10 code snippets for PHP developers

I’ve compiled a small list of some useful code snippets which might help you when writing your PHP scripts…

Email address check

Checks for a valid email address using the php-email-address-validation class.
Source and docs: http://code.google.com/p/php-email-address-validation/

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

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 : http://www.webtoolkit.info/php-random-password-generator.html

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;

Get IP address

Returns the real IP address of a visitor, even when connecting via a proxy.
Source : http://roshanbh.com.np/2007/12/getting-real-ip-address-in-php.html

function getRealIpAddr(){
	if (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP'])){
		//check ip from share internet
	elseif (!empty($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'])){
		//to check ip is pass from proxy
		$ip = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'];
	return $ip;

XSL transformation

PHP5 version
Source : http://www.tonymarston.net/php-mysql/xsl.html

$xp = new XsltProcessor();

// create a DOM document and load the XSL stylesheet
$xsl = new DomDocument;
// import the XSL styelsheet into the XSLT process

// create a DOM document and load the XML datat
$xml_doc = new DomDocument;

// transform the XML into HTML using the XSL file
if ($html = $xp->transformToXML($xml_doc)) {
	echo $html;
else {
	trigger_error('XSL transformation failed.', E_USER_ERROR);
} // if 

PHP4 version

function xml2html($xmldata, $xsl){
   /* $xmldata -> your XML */
   /* $xsl -> XSLT file */

   $arguments = array('/_xml' => $xmldata);
   $xsltproc = xslt_create();
   xslt_set_encoding($xsltproc, 'ISO-8859-1');
   $html = xslt_process($xsltproc, $xmldata, $xsl, NULL, $arguments);

   if (empty($html)) {
       die('XSLT processing error: '. xslt_error($xsltproc));
   return $html;

echo xml2html('myxmml.xml', 'myxsl.xsl');

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

String encoding to prevent harmful code

Web applications face any number of threats; one of them is cross-site scripting and related injection attacks. The Reform library attempts to provide a solid set of functions for encoding output for the most common context targets in web applications (e.g. HTML, XML, JavaScript, etc)
Source : http://phed.org/reform-encoding-library/

Reform::HtmlEncode('a potentially harmful string');

Sending mail

Using PHPMailer
PHPMailer a powerful email transport class with a big features and small footprint that is simple to use and integrate into your own software.
Source : http://phpmailer.codeworxtech.com/

$mail = new PHPMailer();  
$mail->From = 'noreply@htmlblog.net';  
$mail->FromName = 'HTML Blog';  
$mail->Host = 'smtp.site.com';  
$mail->Mailer = 'smtp'; 
$mail->Subject = 'My Subject';
$body = 'Hello<br/>How are you ?';
$textBody = 'Hello, how are you ?';
$mail->Body = $body;  
$mail->AltBody = $textBody;  
$mail->AddAddress('asvin [@] gmail.com');
	echo 'There has been a mail error !';

Using Swift Mailer
Swift Mailer is an alternative to PHPMailer and is a fully OOP library for sending e-mails from PHP websites and applications.
Source : http://swiftmailer.org/

// include classes
require_once "lib/Swift.php";
require_once "lib/Swift/Connection/SMTP.php";
$swift =& new Swift(new Swift_Connection_SMTP("smtp.site.com", 25));
$message =& new Swift_Message("My Subject", "Hello<br/>How are you ?", "text/html");
if ($swift->send($message, "asvin [@] gmail.com", "noreply@htmlblog.net")){
    echo "Message sent";
    echo 'There has been a mail error !';
//It's polite to do this when you're finished

Uploading of files

Using class.upload.php from Colin Verot
Source : http://www.verot.net/php_class_upload.htm

$uploadedImage = new Upload($_FILES['uploadImage']);
if ($uploadedImage->uploaded) {
	if ($uploadedImage->processed) {
		echo 'file has been uploaded';

List files in directory

List all files in a directory and return an array.
Source : http://www.laughing-buddha.net/jon/php/dirlist/

function dirList ($directory) {
    // create an array to hold directory list
    $results = array();

    // create a handler for the directory
    $handler = opendir($directory);

    // keep going until all files in directory have been read
    while ($file = readdir($handler)) {

        // if $file isn't this directory or its parent, 
        // add it to the results array
        if ($file != '.' && $file != '..')
            $results[] = $file;

    // tidy up: close the handler

    // done!
    return $results;

Querying RDBMS with MDB2 (for e.g MySQL)

PEAR MDB2 provides a common API for all supported RDBMS.

