglund

Connecting to MySQL with PHP

In the last movie, we decided that the database API that we will use, is the procedural version of MySQL. Now we're ready to learn how to use PHP and MySQLi to connect to our database. There are five basic steps for database interaction in PHP. First we create a database connection. That's a bit like picking up the telephone to call somebody. Then, once we've got the database on the line, we're ready to start issuing commands to our database. So we perform our queries, those can be Select statements, they can be Insert statements, they can be Delete, all but MySQL that we just learned. That would be in step number 2.

If we're doing a Select then it would, might return data to us. And we would use that return data. We could add there output it to the screen. To the browsers. So the user could see it. Or you might store it in an array. Or in a variable. Do something with it. The whole point of querying the database is to get back the data. And then we want to do something with that data. Once we're done, then we can release the returned data. That's essentially telling PHP look, I'm done with this now, you can free up the memory that was used to hold that query. So you brought back a thousand records to me. I got what I needed, now you can free up those thousand records.

You don't have to store them in memory anymore. It's always a good idea to do. And then last, is close the database connection. That's a bit like hanging up the phone. We're all done at that point. Now, you're always going to use these five steps. Steps one and five should only happen once per PHP script. Steps two through four, you may repeat many times. There might be lots of different queries that you want to make while you've got that connection open. Which you typically want to create the database connection at the start, do all your querying and using all the data. Release data whenever you can and at the very end, you'll close the database connection.

Say alright, I'm all done. I'll call you back next time when I need something else. And when the user loads a new page, then we would open up a new database connection. Do whatever business we need to do, and hang up at the end. And we're going to learn to perform all five of these steps, but we're going to start out by focusing on steps one and five. Opening the connection, and closing the connection. And the PHP functions that we're going to use to do that, the part of the MySQL API are, mysqli_connect, mysqli_connect and then error number. That's the _errno. And then _error and then mysqli_close and so as you can guess _errno and _error are going to be used to spine connection errors that occur. And then connect and close are what we're going to use to connect and close. Lets see how to use that.

So, to start with lets open basic .html and lets do a Save As. And we're going to call this databases.php and you can keep this for reference to know how to connect a database. We're going to do all five steps right here in this databases.php file and to start with, we're going to do connect to the database. Now I'm going to do it above everything else because it's the very first thing I want to do. I know I'm going to need the database for this page. Let's go ahead first thing. Let's connect to it and then if there's a problem, we can go ahead and stop rendering the page and do something else at that point.

Rather than continue on. So not even going to do any of the HTML til I've got my database connection open. So let's look at the syntax here. Here's the key part, mysqli_connet and then we got some arguments. Now you could drop the strings directly into this. I think most people probably do. I've broken them out as separate variables, just so that you can see what goes in each place. So that you can see the variable as an indicator of what's there. The first thing is the host that we're using. So, if that could be either IP address, it might be a domain,,, that would be a domain. And then, we've got our user name.

So, that's going to be the user that we connect to the database with. We created a new MySQL user called widget_cms and then the password that you would use. So, whatever you use for your password for that database and then the database name. The name that we gave our database is the last thing. Now that last argument being the database name is a key difference from the old MySQL interface. So if you're used to that older version for any reason, notice that this is different. We used to have a separate select database command that we had to issue. But one of the improvements in MySQLi is that we could just tell it what database we wanted right here. We don't have to go into MySQL and then switch to that database, we can go directly there.

Now once we call mysql_connect, the value that it returns is what we're assigning to the variable connection. That value is what's referred to as a handle for the connection. And it's what we're going to use throughout the rest of the page whenever we need to refer to this connection to the database that we created. You can also assign it to something else. It's very common for people to call it db or mysql or mysqli or just conn. You can really call it whatever you want. I'm going to call it connection just so that it's really clear for now. Later, you might start seeing me short hand it to something like db and that's the connection to the database.

Okay. So, at this point, if we run our page it will make a connection to the database, but, we need to check and see whether that connection was successful. We don't know whether it was or not and the way to do that is to use those Mysqli_connect_errorno and error to find out. So here is an example of how you can do that. If MySQL_connect_errorno, or if there is an error number, then we know that there was a problem. And at that point, we can say, well, the database connection failed. This checks for any error that occurred in the last transaction. If there's an error sitting there, at this point, we know that it's from whatever we just did.

And then die. That's a new bit of PHP, but it basically says just give up. It's like saying exit or break. Basically just says forget all other PHP, and completely and totally, fatally quit. So it gets out of there. And it's going to die with this message, database connection failed, and then I'm going to display the actual error using the error version. So mysqli_connect, and then error and then in parenthesis after it, I'll put the error number. Just so that we see that as well. So that's the message that it will die with. I'm just concatenating those strings together. So that'll then tell us did it succeed or not.

Errno, either's going to be equal to the error number that's there or zero. It's better than using MySQL_connect_error. 'Cuz connect_error returns an empty string if there's not a problem. It either returns a string with the error name, or an empty string. So it's a little bit cleaner to write it this way. And this how most people do it. And then the very last step is that we want to close our database connection. That's the last thing that we want to do. So we test that the connection occurs. And then at the end of our script. Let's just say all the way down here at the very bottom of the page. We're going to close the connection. Now, we probably could close it earlier.

We might be able to close it up in here. But maybe we want to make other database calls going on throughout our body, that's certainly possible. So I think it's good to go ahead and close it as the very last thing. So that's what I'm going to do here with mysql_close. And again, using that connection to refer to the handle for that connection that I make so that it knows what to close. Now, in truth, you could probably leave off connection here and it would assume it. And know what you were talking about since there was only 1 open connection. But it's always a good programming practice to make it explicit. So let's just try it and see how this works. Make this page called databases. And let's go into Firefox and for me that the page that's going to be at local host and then ~kevinskoglund/sandbox/databases.php.

Okay, I didn't get anything, but that's okay. I didn't get an error. Let's try it just by changing the connection value here. Let's change my user. I'll just take out a letter there for my user name. Let's try and reload the page. Oops, warning, access denied for... Database connection failed. Access to denied for this user. See my message? 1045 was the error number. So that's the kind of thing we get if we have an error. If there is a problem, this is the big, nasty message that you get. Let's go back and change it. We'll save the page, come back to the browser, and reload it and it works successfully.

So, we're now making a successful connection to our database and we're now closing the connection at the end, but that's not really useful. We need to actually execute some MySQL. So, let's see how to retrieve data from MySQL in the next movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about PHP with MySQL Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: This course was revised on 6/4/2013. What changed?
A: The old version of this course was 6 years old and it was time for a complete revision, using PHP 5.4. (The tutorials will work with any version of PHP and covers any differences you might encounter). The author has also added updated installation instructions for Mac OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 8. The topics and end project are the same, but the code is slightly different. It also addresses frequently asked questions from the previous version.
Q: This course was updated on 5/20/2015. What changed?
A: We added one movie called "Changing the document root in Yosemite," which helps the Mac installation run more smoothly.
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed PHP with MySQL Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.