Headers in PHP: Understanding and Using Them

Headers in php are used to provide additional information to the browser and control the output of a web page. Headers are sent to the browser before any actual page content, and they are used to set parameters such as the content type, caching options, and cookie information.

What are headers?

headers in php
headers in PHP

Headers in php are a part of the HTTP protocol and are used to transmit information about the resource being requested or the response being sent. They are sent as part of the request or response message and contain key-value pairs that provide additional information about the request or response.

How to use headers in PHP?

Headers in php are set using the header function. The function takes a string argument, which is the header string to be sent. For example, the following code sets the content type header to text/plain:

header('Content-Type: text/plain');

It’s important to note that headers must be sent before any other output is generated. If any output has been sent, the headers will not be sent and an error will occur. To avoid this issue, make sure to set headers at the very beginning of the script before any HTML or other output is sent.

Common uses of headers in PHP

  • Content type headers: The Content-Type header is used to specify the MIME type of the resource being returned. In PHP, it can be set using the following code:
header('Content-Type: application/json');
  • Redirect headers: The Location header is used to redirect the user to a different URL. The following code will redirect the user to the homepage:
header('Location: http://www.example.com/');
  • Status codes: HTTP status codes indicate the result of a request. In PHP, status codes can be set using the header function along with the HTTP/1.1 protocol. For example, the following code sets the status code to 404 (Not Found):
header('HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found');
  • Download headers: The Content-Disposition header is used to specify the name of a file when it is downloaded. For example, the following code will download a file named myfile.txt:
header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="myfile.txt"');


headers in php, play a crucial role in sending and receiving HTTP requests and responses in PHP. They provide additional information about the resource being requested or the response being sent and can be used to specify the content type, redirect the user, set the status code, and initiate a file download, among other things. Understanding and using headers in PHP can greatly enhance the functionality and versatility of your scripts.

Share your love
Amelia Smith
Amelia Smith

Leave a Reply