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PHP OOP simple poll system

In this tutorial, we are going to explore how to create a simple poll system in PHP. This voting system will be purely using PHP without JavaScript client side enhancement. Its purpose is to demonstrate how we can use OOP style coding to create such as system. It is not made for production environment, for a real production ready pool system, you should extend it to use JavaScript to improve its user experience.


We will need storage to store voter's votes as well as poll's options. In this case, we will use MySQL as our storage. We will have table "options" to keep available poll options, and table "voters" to keep voters' information ( ip in our case). We assume you have experience of using MySQL, so create database tables as below:

CREATE TABLE `options` (
`name` VARCHAR( 250 ) NOT NULL
) ENGINE = InnoDB;
CREATE TABLE `voters` (
`option_id` INT NOT NULL ,
`ip` VARCHAR( 250 ) NOT NULL ,
`number` INT NOT NULL

Then, for demonstration purpose, I will insert some data into table "options":

INSERT INTO `options` (`id` ,`name`)VALUES (NULL , 'PHP'),
                                           (NULL , 'JQuery'),
                                           (NULL , 'C++'),
                                           (NULL , 'Java');

PHP Class

As I have mentioned earlier, our approach is implement this system is OOP. So let us take a look at the PHP object class "Vote":

*@author                The-Di-Lab
*@email                 thedilab@gmail.com
*@website               www.the-di-lab.com
*@version              1.0
class Vote {
        private $_host        = 'localhost';
        private $_database    = 'vote_system';
        private $_dbUser      = 'root';
        private $_dbPwd       = '';            
        private $_con         = false;
        private $_optionTable = 'options';
        private $_voterTable  = 'voters';
         * Constructor
        public function __construct()
                $this->_con = mysql_connect($this->_host,$this->_dbUser,$this->_dbPwd);
                    die('Could not connect: ' . mysql_error());
                mysql_select_db($this->_database,$this->_con)|| die('Could not select database: ' . mysql_error());
        //private functions
        private function  _query($sql)
            $result = mysql_query($sql,$this->_con);
                die('unable to query'. mysql_error());
            $data= array();
            while ($row = mysql_fetch_array($result, MYSQL_ASSOC)) {
            return $data;
        private function _alreadyVote($ip)
            $sql    = 'SELECT * FROM '.$this->_voterTable.' WHERE ip="'.$ip.'"';
            $result = $this->_query($sql);
            return sizeof($result)>0;
        //public functions
        public function vote($optionId)
            $ip  = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
                $sql ='INSERT INTO '.$this->_voterTable.' (id,option_id,ip) '.' VALUES(NULL,"'.mysql_real_escape_string($optionId).'","'.mysql_real_escape_string($ip).'")';
                $result = mysql_query($sql,$this->_con);
                    die('unable to insert'. mysql_error());
        public function getList()
            $sql    = 'SELECT * FROM '.$this->_optionTable;
            return  $this->_query($sql);           
        public function showResults()
            $sql =
            'SELECT * FROM  '.$this->_optionTable.' LEFT JOIN '.'(SELECT option_id, COUNT(*) as number FROM  '.$this->_voterTable.' GROUP BY option_id) as votes'.
            ' ON '.$this->_optionTable.'.id = votes.option_id';
            return  $this->_query($sql);
        public function getTotal()
            $sql    = 'SELECT count(*)as total FROM '.$this->_voterTable;
            return  $this->_query($sql);

Firstly, let us take a look at variables in this class:

  • private $_host: Host url for MySQL connection.

  • private $_database: MySQL database name.

  • private $_dbUser: MySQL database user name.

  • private $_dbPwd: MySQL database user password.

  • private $_con: This stores MySQL connection. And it is created once per object.

  • private $_optionTable: options' table name. This makes life easy if you want to use other name instead of "options".

  • private $_voterTable: voters' table name.This makes life easy if you want to use other name instead of "voters".

    This class is very straight forward if you have some PHP coding knowledge. There four public functions:

  • public function vote($optionId): This function will vote for option with $optionId and it gets voter's ip using $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'].

  • public function getList(): This function get array of available options with id and name fields.

  • public function showResults(): This function runs a left join to get array of options with its voting results.

  • public function getTotal(): This function returns total number of votes for this poll.

Poll Page

Poll page is the actual front page where we make sure of Vote class to implement a poll system.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
    list-style-type: none;
    font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    line-height: 2em;
ul li{
ul li.result{
    position: relative;
ul li.result span.bar{
    background-color: #D8DFEA;
    display: block;
    left: 0;
    position: absolute;
    top: 0;
    z-index: -1;
//                          ************************1
include 'vote.php';        
$vote  = new Vote();
//get action                ************************2
    $action = $_REQUEST['action'];
//vote and show results     ************************3
    //vote                  ************************4
    //show results          ************************5
    //                      ************************6
    echo '<ul>';            
    foreach($vote->showResults() as $vote){
        $percent = 0;
            $percent = $vote['number']/$total * 100;
        echo '<li class="result">';
        echo '<span class="bar" style="width:'.$percent.'%;"> </span>';
        echo '<span class="label">'.$vote['name'].' (<strong>'.$percent.'%</strong>)</span>';
        echo '</li>';
    echo '</ul>';
//show options              ************************7
    echo '<ul>';
    foreach($vote->getList() as $option){
        echo '<li>';
        echo '<a href="'.$_SERVER['PHP_SELF'].'?action=vote&&id='.$option['id'].'">'.$option['name'].'</a>';
        echo '</li>';
    echo '</ul>';  
  1. Include "vote.php" file, initialize a vote object and a $action string variable.
  2. Determine if there is action passed to this page, if so, store it to $action variable we have created above.
  3. Depends on the $action value, we will execute two different codes.
  4. If $action equals to "vote", firstly call vote() function of Vote class to vote. $id is passed in using URL.
  5. If $action equals to "vote", secondly call getTotal() function to get total number of results.
  6. If $action equals to "vote", thirdly call showResults() function to get array of the results, and then loop through each element to out put the result list.
  7. If $action does not equal to "vote", call function getList() to get available options and loop through each element to form a vote list, and note we append $id and $action with value "vote" to each URL.


You can download this script from my github account.

The End

Thank you for reading this article, and if you have any encountered anything different, have a different solution or think our solution is wrong, do let us know in the comment section. We will be very happy to hear that.

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