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PHP style guide with coding standards and best practices.

PHP Style Guide

All rules and guidelines in this document apply to PHP files unless otherwise noted. References to PHP/HTML files can be interpreted as files that primarily contain HTML, but use PHP for templating purposes.

The keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

Most sections are broken up into two parts:

  1. Overview of all rules with a quick example
  2. Each rule called out with examples of do's and don'ts

Icon Legend:

· Space, Tab, Enter/Return

Table of Contents

  1. Files
    1. File Format
    2. Filename
  2. Skeleton
  3. PHP Tags
    1. Open Tag
    2. Close Tag
    3. Open/Close Tag
    4. Short Open Tag
    5. Short Echo Tag
  4. End of File
  5. Namespaces
    1. Namespace Declaration
    2. Namespace Name
    3. Multiple Namespaces
    4. Magic Constant
  6. Comments
    1. Single-line Comments
    2. Multi-line Comments
    3. Header Comments
    4. Divider Comments
    5. Comments
    6. Blocks of Code
    7. Ambiguous Numbers
    8. External Variables
  7. Includes
    1. Include/Require Once
    2. Parenthesis
    3. Purpose of Include
  8. Formatting
    1. Line Length
    2. Line Indentation
    3. Blank Lines
    4. Text Alignment
    5. Trailing Whitespace
    6. Keywords
    7. Variables
    8. Global Variables
    9. Constants
    10. Statements
    11. Operators
    12. Unary Operators
    13. Concatenation Period
    14. Single Quotes
    15. Double Quotes
  9. Functions
    1. Function Name
    2. Function Prefix
    3. Function Call
    4. Function Arguments
    5. Function Declaration
    6. Function Return
  10. Control Structures
    1. If, Elseif, Else
    2. Switch, Case
    3. While, Do While
    4. For, Foreach
    5. Try, Catch
  11. Classes
    1. Class File
    2. Class Namespace
    3. Class Name
    4. Class Documentation
    5. Class Definition
    6. Class Properties
    7. Class Methods
    8. Class Instance
  12. Best Practices
    1. Variable Initialization
    2. Initialization/Declaration Order
    3. Globals
    4. Explicit Expressions
    5. E_STRICT Reporting

1. Files

This section describes the format and naming convention of PHP files.

File Format

  1. Character encoding MUST be set to UTF-8 without BOM
    • Sublime.app → FileSave with EncodingUTF-8
  2. Line endings MUST be set to Unix (LF)
    • Sublime.app → ViewLine EndingsUnix

Filename

  1. Letters MUST be all lowercase
    • e.g. autoloader.php
  2. Words MUST be separated with a hyphen
    • e.g. app-config.php

Table of Contents

2. Skeleton

This section showcases a barebones PHP file with its minimum requirements.

Line by line breakdown:

  • Line 1: PHP open tag
  • Line 2: Blank line
  • Line 3: Your code
  • Line 4: Blank line
  • Line 5: End-of-file comment
  • Line 6: Blank line
<?php

// your code

// EOF
 

Table of Contents

3. PHP Tags

This section describes the use of PHP tags in PHP and PHP/HTML files.

  1. Open tag MUST be on its own line and MUST be followed by a blank line
    • i.e. <?php ...
  2. Close tag MUST NOT be used in PHP files
    • i.e. no ?>
  3. Open/close tag MUST be on one line in PHP/HTML files
    • i.e. <?php ... ?>
  4. Short open tag MUST NOT be used
    • i.e. <?<?php
  5. Short echo tag SHOULD be used in PHP/HTML files
    • i.e. <?php echo<?=

Table of Contents

1. Open Tag

Open tag MUST be on its own line and MUST be followed by a blank line.

Incorrect

<?php print_welcome_message();

↳ Incorrect because <?php is not on its own line.

<?php
print_welcome_message();

↳ Incorrect because <?php is not followed by a blank line.

Correct

<?php

print_welcome_message();

PHP Tags

2. Close Tag

Close tag MUST NOT be used in PHP files.

