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PHP Tutorial

PHP Introduction

PHP 5 Installation

PHP 5 Syntax

PHP 5 Variables

PHP 5 echo and print Statements

PHP 5 Data Types

PHP 5 String Functions

PHP 5 Constants

PHP Arithmetic Operators

PHP 5 if...else...elseif Statements

PHP 5 switch Statement

PHP 5 while Loops

PHP 5 for Loops

PHP 5 Functions

PHP 5 Arrays

PHP 5 Sorting Arrays

PHP 5 Superglobals

PHP Forms

PHP 5 Form Handling

PHP 5 Form Validation

PHP 5 Forms - Required Fields

PHP 5 Forms E-mail /URL

PHP Form Complete

PHP Advanced

PHP 5 Multidimensional Arrays

PHP 5 Date and Time

PHP Include Files

PHP File Handling

PHP File Open/Read

PHP File Create/Write

PHP File Upload

PHP Cookies

PHP Sessions

PHP E-mail

PHP Secure E-mails

PHP Error Handling

PHP Exception Handling

PHP Filter

PHP Database

PHP MySQL Introduction

PHP MySQL Connect

PHP Create DB/Tables

PHP MySQL Insert Into

PHP MySQL Select

PHP MySQL Where

PHP Order By

PHP Update

PHP Delete

PHP ODBC

PHP Include Files

The include (or require) statement takes all the text/code/markup that exists in the specified file and copies it into the file that uses the include statement.

Including files is very useful when you want to include the same PHP, HTML, or text on multiple pages of a website.


PHP include and require Statements

It is possible to insert the content of one PHP file into another PHP file (before the server executes it), with the include or require statement.

The include and require statements are identical, except upon failure:

  • require will produce a fatal error (E_COMPILE_ERROR) and stop the script
  • include will only produce a warning (E_WARNING) and the script will continue

So, if you want the execution to go on and show users the output, even if the include file is missing, use the include statement. Otherwise, in case of FrameWork, CMS, or a complex PHP application coding, always use the require statement to include a key file to the flow of execution. This will help avoid compromising your application's security and integrity, just in-case one key file is accidentally missing.

Including files saves a lot of work. This means that you can create a standard header, footer, or menu file for all your web pages. Then, when the header needs to be updated, you can only update the header include file.

Syntax

include 'filename';

or

require 'filename';


PHP include Examples

Example 1

Assume we have a standard footer file called "footer.php", that looks like this:

<?php
echo "<p>Copyright &copy; 1999-" . date("Y") . " W3Schools.com</p>";
?>

To include the footer file in a page, use the include statement:

Example

<html>
<body>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>
<p>Some text.</p>
<p>Some more text.</p>
<?php include 'footer.php';?>

</body>
</html>

Example 2

Assume we have a standard menu file called "menu.php":

<?php
echo '<a href="/default.asp">Home</a> -
<a href="/html/default.asp">HTML Tutorial</a> -
<a href="/css/default.asp">CSS Tutorial</a> -
<a href="/js/default.asp">JavaScript Tutorial</a> -
<a href="default.asp">PHP Tutorial</a>';
?>

All pages in the Web site should use this menu file. Here is how it can be done (we are using a <div> element so that the menu easily can be styled with CSS later):

Example

<html>
<body>

<div class="menu">
<?php include 'menu.php';?>
</div>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>
<p>Some text.</p>
<p>Some more text.</p>

</body>
</html>

Example 3

Assume we have a file called "vars.php", with some variables defined:

<?php
$color='red';
$car='BMW';
?>

Then, if we include the "vars.php" file, the variables can be used in the calling file:

Example

<html>
<body>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>
<?php include 'vars.php';
echo "I have a $color $car.";
?>

</body>
</html>

PHP include vs. require

The require statement is also used to include a file into the PHP code.

However, there is one big difference between include and require; when a file is included with the includestatement and PHP cannot find it, the script will continue to execute:

Example

<html>
<body>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>
<?php include 'noFileExists.php';
echo "I have a $color $car.";
?>

</body>
</html>

If we do the same example using the require statement, the echo statement will not be executed because the script execution dies after the require statement returned a fatal error:

Example

<html>
<body>

<h1>Welcome to my home page!</h1>
<?php require 'noFileExists.php';
echo "I have a $color $car.";
?>

</body>
</html>
Use require when the file is required by the application.

Use include when the file is not required and application should continue when file is not found.