Very useful PHP code snippets for PHP developers

php-logoFollowing are list of  most useful PHP code snippets that a PHP developer will need at any point in his career. Few of the snippets are shared from my projects and few are taken from useful php websites from internet. You may also want to comment on any of the code or also you can share your code snippet through comment section if you think it may be useful for others.

1. Send Mail using mail function in PHP

$to = "";
$subject = "";
$body = "Body of your message here you can use HTML too. e.g. <br>
         <b> Bold </b>";
$headers = "From: Peter\r\n";
$headers .= "Reply-To:\r\n";
$headers .= "Return-Path:\r\n";
$headers .= "X-Mailer: PHP5\n";
$headers .= 'MIME-Version: 1.0' . "\n";
$headers .= 'Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1' . "\r\n";

2. Base64 Encode and Decode String in PHP

function base64url_encode($plainText) {
	$base64 = base64_encode($plainText);
	$base64url = strtr($base64, '+/=', '-_,');
	return $base64url;

function base64url_decode($plainText) {
	$base64url = strtr($plainText, '-_,', '+/=');
	$base64 = base64_decode($base64url);
	return $base64;

3. Get Remote IP Address in PHP

function getRemoteIPAddress() {
	return $ip;

The above code will not work in case your client is behind proxy server.

In that case use below function to get real IP address of client.

function getRealIPAddr()
	if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP']))
	elseif (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']))   //to check ip is pass from proxy
	return $ip;

4. Seconds to String

This function will return the duration of the given time period in days, hours, minutes and seconds.

e.g. secsToStr(1234567) would return “14 days, 6 hours, 56 minutes, 7 seconds”

function secsToStr($secs) {
	if($secs>=86400){$days=floor($secs/86400);$secs=$secs%86400;$r=$days.' day';if($days<>1){$r.='s';}if($secs>0){$r.=', ';}}
	if($secs>=3600){$hours=floor($secs/3600);$secs=$secs%3600;$r.=$hours.' hour';if($hours<>1){$r.='s';}if($secs>0){$r.=', ';}}
	if($secs>=60){$minutes=floor($secs/60);$secs=$secs%60;$r.=$minutes.' minute';if($minutes<>1){$r.='s';}if($secs>0){$r.=', ';}}
	$r.=$secs.' second';if($secs<>1){$r.='s';}
	return $r;

5. Email validation snippet in PHP

$email = $_POST['email'];
if(preg_match("~([a-zA-Z0-9!#$%&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;'*+-/=?^_`{|}~])@([a-zA-Z0-9-]).([a-zA-Z0-9]{2,4})~",$email)) {
	echo 'This is a valid email.';
} else{
	echo 'This is an invalid email.';

6. Parsing XML in easy way using PHP

Required Extension: SimpleXML

//this is a sample xml string
$xml_string="<?xml version='1.0'?>
    <molecule name='Benzine'>

    <molecule name='Water'>


//load the xml string using simplexml function
$xml = simplexml_load_string($xml_string);

//loop through the each node of molecule
foreach ($xml->molecule as $record)
   //attribute are accessted by
   echo $record['name'], '  ';
   //node are accessted by -> operator
   echo $record->symbol, '  ';
   echo $record->code, '<br />';

7. Database Connection in PHP

if(basename(__FILE__) == basename($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'])) send_404();
$dbHost = "localhost";        //Location Of Database usually its localhost
$dbUser = "xxxx";            //Database User Name
$dbPass = "xxxx";            //Database Password
$dbDatabase = "xxxx";       //Database Name

$db = mysql_connect("$dbHost", "$dbUser", "$dbPass") or die ("Error connecting to database.");
mysql_select_db("$dbDatabase", $db) or die ("Couldn't select the database.");

# This function will send an imitation 404 page if the user
# types in this files filename into the address bar.
# only files connecting with in the same directory as this
# file will be able to use it as well.
function send_404()
    header('HTTP/1.x 404 Not Found');
    print '<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">'."n".
    '<title>404 Not Found</title>'."n".
    '<h1>Not Found</h1>'."n".
    '<p>The requested URL '.
    str_replace(strstr($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'], '?'), '', $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']).
    ' was not found on this server.</p>'."n".

# In any file you want to connect to the database,
# and in this case we will name this file db.php
# just add this line of php code (without the pound sign):
# include"db.php";

8. Creating and Parsing JSON data in PHP

Following is the PHP code to create the JSON data format of above example using array of PHP.