Incorrect

<?php

print_welcome_message();

?>

↳ Incorrect because ?> was used.

Correct

<?php

print_welcome_message();

PHP Tags

3. Open/Close Tag

Open/close tag MUST be on one line in PHP/HTML files.

Incorrect

<div>
	<h1><?php
	print_welcome_message();
	?></h1>
</div>

↳ Incorrect because <?php and ?> are not on one line.

Correct

<div>
	<h1><?php print_welcome_message(); ?></h1>
</div>

PHP Tags

4. Short Open Tag

Short open tag MUST NOT be used.

Incorrect

<?

print_welcome_message();

↳ Incorrect because <? was used instead of <?php.

Correct

<?php

print_welcome_message();

PHP Tags

5. Short Echo Tag

Short echo tag SHOULD be used in PHP/HTML files.

~ Acceptable

<div>
	<p><?php echo get_welcome_message(); ?></p>
</div>

↳ Acceptable, but <?= should be used over <?php echo when possible.

Preferred

<div>
	<p><?= get_welcome_message(); ?></p>
</div>

PHP Tags

4. End of File

This section describes how every PHP file must end.

End-of-file comment:

  • MUST be included at the end of a file
    • i.e. // EOF
  • MUST be on its own line
    • i.e. // EOF
  • MUST be surrounded by blank lines
    • i.e. ... // EOF

Incorrect

<?php

print_welcome_message();

↳ Incorrect because // EOF is missing.

<?php

print_welcome_message(); // EOF

↳ Incorrect because // EOF is not on its own line.

<?php

print_welcome_message();
// EOF

↳ Incorrect because // EOF is not surrounded by blank lines.

Correct

<?php

print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

Table of Contents

5. Namespaces

This section describes how to use one or more namespaces and their naming convention.

  1. Namespace declaration MUST be the first statement and MUST be followed by a blank line
    • i.e. <?php namespace MyCompany; ...
  2. Namespace name MUST start with a capital letter and MUST be camelcase
    • e.g. namespace MyCompany;
  3. Multiple namespaces MUST use the curly brace syntax
    • i.e. namespace MyCompany { ... }
  4. Magic constant SHOULD be used to reference the namespace name
    • i.e. __NAMESPACE__

Table of Contents

1. Namespace Declaration

Namespace declaration MUST be the first statement and MUST be followed by a blank line.

Incorrect

<?php

print_welcome_message();

namespace MyCompany;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because namespace MyCompany; is not the first statement.

<?php

namespace MyCompany;
print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because namespace MyCompany; is not followed by a blank line.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany;

print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

Namespaces

2. Namespace Name

Namespace name MUST start with a capital letter and MUST be camelcase.

Incorrect

<?php

namespace myCompany;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because myCompany does not start with a capital letter.

<?php

namespace MyCOMPANY;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because MyCOMPANY is not written in camelcase.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany;

// EOF
 

Namespaces

3. Multiple Namespaces

Multiple namespaces MUST use the curly brace syntax.

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

namespace MyCompany\View;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there are two namespaces and the curly brace syntax was not used.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model {
	// model body
}

namespace MyCompany\View {
	// view body
}

// EOF
 

Namespaces

4. Magic Constant

Magic constant SHOULD be used to reference the namespace name.

~ Acceptable

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model {
	// model body
}

namespace MyCompany\View {
	$welcome_message = MyCompany\View\get_welcome_message();
}

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but using __NAMESPACE__ instead of MyCompany\View is preferred.

Preferred

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model {
	// ModuleOne body
}

namespace MyCompany\View {
	$welcome_message = __NAMESPACE__ . '\\' . get_welcome_message();
}

// EOF
 

Namespaces

6. Comments

This section describes how comments should be formatted and used.

