I have been building pages for about two years now and I have reached the point where I can build the SQL table, and code the page for input and retrieval of information in the database.
Now I want to move to being able to do "accounts". What I want ot know is, how does that work? How can a user log in and only see their information? and then browse their "account" or "profile"?
Incorporating a user management system in a web site can be simple or difficult it all based upon the features you'd like to integrate with the user management system.
In an algorithmic way saying we are performing the following actions:
1. User Registration
2. Keeping the user registration data either inside a database or using some other storage mechanism text files, xml files, etc
3. When a user later tries to get into the private area of your website which is not accessible for the unregistered member of your website, you'll ask for their username and password
4. If they are providing correct user name and password then your scripts will check the authenticity of their username and password by checking your database or the storage. If they are correct then you can start a user session and using the session values, you can maintain the user throughout their session.
5. Once they press logout you'll destroy all session variables and will end their session.
An effective user management system needs server-side scripting so you need decide which server-side technology you need to use before starting your coding.
So think a situation where a user is trying to access a page which is meant for a registered user, now you can tackle this situation quite easily using user session variable, which will only start when a user log into the site using a proper user name and password. Check whether these session variables contains meaningful information (Based upon your logic) in it, if there is no meaningful information you can redirect your users into some other page.
My answer misses so many other factors, as i mentioned treat this as a just a algorithmic way of looking at the user management section.