For quite a while now, you’ve been focusing on some pretty basic details: a user, his information, and as an extension of that information, his profile picture. It’s been good. You’ve gotten pretty intimate with PHP and MySQL, figured out not just one but two ways to deal with one of the most common PHP issues: image loading—and you’ve managed to keep things looking good throughout. These aren’t small accomplishments; they’re very much big ones.
But it’s still been a pretty focused view. Right now, as a user, you can get set up and specify some basic information. But what if you’re not a user; what if you’re you? If you want to see how many users are in your system; if you want to delete a malicious user; if you want to update a picture because it’s not quite socially palatable; you have to do all that through your MySQL command line. That’s okay, and you’re certainly capable, but you probably already realize that in the big bad world of web applications, most administrators aren’t keeping a MySQL terminal running in the corner of their screen.
Instead, they have administrative interfaces. With these interfaces, they can list all the users in a system. They can check some boxes here and there and mass delete users. They can see any user they want. And it’s all through a nice clean web interface. You can give your web application the same nice features.
Granted, a web application where users supply their basic social profile isn’t going ...