How to Use PHP in HTML

HTML is a markup language, while PHP is a server-side scripting language, meaning you will write the coding in different files. However, there is a chance that you might be faced with a scenario where you will be instructed to connect an external PHP file to HTML. Of course, this is possible. In this article, we look at how to use PHP in HTML. 

How to Connect PHP and HTML  

If you want to connect PHP and HTML code, the best way is to construct a link between them. Because putting both scripts in the same file is unneeded for running and will make modifying the code difficult. 

Therefore, it is easier to connect external PHP files. This method offers the following advantages.

  • It is simple to maintain and manage multiple scripts by making modifications in one place.
  • Letting multiple pages on a website share common functions and variables reduces redundancy.
  • Easy code editing and debugging.

There are two relatively easy ways to connect PHP and HTML. They are

  1. By changing the file extension.
  2. By creating a .htaccess.

Change the File Extension to Link an External PHP File to HTML

The simplest and easiest technique to link the two programs is to change the file extension of the external PHP file and link it to HTML.

The only thing you need to do is switch the .HTML extension to .php. As an illustration, sample.HTML will become sample.php. And with that, you have completed the initial task.

The include() or require() function must then be used to bind the PHP and HTML files together. The two functions share the same goal but for different reasons.

Using the include() Function

The include() function should be included in the file but it is not particularly important, and the program can continue to run even if it is not found.

include(" The name of the PHP file ");
//like
<?php
include(" sample.php ");
?>

Using the require() Function

However, in the case of require() function, it is included in the program to indicate that the file is vital, and if the program cannot find the program, then the program will not be executed.

require(" The name of the PHP file ");
//like
<?php
require(" sample.php ");
?>

The techniques mentioned above allow you to link external PHP scripts to HTML files without including them in the same file. As a result, it is simpler to maintain several PHP scripts because you only need to make changes once rather than looking for and changing them on each page of the website.

Making a.htaccess File Will Allow You to Link an External PHP File to HTML

Making a.htaccess file in the directory containing your project files is another simple method of connecting a PHP script to HTML. Enter the following code in the .htaccess file after adding the file.

AddType application/x-httpd-php .HTML 

This code will instruct the Apache server to read HTML files as PHP scripts, which is why it needs to be added to the .htaccess file. When you enter this code, the Apache server will be forced to connect the PHP file to HTML.

Following the steps mentioned above, you will once more construct a link to PHP and HTML using the include() or need() procedures.

Using the include() Function

include(" The name of the PHP file ");
//like
<?php
include(" sample.php ");
?>

Using the require() Function

require(" The name of the PHP file ");
//like
<?php
require(" sample.php ");
?>

PHP vs HTML

The creation of web pages mostly utilises both PHP and HTML. PHP is a backend language, and HTML is a frontend language. These languages play a crucial part in building dynamic websites.

Let’s now examine the precise definitions of HTML and PHP and why they are essential for web development.

HTML

HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. A web page’s structure is created using this markup language, which is used to create web pages.

HTML employs tags, also known as elements, to specify the organisational structure of a page’s content. Using these elements, developers can choose the size, style, and positioning of different elements on a web page, including headings, photos, font types, size, background colour, etc.

This is why HTML is so important in front-end development. HTML is one of the principal languages used for website development, and as such, it is supported by the majority, if not all, browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and others. HTML5, the most recent version, has paved the way for adding more crucial features to a website.

Example of a HTML Program:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<HTML>
   <body>
     <p> This is a HTML Program </p>
  </body>
</HTML>

Output:

This is an HTML Program 

Advantages of HTML

The HTML program is used for a variety of reasons because it provides the following list of advantages:

  • Every browser supports HTML Language.
  • For beginners, HTML is relatively simple to understand and master. In fact, you can learn the basics for free here
  • It’s simple to edit and debug HTML programs.
  • HTML can store large files because of the application cache characteristics.
  • HTML code is compact and quick to load.
  • HTML has a very basic syntax.
  • Additionally, HTML permits templates, simplifying the process of creating a website.
  • JavaScript, CSS, and other languages can easily integrate with HTML.

Disadvantages of HTML

Though there are lots of advantages of using HTML, it also comes with several drawbacks as follows:

  • Because HTML is a static language, utilising it alone won’t result in a dynamic website.
  • When creating sophisticated web pages, HTML’s structure becomes more complex.
  • The HTML code is lengthy, even for a simple page.
  • HTML doesn’t provide a lot of security.
  • Developers must do web page editing independently; it is not centralised.
  • Making lists, tables, and forms takes just as much time as keeping the colour palette of a page consistent.
  • The smallest inaccuracy might completely alter the appearance of the website.

Applications Using HTML

Almost all the applications use HTML as the front-end technology. Below are some of the prominent applications that are built using HTML as their foundation.

