When to Use Functions in PHP?
Whether you are new to programming or an intermediate programmer, learning new tricks can speed up your productivity and acquire more ideas for your program. This is also important for advanced programming languages such as PHP. The complexity of the language can be daunting at first, but thanks to using “Functions” in your code, it can save a lot of time by not having to type the code every time it is needed, and using less coding in your web application.
The best time to use PHP functions is when a code is needed to display information throughout the website, ranging from user information to actions that require extensive coding that may make it confusing to tell apart from other code. If you haven’t used functions before, you will understand them very soon.
To implement a function into an application, create a new .PHP document in the folder of an Apache, MySQL, and PHP “localhost” installation. If you do not have a AMP server installed, it can be uploaded to a web host that offers PHP web hosting. The file can be “functions.php” or anything you wish that you can remember along the way. In the new document, we begin our functions by typing the following:
//we create a basic function that is called every time it is needed.
*add code to be used in application*
The function is declared by using “function helloWorld()” following the code itself within the curly braces. Function names are case sensitive and cannot start with a number.
To call the function, we add the function call into another PHP document formatted with in HTML that is displayed in the web browser:
echo “Hello World!”;
When “helloWorld()” is called after the function, it displays the code added within the braces, in this case “Hello World!”
For advanced coding, we can touch up our function by adding a “parameter” before the code, like so:
echo “Why, hello there, “.$universe.”!”;
When the parameter “Sun” is added in “helloWorld($universe)”, it displays the text “Why, hello there, Sun” in HTML.
Alternatively, a function can be called from another PHP file. This is useful when using coding that is required all the time. In a PHP file that displays the overall website such as “index.php,” we insert a “require_once” tag, followed by the file location to call our functions.
//include functions file
From then on we can call the functions as long as the file is present within the document. As with any other code, functions can be used in loops. In this example: if the condition is false, the function within the loop is executed.
echo “Come on in!”;
That’s all there is to it. You can now implement functions within your application. If you are in a hurry to write an application, it does not take long to learn the concept of functions. It can actually save time and confusion in the long run.