How To Set Cookies In Login Page In Php

Setting cookies in a login page is a crucial aspect of web development, especially when it comes to user authentication and maintaining user sessions. In this article, I will guide you through the process of setting cookies in a login page using PHP, providing you with step-by-step instructions and personal commentary from my own experiences.

Introduction to Cookies

Before we dive into setting cookies in a login page, let’s first understand what cookies are and how they work. In the context of web development, cookies are small pieces of data that are stored in a user’s web browser. These cookies are sent back and forth between the browser and the server, allowing the server to remember specific information about the user.

Cookies are widely used in web applications for various purposes, such as session management, personalization, and tracking user behavior. In the case of a login page, cookies play a crucial role in maintaining user sessions and providing a seamless user experience.

Step 1: Creating the Login Page

To begin, let’s create a basic login page using PHP. This page will consist of a simple HTML form with fields for the username and password. We will use the POST method to send the form data to the server for processing. Below is an example of a basic login page:

<form method="POST" action="process_login.php">
<label for="username">Username:</label>
<input type="text" id="username" name="username">

<label for="password">Password:</label>
<input type="password" id="password" name="password">

<input type="submit" value="Login">

In the above code, we have a form with two input fields: one for the username and another for the password. The form’s action attribute is set to “process_login.php”, which is where we will handle the login form submission.

Step 2: Handling the Login Form Submission

Now that we have our login page, let’s create the “process_login.php” file to handle the form submission. In this file, we will validate the user’s credentials against a database or any other data source. If the credentials are valid, we will set a cookie to maintain the user’s session.

Here’s an example of how we can handle the login form submission and set a cookie using PHP:

// Retrieve the form data
$username = $_POST['username'];
$password = $_POST['password'];

// Validate the credentials (e.g., against a database)
if($username === "myusername" && $password === "mypassword") {
// Set a cookie to maintain the user's session
setcookie("user", $username, time() + (86400 * 30), "/");

// Redirect the user to a dashboard or protected page
header("Location: dashboard.php");
} else {
// Invalid credentials, display an error message
echo "Invalid username or password.";

In the above code, we first retrieve the form data using the $_POST superglobal. We then validate the credentials against a database or any other data source. If the credentials are valid, we set a cookie named “user” with the value of the username. The cookie is set to expire in 30 days and is accessible across the entire website (“/”). Finally, we redirect the user to a dashboard or protected page using the header() function.


Setting cookies in a login page using PHP is an essential skill for web developers. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can securely maintain user sessions and enhance the user experience on your website. Remember to always validate user credentials and use secure practices when handling sensitive user information.

Thank you for joining me on this journey to learn about setting cookies in a login page using PHP. I hope you found this article informative and that it helps you in your web development endeavors. Happy coding!