Upload and store an image in the Database with PHP

You can save your uploading images in the database table for later use e.g. display user profile or product image, create the image gallery, etc.

There are two ways of doing this –

  • Save path or name of an image
  • Encode image into base64 format

In this tutorial, I show you both of the methods for storing and retrieving an image from the database table.

Upload and store an image in the database with PHP


Contents

  1. Table structure
  2. Configuration
  3. Save path or name
  4. base64_encode()
  5. Conclusion

 


 

1. Table structure

I am using images table for storing data.

CREATE TABLE `images` (
  `id` int(11) NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY AUTO_INCREMENT,
  `name` varchar(200) NOT NULL,
  'image' longtext NOT NULL
) ENGINE=InnoDB DEFAULT CHARSET=latin1;

 

2. Configuration

Create a new config.php file.

Completed Code

<?php

$host = "localhost"; /* Host name */
$user = "root"; /* User */
$password = ""; /* Password */
$dbname = "tutorial"; /* Database name */

$con = mysqli_connect($host, $user, $password,$dbname);
// Check connection
if (!$con) {
 die("Connection failed: " . mysqli_connect_error());
}

 

3. Save path or name

You can either save full path or name of an image in your MySQL database table. Retrieve the image name or path from the MySQL database and use to make image source.

Here, I am storing file name in MySQL database.

Completed Code

include("config.php");

if(isset($_POST['upload'])){
 
 $name = $_FILES['file']['name'];
 $target_dir = "upload/";
 $target_file = $target_dir . basename($_FILES["file"]["name"]);

 // Select file type
 $imageFileType = strtolower(pathinfo($target_file,PATHINFO_EXTENSION));

 // Valid file extensions
 $extensions_arr = array("jpg","jpeg","png","gif");

 // Check extension
 if( in_array($imageFileType,$extensions_arr) ){
 
  // Insert record
  $query = "insert into images(name) values('".$name."')";
  mysqli_query($con,$query);
  
  // Upload file
  move_uploaded_file($_FILES['file']['tmp_name'],$target_dir.$name);

 }
 
}

Retrieve

Select name or path of the image which you have stored in the database table and use it in image source.

Example

<?php

$sql = "select name from images where id=1";
$result = mysqli_query($con,$sql);
$row = mysqli_fetch_array($result);

$image = $row['name'];
$image_src = "upload/".$image;

?>
<img src='<?php echo $image_src;  ?>' >

 

4. base64_encode()

You can store the full image in the Database table by converting it into the base64 format. You don’t need to store image reference in Database table e.g. name, path and not require to store the image on your server.

In PHP base64_encode() method is been used for base64 conversion. Before storing it in the database I append data:image/'.$imageFileType.';base64, text with base64 value.

Now when need to display the image just fetch the value and use it as an image source.

Note – In the example, I am uploading the image to directory. You can remove the upload code if you only want the image will accessible through base64 stored values in the database.

Completed Code

include("config.php");

if(isset($_POST['upload'])){
 
 $name = $_FILES['file']['name'];
 $target_dir = "upload/";
 $target_file = $target_dir . basename($_FILES["file"]["name"]);

 // Select file type
 $imageFileType = strtolower(pathinfo($target_file,PATHINFO_EXTENSION));

 // Valid file extensions
 $extensions_arr = array("jpg","jpeg","png","gif");

 // Check extension
 if( in_array($imageFileType,$extensions_arr) ){
 
  // Convert to base64 
  $image_base64 = base64_encode(file_get_contents($_FILES['file']['tmp_name']) );
  $image = 'data:image/'.$imageFileType.';base64,'.$image_base64;
  // Insert record
  $query = "insert into images(image) values('".$image."')";
  mysqli_query($con,$query);
  
  // Upload file
  move_uploaded_file($_FILES['file']['tmp_name'],$target_dir.$name);
 }
 
}

Retrieve

Here, I am fetching stored base64 value and using it in image source.

Example

<?php

 $sql = "select image from images where id=1";
 $result = mysqli_query($con,$sql);
 $row = mysqli_fetch_array($result);

 $image_src2 = $row['image'];
 
?>
<img src='<?php echo $image_src; ?>' >

 

5. Conclusion

In my opinion, instead of storing an image in MySQL database in the base64 format, it’s better to store in the server and save the reference in the database table to keep track of the location.

It is faster and consumes less space in the database table compare to base64.

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