  1. Single-line comments MUST use two forward slashes
    • e.g. // My comment
  2. Multi-line comments MUST use the block format
    • i.e. /** * My comment */
  3. Header comments SHOULD use the block format
    • i.e. /** * Name of code section */
  4. Divider comments SHOULD use the block format with asterisks in between
    • i.e. /** 75 asterisks */
  5. Comments MUST be on their own line
    • i.e. // My comment
  6. Blocks of code SHOULD be explained or summarized
    • e.g. // Compare user accounts from export against expired accounts in system
  7. Ambiguous numbers MUST be clarified
    • e.g. // 1,000 processable records per hour API limit
  8. External variables MUST be clarified
    • e.g. // Database object included in file.php

Table of Contents

1. Single-line Comments

Single-line comments MUST use two forward slashes.

Incorrect

<?php

/* This is a comment */

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because it uses /* and */ for a single-line comment.

Correct

<?php

// This is a comment

// EOF
 

Comments

2. Multi-line Comments

Multi-line comments MUST use the block format.

Incorrect

<?php

// This is a
// multi-line
// comment

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because it uses // for a multi-line comment.

Correct

<?php

/**
 * This is a
 * multi-line
 * comment
 */

// EOF
 

Comments

3. Header Comments

Header comments SHOULD use the block format.

<?php

/**
 * Global application settings
 */

define('SETTING_ONE', '');
define('SETTING_TWO', '');
define('SETTING_THREE', '');

// EOF
 

Comments

4. Divider Comments

Divider comments SHOULD use the block format with 75 asterisks in between.

Incorrect

<?php

/**#######################################################################*/

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because it uses # instead of *.

<?php

/*************/

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because it uses 10 instead of 75 *.

Correct

<?php

/**
 * Beginning + Middle + End
 * 3 spaces + 75 spaces + 2 spaces = 80 character line limit
 */

/******************************************************************************/

// EOF
 

Comments

5. Comments

Comment MUST be on their own line.

Incorrect

<?php

print_welcome_message(); // Prints welcome message

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because // Prints welcome message is not on its own line.

Correct

<?php

// Prints welcome message
print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

Comments

6. Blocks of Code

Blocks of code SHOULD be explained or summarized.

~ Acceptable

<?php

foreach ($users as $user) {
	if ($expr1) {
		// ...
	} else {
		// ...
	}
	if ($expr2) {
		// ...
	} elseif ($expr3) {
		// ...
	} else {
		// ...
	}
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but block of code should be explained or summarized.

Preferred

<?php

/**
 * Get active website bloggers with profile photo for author page.
 * If no photo exists on website, check intranet.
 * If neither location has photo, send user email to upload one.
 */
foreach ($users as $user) {
	if ($expr1) {
		// ...
	} else {
		// ...
	}
	if ($expr2) {
		// ...
	} elseif ($expr3) {
		// ...
	} else {
		// ...
	}
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Comments

7. Ambiguous Numbers

Ambiguous numbers MUST be clarified.

Incorrect

<?php

while ($expr && $x < 1000) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because 1000 is not clarified.

Correct

<?php

// Script times out after 1,000 records
while ($expr && $x < 1000) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Comments

8. External Variables

External variables MUST be clarified.

Incorrect

<?php

include_once 'some-file.php';

// ...

foreach($users as $user) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because source of $users is not clear.

Correct

<?php

include_once 'some-file.php';

// ...

// $users from some-file.php
foreach($users as $user) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Comments

7. Includes

This section describes the format for including and requiring files.

  1. Include/require once SHOULD be used
    • i.e. includeinclude_once, requirerequire_once
  2. Parenthesis MUST NOT be used
    • e.g. include_once('file.php');include_once 'file.php';
  3. Purpose of include MUST be documented with a comment
    • e.g. // Provides WordPress environment require_once 'wp-load.php';

Table of Contents

1. Include/Require Once

Include/require once SHOULD be used.

~ Acceptable

<?php

include 'some-file.php';
require 'some-other-file.php';

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but _once should be appended to include and require if possible.