Source : http://pear.php.net/package/MDB2

// include MDB2 class

// connection info
$db =& MDB2::factory('mysql://username:password@host/database');
// set fetch mode

// querying data
$query = 'SELECT id,label FROM myTable';
$result = $db->queryAll($query);

// inserting data
// prepare statement
$statement = $db->prepare('INSERT INTO mytable(id,label) VALUES(?,?)');
// our data
$sqlData = array($id, $label);
// execute

// disconnect from db
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80 thoughts on “10 code snippets for PHP developers”

  1. Not that these are terrible, but seriously. People who can’t write these themselves, shouldn’t be programming. All of these things could be done by a noobie with some research.

  2. Exactly Jesse you’re right, these are basic things, but this post prevents them from doing the research, having all the useful things under 1 post and discovering some new classes like class.upload.php, EmailAddress validator.

    To Kevin, thx for the glob function, didn’t know about that.

  3. You should include a Content-Length header in the file download example. This way the browser will be able to display a proper progress bar.

  4. Why using the php-email-address-validation class ?
    The function filter_var exists with good filters for mail verification.

  5. filter_var requires PHP 5.2 whereas the php-email-address-validation class can be hacked to work with PHP4 by just removing public/protected from the functions.

  6. i agree that all of these are functions that one would encounter if you programmed everyday in a commercial and none commercial environment. I think mixing php4 and 5 oop is not such a great idea

  7. Here’s a few I’ve written:

    Function will parse the content looking for syntax like this:
    {function name=”functionName” value=”passVariableData”}
    and replace this text with the result of the function. Be sure
    that the function called is accessable by the current page.
    public function parseContent($content)
    $pattern = “/\{function name=([‘|\”])(.*)(\\1) value=([‘|\”])(.*)(\\4)\}/i”;
    $matches = preg_match_all($pattern, $content, $pMatches);
    $result = call_user_func($pMatches[2][0], $pMatches[5][0]);
    $content = str_replace($pMatches[0][0], $result, $content);
    /* Add more filters to content here */

    return $content;

    Function will parse content and replace any URLs with a hyperlink.
    function parseUrls($originalInput, $target = “_blank”)
    $originalInput = str_replace(“\n”, ” \n”, $originalInput);
    $inputTokens = explode(” “, $originalInput);
    $input = “”;
    foreach($inputTokens as $token)
    if(strlen($token) > 5)
    // check for https://, http://
    if((($pos = strpos($token, “http://”)) !== false) ||
    (($pos = strpos($token, “https://”)) !== false)||
    (($pos = strpos($token, “ftp://”)) !== false))

    $pref = substr($token, 0, $pos);
    $link = substr($token, $pos);

    if(strlen($link) > 8) $token = “$pref” . str_replace(array(“\n”, “\r”, ” “), “”, $link) . ““;

    // check for www.
    else if(strpos($token, “www.”) === 0) {
    $token = “$token“;

    $input .= $token.” “;

    return $input;

    function htmlOptions($theArray, $default = ”, $useKeyVal = false, $useKeyDisp = false)
    foreach($theArray as $k => $val)
    $str = “”;
    $str .= $k;
    $str .= $val;

    $str .= “”;
    echo $str;

  8. Thanks for such a time saver. Going to bookmark the code snippets. I know I am going to have to refer back to one of these in the future.

  9. I’ve been searching for PHP codes used for uploading files. At last i found the answer, i even found everything that i need for my exercise. just a Question: How many pages should i create prior to this code?..

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