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John Farrellregistering users
by on Oct 24, 2008 at 6:05:34 pm

I currently host my own site with a fairly simple design (using Dreamweaver).I'm wondering how difficult/costly it is to take the site to the next level? Meaning, if I want to have visitors register (for free) to see/read my content, and then to keep track of the list as it (hopefully) grows so I can update visitors etc.

Earthlink offers a database tool, but I have little experience with db tools, and not even sure I need one.

Any pointers or advice welcome.

John Farrell

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Abraham ChaffinRe: registering users
by on Oct 24, 2008 at 8:01:46 pm

There is a bit of a learning curve for doing this, however not unbearable as there is a ton of help online instantly at your finger tips if you know what to google. If you are the site admin of your own growing web site and you plan on keeping that way I suggest you learn MySQL and PHP. MySQL is the most commonly used database and php is the most commonly used server side scripting language. Both are highly documented. You can get a starter tutorial lesson here:

Start playing around with it and hopefully you'll see things are pretty straight forward if you start small and just add on more functionality as you need it.


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John FarrellRe: registering users
by on Oct 24, 2008 at 8:21:31 pm

Thanks, Abraham. I appreciate it. I'll check out the link.

John Farrell

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Fernando MolRe: registering users
by on Oct 29, 2008 at 4:22:15 pm

The trick with databases is that you need to install a "virtual" version of them in your computer so you can test your pages, then, upload them. You will also need to create your databases in your server. The data in both of them can be different, but the tables must be the same.

First: Your web hosting service must use the technology you want to develop. Most servers are PHP/MySQL enabled, but you should ask or see the documentation of your service (Usually an email with your FTP access, mail management, etc.)

My recommendation for the "virtual" tools is: WAMP (

WAMP will install Apache Server, PHP My Admin and an SQL manager.

You'll need to learn how to create a database. It is like an excell table, but with special attributes. You can create all of your tables in PHP My Admin. I have never used the MySQL tool. Remember to put an ID column to the database. This must be an INT, auto-incremented and be defined as the key element. Then create a username and a password columns. I will not explain all the process here, but you are getting the idea of the steps needed. Right?

Then, in Dreamweaver, you will need to enable PHP MySQL as the Server Model. You do that by editing your Site attributes. Look for the Testing Server preferences.

Then... well, once you have installed your WAMP, defined your testing server site, create a connection to the database and define a recordset, you will be able use dynamic data in your pages, with almost not any knowledge of php language.


Really, not joking, once you learn how to do all of this, using Dreamweaver with databases is very, very easy. The area for registered users you want will be created in a couple of clicks.

I really recommend you to look for the "Dreamweaver" titles ( They describe exactly what you want to do.

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John FarrellRe: registering users
by on Oct 29, 2008 at 5:02:35 pm

Fernando, this is excellent information. I appreciate it. In the short term, is their a Dreamweaver book I might get that covers this as well?

John F

John Farrell

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Fernando MolRe: registering users
by on Nov 10, 2008 at 10:12:36 pm

I do not know of any specific book. I read the "help" on dreamweaver and searched for tutorials all over the web.

I found, however, a "book" that seems to be what you need.

Be patient, it will take some time to learn it.

But, man, what would be life without some challenges?

Good luck

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John FarrellRe: registering users
by on Nov 11, 2008 at 3:22:05 am

Thanks, Fernando--I appreciate it!

John Farrell

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