Preferred

<?php

include_once 'some-file.php';
require_once 'some-other-file.php';

// EOF
 

Includes

2. Parenthesis

Parenthesis MUST NOT be used.

Incorrect

<?php

include_once('some-file.php');
require_once('some-other-file.php');

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because include_once and require_once are used with parenthesis.

Correct

<?php

include_once 'some-file.php';
require_once 'some-other-file.php';

// EOF
 

Includes

3. Purpose of Include

Purpose of include MUST be documented with a comment.

Incorrect

<?php

require_once 'some-file.php';

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is no comment as to what some-file.php does or provides.

Correct

<?php

// Provides XYZ framework
require_once 'some-file.php';

// EOF
 

Includes

8. Formatting

This section outline various, general formatting rules related to whitespace and text.

  1. Line length MUST NOT exceed 80 characters, unless it is text
    • i.e. |---- 80+ chars ----| → refactor expression and/or break list values
  2. Line indentation MUST be accomplished using tabs
    • i.e. function func() { ... }
  3. Blank lines SHOULD be added between logical blocks of code
    • i.e. ... ...
  4. Text alignment MUST be accomplished using spaces
    • i.e. $var · · · = ...;
  5. Trailing whitespace MUST NOT be present after statements or serial comma break or on blank lines
    • i.e. no ... · · · ...
  6. Keywords MUST be all lowercase
    • e.g. false, true, null, etc.
  7. Variables MUST be all lowercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore
    • e.g. $welcome_message
  8. Global variables MUST be declared one variable per line and MUST be indented after the first
    • e.g. global $var1, $var2;
  9. Constants MUST be all uppercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore
    • e.g. WELCOME_MESSAGE
  10. Statements MUST be placed on their own line and MUST end with a semicolon
    • e.g. welcome_message();
  11. Operators MUST be surrounded by a space
    • e.g. $total = 15 + 7;, $var .= '';
  12. Unary operators MUST be attached to their variable or integer
    • e.g. $index++, --$index
  13. Concatenation period MUST be surrounded by a space
    • e.g. echo 'Read:' . $welcome_message;
  14. Single quotes MUST be used
    • e.g. echo 'Hello, World!';
  15. Double quotes SHOULD NOT be used
    • e.g. echo "Read: $welcome_message";echo 'Read: ' . $welcome_message;

Table of Contents

1. Line Length

Line length MUST NOT exceed 80 characters, unless it is text.

Incorrect

<?php

if(in_array('Slumdog Millionaire', $movies) && in_array('Silver Linings Playbook', $movies) && in_array('The Lives of Others', $movies) && in_array('The Shawshank Redemption', $movies)) {
	// if body
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because expression exceeds 80 characters and should be refactored.

<?php

$my_movies = array('Slumdog Millionaire', 'Silver Linings Playbook', 'The Lives of Others', 'The Shawshank Redemption');

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because arguments exceed 80 characters and should be placed on their own line.

~ Acceptable

<?php

$text = 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec posuere rutrum tincidunt. Duis lacinia laoreet diam, nec consectetur magna facilisis eget. Quisque elit mauris, auctor quis vulputate id, sagittis nec tortor. Praesent fringilla lorem eu massa convallis ultricies. Maecenas lacinia porta purus, sollicitudin condimentum felis mollis a. Proin sed augue purus. Quisque scelerisque eros vitae egestas porta. Suspendisse vitae purus justo. Pellentesque justo nunc, luctus quis magna sit amet, venenatis rutrum ante. Nam eget nisi ultricies, sodales lectus vel, luctus dui. Cras pellentesque augue vitae nulla laoreet convallis. Mauris ut turpis mollis, elementum arcu eu, semper risus. Mauris vel urna ut felis blandit dictum. Aliquam sit amet tincidunt arcu. Nunc et elit quam. Aliquam hendrerit magna ut lacus semper consequat blandit eu ipsum.';

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable because line length was exceeded due to text, not code.

