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PHP Includes

You can insert the content of one PHP file into another PHP file before the server executes it, with the include() or require() function.

The two functions are identical in every way, except how they handle errors:
  • include() generates a warning, but the script will continue execution
  • require() generates a fatal error, and the script will stop
These two functions are used to create functions, headers, footers, or elements that will be reused on multiple pages.

Server side includes saves a lot of work. This means that you can create a standard header, footer, or menu file for all your web pages. When the header needs to be updated, you can only update the include file, or when you add a new page to your site, you can simply change the menu file (instead of updating the links on all your web pages).

PHP include() Function

The include() function takes all the content in a specified file and includes it in the current file. If an error occurs, the include() function generates a warning, but the script will continue execution.

<?php include("header.php"); ?>

PHP require() Function

The require() function is identical to include(), except that it handles errors differently. If an error occurs, the include() function generates a warning, but the script will continue execution. The require() generates a fatal error, and the script will stop.

<?php require("header.php"); ?>