  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • BBC
  • Netflix
  • Ikea

PHP

PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a scripting language used to create web applications. It is an open-source programming language primarily used in server-side scripting on the backend.

A PHP file is made up of HTML code, CSS code, Javascript code, and PHP code. The PHP code is executed on the server, and the result is shown by the browser, which is received from the server in HTML format. It can also communicate with databases such as MySQL and Oracle.

PHP can control the execution of server-side code and display the output that the server sends to the browser. Most browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, etc., also support it. PHP is mostly used for creating dynamic web pages, unlike HTML.

Example of a PHP Program:

<?php  
/* echo is a print command */
echo "This is a PHP program.";  
?> 

Output:

This is a PHP program.

Advantages of PHP 

The advantages of PHP are listed below.

  • PHP’s integrated database connection modules make it straightforward to incorporate databases when building web apps and content-based websites, saving time and money.
  • With the help of supporting different versions, it has been more reliable for a few years.
  • Regarding using different function modules for data representation, PHP provides strong library support.
  • Any other programming language can be linked with PHP code.
  • Applications built with PHP can run on any OS, including UNIX, Linux, Windows, etc.
  • Even for sophisticated features, a PHP developer can avoid the situation of code duplication and write fairly little code.
  • Developers can load applications built with PHP and connected to a database quickly. It is mostly utilised because, compared to other programming languages, it loads faster over slow internet speeds.

Disadvantages of PHP 

Here are the disadvantages of using PHP:

  • Open-source software has many benefits, but security is severely degraded because the ASCII text file is frequently accessed.
  • PHP is a challenging language to learn compared to other computer languages like Python.
  • Online applications perform poorly when using additional PHP frameworks and tool functionalities.
  • PHP lacks a debugger, which is required to check for errors and warnings.
  • PHP is not typically used to write code for sophisticated web applications.
  • Because of its weak nature, users may receive inaccurate information.
  • PHP forbids altering or changing the fundamental behaviour of online applications.

Applications Using PHP

PHP is increasingly used in all fields to create web-based and other applications. The following is a list of a few technologies whose development PHP supports:

  • Content Management System.
  • E-commerce websites and applications.
  • Data Analytics and Representation.
  • Graphical interface design-based applications.
  • Developing the features of Flash.

The following well-known platforms use PHP as their server scripting language to build dynamic websites:

  • Yahoo
  • Wikipedia
  • Facebook
  • WordPress.com

Main Differences Between HTML and PHP

The key factor when discussing PHP vs HTML is that HTML is a front-end language that runs on the browser, while PHP is back-end and runs on the server.

HTML vs PHP: Purpose

If the goal of HTML is to lay the groundwork for a website, then PHP’s goal is to give the website the functions it needs. For instance, if you submit your login information on a website’s login page, the page will alert you that you entered the wrong password or email; yet, if you supplied the correct information, you would be taken directly to your account. 

PHP makes this possible, ignoring the details and sending the permission to you without requiring you to reload the page repeatedly.

HTML is used for everything related to page design, including adding text formatting, hyperlinks, redirection, and colour. In contrast, PHP is employed for logical coding tasks like email sending, building login and registration forms, file uploads, and constructing database connections.

HTML vs PHP: Syntax

When it comes to syntax, HTML is quite easier than PHP. This is because there are not many strict rules you need to follow for writing HTML code. You must include the code within the tags and use the proper tags without spelling errors.

However, in the case of PHP, you need to learn and be aware of a few lines of rules. This is why ample practice is required to master both languages.

HTML vs PHP: Performance

Providing the users with optimal performance is the common goal of every developer. If you want to develop a static website with no redeeming performance quality and loads whenever the user updates the website’s content, HTML is fine. 

But suppose you are looking to create a webpage that swiftly and smoothly provides users with results and optimises the website’s overall appearance. In that case, you will need PHP’s functionality and other frontend languages such as CSS and JavaScript.

HTML vs PHP: Integration

PHP and HTML can be integrated with AJAX to develop cutting-edge and user-friendly web applications.

HTML can easily construct dynamic sites with AJAX, and PHP developers can link to different databases, including MySQL, Oracle, and other well-known databases.

HTML vs PHP: Database

Websites are not only for show, but they also represent the users with data and information in a visually appealing manner, and every user activity is stored in a database. To establish a connection with a prominent database, you will need the assistance of PHP.

With PHP, you can connect to databases such as MySQL, Oracle etc. HTML alone cannot be of any use to connecting to a database.

The Bottom Line

Though HTML and PHP are different programming languages that play a crucial role in creating powerful websites, they are usually used together, which is why programmers must learn their differences and how to connect the different code files. With the given examples, we hope you were able to learn how to link an external PHP file to HTML.

Learn basic HTML for free

If you want to learn some basic HTML, along with basic CSS and JavaScript, for free, then register through the link below for our free 5 Day Coding Challenge. 

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