One of the simplest and most popular add-ons to a Web site is anonline poll, allowing visitors to vote on hot-button issues. In thisarticle, find out how PHP can be used to build a powerful, good-lookingonline poll for your Web site, and also learn a little bit about its imageand cookie manipulation functions.
The first order of business is to decide the features to be supported by this application. Obviously, there needs to be a mechanism by which the user can view a question, and then select from a list of possible answers. Once the "vote" has been captured, it's traditional to offer the voter an opportunity to look at the results generated thus far.
For purposes of this tutorial, I'll assume that each poll consists of a single question, with three possible responses.
So far as the results are concerned, it's quite easy to provide a tabular report of the votes for each possible option. However, I plan to make the application look more professional by providing a graphical report, in the form of a bar graph. This might seem difficult to do, since the graph would need to be dynamically generated depending on the votes, but PHP's image generation functions make it a snap.
A quick review of the various Web portals suggests that most of them also allow visitors to view the results of previous polls (this is particularly useful if the poll question changes on a daily basis). This is not too difficult to do - so let's add that to the feature list as well.
With this skeleton in mind, the next step is to design a database that supports these requirements.
This article copyright Melonfire 2001. All rights reserved.