PHP file Include Once script and example

include "config.php"; // include in same directory
include "template/config.php"; // include file inside template directory
include "../config.php";// include one step above ( towards root )
By using PHP include() function and file can be used (included ) to any script or file.

This is required where we have a common set of code to be used or any declarations or say the database connection is required for the script. All the files in the script can call the file storing database information by using include command and the set of code having all the information about database connection inside the included file gets attached to the main file.

It is important to note that when a file is included by using include functions then its is parsed as html mode unless the included file has php start and end tags inside it. Here is a simple example of PHP include.
include "include/config.php";
This will include the file name config.php of the include directory. Please note that here we have used relative path in respect to the script running. "include/config.php" is the file name config.php inside the directory name include.

If we are keeping any PHP code inside the config.php file then we must use PHP start and end tags in those area (<?Php And ?> ). Without this all are taken as html code only.

If we are including the file and if there is a chance that we may declare some functions or variables again then we can use the function include_once() which will take care of this.

To read an external URL it is better to use fopen() .


If we want to include a file once only and further calling of the file will be ignored then we have to use the PHP function include_once().
This will prevent problems with function redefinitions, variable value reassignments, etc.  Here is one example to explain this. 

Let us create one PHP file and name it as data.php . Here is the content of this file

echo "Hello <br>";   // this 
will print Hello with one line break
Now let us create one more file and from that we will be including the above data.php file . The name of the file will be inc.php and the code is given below.

include "data.php";
// this will display Hello once

include "data.php";
// this will display Hello once

include "data.php";
// this will display Hello once

include_once "data.php"; // this will not display as the file is already included. 

include_once "data.php";  // this will also not display as the file is already included.?>
So here in the above code the echo command displaying Hello will be displayed three times and not five times.  The include_once() command will not include the data.php file again.

  1. Exercise : Creating a basic website template
  2. Create a folder python
    Inside python folder create a folder template
    Inside python/template create two files top_menu.php and bottom.php Outside ( or above ) python create one folder root_template.
    Inside root_template create one file root_head.php
    Inside root_template create one file root_footer.php
    Inside all above pages add proper message by using echo command to identify the page within the main page.
    With this all your required files are ready.

    Create one php file name test.php ( main page ) inside python folder. Keep all basic html tags like title, head, body etc inside it.
    Within the head tag include the file root_head.php ( inside root_template folder )
    Within the body tag include template/top_menu.php
    Within the body tag include template/bottom.php
    Within the body tag include root_template/root_footer.php page

    Open the main.php page inside python directory to check the page.
Simple codes in PHP for Beginners Guide to installation and How to write our first PHP Script
Introduction to PHP
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