Part 6: Create your own Registration System using PHP and MySql

Nov 28, 2022   //   by h05t5cr1pt3r   //   Blog  //  No Comments

6. Implementing Account Activation

The account activation system will send an email to the user with the activation link when the user has registered.

The first thing we need to do is to go into phpMyAdmin and select our database, in our case this would be phplogin, you can either add the column activation_code to the accounts table or execute the SQL statement below.

ALTER TABLE accounts ADD activation_code varchar(50) DEFAULT ''

Now we need to edit our register.php file, search for this line of code:

if ($stmt = $con->prepare('INSERT INTO accounts (username, password, email) VALUES (?, ?, ?)')) {

Replace with:

if ($stmt = $con->prepare('INSERT INTO accounts (username, password, email, activation_code) VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)')) {

Search for:

$stmt->bind_param('sss', $_POST['username'], $password, $_POST['email']);

Replace with:

$uniqid = uniqid();
$stmt->bind_param('ssss', $_POST['username'], $password, $_POST['email'], $uniqid);

The $uniqud variable will generate a unique ID that we’ll use for our activation code, this will be sent to the user’s email address.

Search for:

echo 'You have successfully registered, you can now login!';

Replace with:

$from    = '';
$subject = 'Account Activation Required';
$headers = 'From: ' . $from . "\r\n" . 'Reply-To: ' . $from . "\r\n" . 'X-Mailer: PHP/' . phpversion() . "\r\n" . 'MIME-Version: 1.0' . "\r\n" . 'Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8' . "\r\n";
// Update the activation variable below
$activate_link = '' . $_POST['email'] . '&code=' . $uniqid;
$message = '<p>Please click the following link to activate your account: <a href="' . $activate_link . '">' . $activate_link . '</a></p>';
mail($_POST['email'], $subject, $message, $headers);
echo 'Please check your email to activate your account!';

Upon account registration, the user will need to activate their account using the activation link that is sent to their email address. You need to update both the $from and $activate_link variables.

Now we can proceed to create the activation file. The activation file will process the GET parameters and verify the email and code. The user’s account will be activated if the code is valid.

Edit/create the activate.php file and add the following code:

// Change this to your connection info.
$DATABASE_HOST = 'localhost';
$DATABASE_USER = 'root';
$DATABASE_NAME = 'phplogin';
// Try and connect using the info above.
if (mysqli_connect_errno()) {
	// If there is an error with the connection, stop the script and display the error.
	exit('Failed to connect to MySQL: ' . mysqli_connect_error());
// First we check if the email and code exists...
if (isset($_GET['email'], $_GET['code'])) {
	if ($stmt = $con->prepare('SELECT * FROM accounts WHERE email = ? AND activation_code = ?')) {
		$stmt->bind_param('ss', $_GET['email'], $_GET['code']);
		// Store the result so we can check if the account exists in the database.
		if ($stmt->num_rows > 0) {
			// Account exists with the requested email and code.
			if ($stmt = $con->prepare('UPDATE accounts SET activation_code = ? WHERE email = ? AND activation_code = ?')) {
				// Set the new activation code to 'activated', this is how we can check if the user has activated their account.
				$newcode = 'activated';
				$stmt->bind_param('sss', $newcode, $_GET['email'], $_GET['code']);
				echo 'Your account is now activated! You can now <a href="index.html">login</a>!';
		} else {
			echo 'The account is already activated or doesn\'t exist!';

If the code reflects the one in the database that is associated with the user’s account then the value of the activation_code column will be updated to activated.

If we want to check if the user has activated their account, we can add the following code to the pages we want to restrict non-activated users:

if ($account['activation_code'] == 'activated') {
	// account is activated
	// Display home page etc
} else {
	// account is not activated
	// redirect user or display an error

For the above code to work, you will need to connect to your MySQL database and select the user’s account.

Also, take note PHP mail function will only work if your computer or server supports it. If it doesn’t send an email, check your configuration or install a mail server such as Postfix.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully created a Login System (if you followed the previous tutorial) and registration system with PHP and MySQL. You’re free to use the code in this tutorial and adapt it for your own projects.

Remember that this is just a secure base that you should work from. Consider changing or implementing your own validation, and implement your own features.

If you would like more of this tutorial series, feel free to drop a comment and suggest to us what we could create next.

Enjoy coding!

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