How To Use The PHP Include Statement

by Chris Channing

Web designers should know by now that they should cut time where they can. This doesn’t mean cut time in the creativity process, but rather in the mundane coding process that requires little expression. One such way to cut corners is to use the PHP include statement, which is going to effectively save an enormous amount of time for coding large projects.

There is a common controversy as to whether or not a PHP include is a function. For the doubters out there, we can confirm that the include statement is indeed not a function, but rather a language construct native to the PHP web development platform. This is because it is an internabl component- not just an ordinary function.

The PHP include is going to save us time by allowing us to edit multiple files through a single file. If we had a navigation bar that needed changed, we would normally have to go to every page and change it if we were using HTML. But with PHP we can just reference a remote file, and dynamically change each and every page.

PHP includes also save lines of code, which is great for organization and troubleshooting. It may not actually be saving any performance of the server, but it is still going to benefit the developer more than it will hurt them. PHP includes are great to take out many lines of code and replace them with a single include construct, which, only takes one line to use.

While it may not be a targeted benefit, the icing on the cake of using the PHP include command is going to be that it will break an application if something fails in the included file. This may seem like a bad thing, but it lets developers track down problems where timing is key to getting things back up and running. In most cases, however, we are going to use the PHP require command instead.

PHP includes will only work under the PHP extension, so it’s urged that web developers only use the PHP extension if working on a large website. The HTML extension is starting to become less seen, as it will not support the many functions PHP can aid it with. DHTML is an alternative, but where possible all web designers should migrate to the PHP bandwagon. After all, the top paying web design jobs are going to require working knowledge of many systems.

In Conclusion

Knowing how to use the PHP include command and know the theory of the command are two very different things. From here, readers will need to be able to know how to use the command in everyday settings. Consult the Internet for more information on this, and where to find the best PHP include tutorial.

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