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How to output data retrieved from a database

Here is another, easier approach to retrieve the actual value of data stored in your database - IF it exists.

        //get the actual value of the user's name after they enter a username
		  $query = mysql_fetch_assoc(mysql_query(" SELECT `name` FROM `practice_table` WHERE `username` = '$username' "));						  			  
		  if($query['name'])// if there is a record with `username` = 'username' then assign it to a variable....or echo if you need to
			  $name = $query['name']; 
              // echo 'Hello, '.$query['name'];          	
          	  echo 'Sorry, that username does not exist!';
          //create a session variable to pass to other pages for the user's name
		    $_SESSION['name'] = $name;

This way you use the session variable in other pages like below.

      echo 'Welcome back '.$_SESSION['name'].', You have successfully logged in.';