$json_data = array ('id'=>1,'name'=>"rolf",'country'=>'russia',"office"=>array("google","oracle"));
echo json_encode($json_data);

Following code will parse the JSON data into PHP arrays.

$json_string='{"id":1,"name":"rolf","country":"russia","office":["google","oracle"]} ';
//print the parsed data
echo $obj->name; //displays rolf
echo $obj->office[0]; //displays google

9. Process MySQL Timestamp in PHP

$query = "select UNIX_TIMESTAMP(date_field) as mydate from mytable where 1=1";
$records = mysql_query($query) or die(mysql_error());
while($row = mysql_fetch_array($records))
	echo $row;

10. Generate An Authentication Code in PHP

This basic snippet will create a random authentication code, or just a random string.

# This particular code will generate a random string
# that is 25 charicters long 25 comes from the number
# that is in the for loop
$string = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789";
    $pos = rand(0,36);
    $str .= $string{$pos};
echo $str;
# If you have a database you can save the string in
# there, and send the user an email with the code in
# it they then can click a link or copy the code
# and you can then verify that that is the correct email
# or verify what ever you want to verify

11. Date format validation in PHP

Validate a date in “YYYY-MM-DD” format.

function checkDateFormat($date)
	//match the format of the date
	if (preg_match ("/^([0-9]{4})-([0-9]{2})-([0-9]{2})$/", $date, $parts))
		//check weather the date is valid of not
			return true;
		return false;
		return false;

12. HTTP Redirection in PHP

	if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTPS']) &amp;amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp;amp; ('on' == $_SERVER['HTTPS'])) {
		$uri = 'https://'; / what?
	} else {
		$uri = 'http://'; / what?
	$uri .= $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'];
	header('Location: 'http://you_stuff/url.php'); // stick your url here

13. Directory Listing in PHP


function list_files($dir)
  		if($handle = opendir($dir))
  			while(($file = readdir($handle)) !== false)
  				if($file != "." &amp;amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp;amp; $file != ".." &amp;amp;amp;amp;&amp;amp;amp;amp; $file != "Thumbs.db"/*pesky windows, images..*/)
  					echo '<a target="_blank" href="'.$dir.$file.'">'.$file.'</a><br>'."\n";

To use:


14. Browser Detection script in PHP

	$useragent = $_SERVER ['HTTP_USER_AGENT'];
	echo "<b>Your User Agent is</b>: " . $useragent;

15. Unzip a Zip File

    function unzip($location,$newLocation){
        if(exec("unzip $location",$arr)){
            for($i = 1;$i< count($arr);$i++){
                $file = trim(preg_replace("~inflating: ~","",$arr[$i]));
            return TRUE;
            return FALSE;

//Use the code as following:
include 'functions.php';
    echo 'Success!';
    echo 'Error';

16. Email address check

Checks for a valid email address using the php-email-address-validation class.

Source and docs:

$validator = new EmailAddressValidator;
if ($validator->check_email_address('')) {
    // Email address is technically valid
else {
    // Email not valid


17. Random password generator

PHP password generator is a complete, working random password generation function for PHP. 

It allows the developer to customize the password: 

set its length and strength. Just include this function anywhere in your code and then use it.

Source :

function generatePassword($length=9, $strength=0) {
    $vowels = 'aeuy';
    $consonants = 'bdghjmnpqrstvz';
    if ($strength & 1) {
        $consonants .= 'BDGHJLMNPQRSTVWXZ';
    if ($strength & 2) {
        $vowels .= "AEUY";
    if ($strength & 4) {
        $consonants .= '23456789';
    if ($strength & 8) {
        $consonants .= '@#$%';
    $password = '';
    $alt = time() % 2;
    for ($i = 0; $i < $length; $i++) {
        if ($alt == 1) {
            $password .= $consonants[(rand() % strlen($consonants))];
            $alt = 0;
        } else {
            $password .= $vowels[(rand() % strlen($vowels))];
            $alt = 1;
    return $password;


18. Force downloading of a file

Forces a user to download a file, for e.g you have an image 

but you want the user to download it instead of displaying it in his browser.

header("Content-type: application/octet-stream");
// displays progress bar when downloading (credits to Felix ;-))
header("Content-Length: " . filesize('myImage.jpg'));
// file name of download file
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="myImage.jpg"');
// reads the file on the server


How you like this small collection of PHP code snippets. You may want to paste your code snippet in the comment section below and share it with others. :)