Confirmation dialog before deleting data - Javascript, PHP

Confirmation dialog before deleting data – Javascript, PHP


In this tutorial, we are going to teach you how you can show a confirmation dialog before deleting any data using Javascript. Suppose you are displaying a lot of data in tabular form in the admin panel, and you have a delete button at the end of each row. Now when someone clicks on it, you may be submitting a form with POST request or redirecting to a page where that data will be deleted. But what if someone accidentally clicks on any row, or clicks the wrong row? Then that row will be deleted from the database.


One alternative thing you can do is to put the deleted data in the trash. That will add extra work on the developer side as well as on the user side. Because you have to create a table where trashed data will be stored, then create another page on the admin panel to display trashed data and also the ability to delete or restore the trashed data. You can see that there are 6 or 7 more functions that you have to write. Moreover, there will be extra work for users too, they also have to delete the trashed data regularly.

A simple approach

A simple approach displays a confirmation dialog when the delete button is clicked. Show simple 2 buttons, “Cancel”, “Delete”. When the delete button is clicked from confirmation dialog, then send the request to delete that data from the database. You may encounter yourself in 2 minor problems in this approach. First is “how can I display a confirmation dialog ?”, you can either display javascript native function confirm() but it may not look good with your website design.

People want a more personal look, whenever you are displaying a dialog box, whether it is alert dialog or confirmation dialog, make sure that it goes with the look and feel of your website design. Or you can use external libraries like Sweetalert, so you have to download that library, include in your project, and use their functions. But sometimes you do not have your project flooded with external libraries. You may ask yourself “why to include an external library when I can do it in my design framework ?”

As we know that today almost every website is using Bootstrap and your project will also be using a large portion of the Bootstrap framework. So we are going to use Bootstrap to display a confirmation dialog. In Bootstrap, they are called “modal”.

Bootstrap modal

Bootstrap modal can be created by creating a <div> tag and give it a unique ID, also a class named “modal”. There will be 2 inner nested divs, one with class “modal-dialog” and second having class “modal-content”. Modal content div will have 3 sections:

  1. modal-header
  2. modal-body
  3. modal-footer

What we are going to do is to show heading in modal-header div, and create a form in modal-body div, in this form we will create a hidden input field which will be the unique ID of row which needs to be deleted from database. Set the form action attribute to the page where you will handle to perform the delete action. In modal-footer, we will simply create a submit button which will be linked with that form using form attribute. Make sure the form attribute on submit button will be same as form id attribute.

<div id="myModal" class="modal">
	<div class="modal-dialog">
		<div class="modal-content">
			<div class="modal-header">
				<h4 class="modal-title">Delete User</h4>
				<button type="button" class="close" data-dismiss="modal">×</button>

			<div class="modal-body">
				<p>Are you sure you want to delete this user ?</p>
				<form method="POST" action="delete-user.php" id="form-delete-user">
					<input type="hidden" name="id">

			<div class="modal-footer">
				<button type="button" class="btn btn-default" data-dismiss="modal">Close</button>
				<button type="submit" form="form-delete-user" class="btn btn-danger">Delete</button>


Confirmation dialog – Javascript

Now create a delete button (or change if you already have one) such that it has an attribute data-id and its value must be the unique ID of that row. Attach an onclick listener which will be called whenever that button is clicked. In this event, we are calling a function named confirmDelete. You can create this delete button inside your table row where you are displaying all data from the database (typically in while() loop).

<button type="button" class="btn btn-danger" data-id="<?php echo $row->id; ?>" onclick="confirmDelete(this);">Delete</button>

Now when the button is clicked, we want to set the value of the hidden input field inside the bootstrap modal form to the id of the selected row. Then we will show the confirmation modal. Create the following function in <script> tag:

function confirmDelete(self) {
	var id = self.getAttribute("data-id");

	document.getElementById("form-delete-user").id.value = id;

Make sure you have given a name attribute to the hidden input field. It will help you to set the value using Javascript before displaying the confirmation dialog. Also, the name attribute is used at the server-side to get the values. Now you will be asked for confirmation before deleting any data from the database WITHOUT USING ANY EXTERNAL LIBRARY other than Bootstrap.

If you are developing backend in PHP, then you can get this value using $_POST[“id”].

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