Raddy Website Design & Development Tutorials

Upload and Store Images in MySQL using Node.Js, Express, Express-FileUpload & Express-Handlebars

By Raddy in NodeJs ·

Today we are going to explore the Express-FileUpload NPM package as we create a super simple user profile card and integrate our card with a MySQL database to retain the record.

This article has been updated. – Removed Connection Pool

Express-Handlebars code has been updated from 5.3.4 to 6.0.1 – 6.0.2. You can read the full Express-Handlebars Migration 6.0.1, 6.0.2 article here.

If you are looking for an in-depth explanation please watch the full video tutorial.

What you need:

To complete this project you will need a MySQL Database & Node installed. I usually use XAMPP for local development, but you can use whatever you wish as long as the database is MySQL of course.

Create a new project

To create a new Node.js project all you have to do is to create a new project folder “user-management-system” and then run the Command line or PowerShell in the same directory. Once you do that to initialise a new project simply put the following command:

npm init
npm install express express-handlebars express-fileupload mysql

This will initialise a new project for you and it’s going to ask you a few questions about your project. The most important one is to give your package a name and then you can just keep pressing enter until the installation is over.

Project Structure

Let’s create the following folders and files, leaving node_modules, readme.md, package-lock and package-json as that should have been automatically generated by now.

You can structure your project the way you like. I am just going to keep it simple and add everything into our app.js file

📂 node_modules
📂 public
 📂 css
  📜 main.css
  📜 main.scss
 📂 img
  🖼 default.jpg
📂 views
  📂 layouts
   📜 main.hbs
 📜 index.hbs
⚓ .env
🌍 app.js
📜 package-lock.json
📜 package-json

Let’s create our app.js file and each block of code will be explained with comments.

(I didn’t use the connection pool correctly. Update coming soon – code still works)

const express = require('express');
const exphbs = require('express-handlebars'); // updated to 6.0.X
const fileUpload = require('express-fileupload');
const mysql = require('mysql');

const app = express();
const port = process.env.PORT || 5000;

// default option

// Static Files

// Templating engine
// app.engine('hbs', exphbs({ extname: '.hbs' })); // v5.3.4
// app.set('view engine', 'hbs'); // v5.3.4

// Update to 6.0.X
const handlebars = exphbs.create({ extname: '.hbs',});
app.engine('.hbs', handlebars.engine);
app.set('view engine', '.hbs');

// Connection Pool
var connection = mysql.createConnection({
  host: 'localhost',
  user: 'root',
  password: 'password',
  database: 'userprofile'

app.get('', (req, res) => {
    connection.query('SELECT * FROM user WHERE id = "1"', (err, rows) => {
      if (!err) {
        res.render('index', { rows });

app.post('', (req, res) => {
  let sampleFile;
  let uploadPath;

  if (!req.files || Object.keys(req.files).length === 0) {
    return res.status(400).send('No files were uploaded.');

  // name of the input is sampleFile
  sampleFile = req.files.sampleFile;
  uploadPath = __dirname + '/upload/' + sampleFile.name;


  // Use mv() to place file on the server
  sampleFile.mv(uploadPath, function (err) {
    if (err) return res.status(500).send(err);

      connection.query('UPDATE user SET profile_image = ? WHERE id ="1"', [sampleFile.name], (err, rows) => {
        if (!err) {
        } else {

app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Listening on port ${port}`));

In our Views -> Layouts folder we need to create our Handlebars template. The {{{body}}} is where our index.hbs page will render:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="/css/main.css">
  <div class="wrapper">

Now let’s create our index.hbs page, with our form and a loop to display the record from the database:

<form action="/" method="POST" encType="multipart/form-data">
  <h3>Upload Profile Photo</h3>
  <input type="file" name="sampleFile" accept="image/*" />
  <input type="submit" class="btn btn-primary">

<div class="card">
  {{#each rows}}

    {{#if this.profile_image}}
      <img class="card__image" src="{{this.profile_image}}" alt="User Profile">
      <img class="card__image" src="/img/default.jpg" alt="User Profile">
    <h1 class="card__title">{{this.name}}</h1>
    <div class="card__job">{{this.job_title}}</div>
    <p class="card__about">
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary">View Profile</button>


That’s it. The clean code is available on the GitHub link below with fewer explanation comments.

Demo Video Loop

Demo of uploading an image and saving the record to a MySQL Database:


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