I suggest you take a look at members area tutorials on google. Most of them have step by step explainations that will really help. If you still have problems email me.
ive been diging a lil bit and best solution that i could find is not one i like verry much. id like to have one file rather then on each php file.
im looking for a database acess, based on user. not just the root, but rather like people log in at login.php and they are transported to the same type of page that everyone is, how ever it has thier information. and when they click on other lings it keeps them loged in aswell as only thier info.
best info that i could get was this
mysql_connect(address, username, password)
how ever id whant the users to access the databased based on thier user imputed data.
such as, john logs in, john sees john's info from database. and not hellins, or the whole database. i tried taking a peek at how phpbb did thiers but im still confused a little bit.