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Check if username already exists

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Hello i am trying to create a prepared statement with mysqli and php to see if the username entered in the HTML form already exists the in table.

I am getting this error 

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to a member function bind_param() on string

My code:

    $sql_u = "SELECT user FROM users WHERE user=?";
    $sql_u->bind_param('s', $user);

    if($result = $sql_u->fetch_array()) {
	if($result >= 1) {
	    print "That username is taken!\n";
	} else {
	    //Do nothing


The variable $user is equal to $_POST['user'];

The code below is working it inserts records into the table with no problems but i would just like to check if the user is already existing.

    $stmt = $conn->prepare("INSERT INTO users (user, password, email) VALUES (?, ?, ?)");
    $stmt->bind_param('sss', $user, $pass, $email);

    if(!$stmt) {
	die("Something went wrong.");


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If you look at your second block of code you will see you are using prepare() method.

That bit is missing from the first block - you are defining a string instead of a prepared statement. bind_param() needs a statement object.


EDIT: BTW fetch_assoc() returns an array, not a numeric value.

Edited by Barand
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