Correct

<?php

$my_movies = array(
	'Slumdog Millionaire',
	'Silver Linings Playbook',
	'The Lives of Others',
	'The Shawshank Redemption'
);

$has_all_movies = true;

foreach($my_movies as $my_movie) {
	if(!in_array($my_movie, $movies)) {
		$has_all_movies = false;
	}
}

if($has_all_movies) {
	// if body
}

$some_long_variable = get_something_else(
	'from_some_other_function',
	'another_long_argument'
);

// EOF
 

Formatting

2. Line Indentation

Line indentation MUST be accomplished using tabs.

Incorrect

<?php

function print_welcome_message() {
    echo WELCOME_MESSAGE;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because spaces are used to indent echo WELCOME_MESSAGE; instead of a tab.

Correct

<?php

function print_welcome_message() {
	echo WELCOME_MESSAGE;
}

// EOF
 

Formatting

3. Blank Lines

Blank lines SHOULD be added between logical blocks of code.

~ Acceptable

<?php

$my_movies = array(
	'Slumdog Millionaire',
	'Silver Linings Playbook',
	'The Lives of Others',
	'The Shawshank Redemption'
);
$has_all_movies = true;
foreach($my_movies as $my_movie) {
	if(!in_array($my_movie, $movies)) {
		$has_all_movies = false;
	}
}
if($has_all_movies) {
	// if body
}

// EOF

↳ Acceptable, but can make scanning code more difficult.

Preferred

<?php

$my_movies = array(
	'Slumdog Millionaire',
	'Silver Linings Playbook',
	'The Lives of Others',
	'The Shawshank Redemption'
);

$has_all_movies = true;

foreach($my_movies as $my_movie) {
	if(!in_array($my_movie, $movies)) {
		$has_all_movies = false;
	}
}

if($has_all_movies) {
	// if body
}

// EOF
 

Formatting

4. Text Alignment

Text alignment MUST be accomplished using spaces.

Incorrect

<?php

$movie_quotes = array(
	'slumdog_millionaire'		=> 'When somebody asks me a question, I tell them the answer.',
	'silver_linings_playbook'	=> 'I opened up to you, and you judged me.',
	'the_lives_of_others'		=> 'To think that people like you ruled a country.',
	'the_shawshank_redemption'	=> 'Get busy living, or get busy dying.'
);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because tabs are used instead of spaces to vertically align =>.

<?php

$movie_quotes = array(
    'slumdog_millionaire'       => 'When somebody asks me a question, I tell them the answer.',
    'silver_linings_playbook'   => 'I opened up to you, and you judged me.',
    'the_lives_of_others'       => 'To think that people like you ruled a country.',
    'the_shawshank_redemption'  => 'Get busy living, or get busy dying.'
);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because spaces are used instead of tabs to indent array keys.

Correct

<?php

$movie_quotes = array(
	'slumdog_millionaire'       => 'When somebody asks me a question, I tell them the answer.',
	'silver_linings_playbook'   => 'I opened up to you, and you judged me.',
	'the_lives_of_others'       => 'To think that people like you ruled a country.',
	'the_shawshank_redemption'  => 'Get busy living, or get busy dying.'
);

// EOF
 

Formatting

5. Trailing Whitespace

Trailing whitespace MUST NOT be present after statements or serial comma break or on blank lines.

Incorrect

<?php

$quotes_exist = false;  

print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there are two spaces after $quotes_exist = false;.

<?php

$my_movies = array(
	'Slumdog Millionaire', 
	'Silver Linings Playbook', 
	'The Lives of Others', 
	'The Shawshank Redemption'
);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is a space after ,.

<?php

$quotes_exist = false;
  
print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there are two spaces on the blank line below $quotes_exist = false;.

Correct

<?php

$quotes_exist = false;

print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 
<?php

$my_movies = array(
	'Slumdog Millionaire',
	'Silver Linings Playbook',
	'The Lives of Others',
	'The Shawshank Redemption'
);

// EOF
 

Formatting

6. Keywords

Keywords MUST be all lowercase.

Incorrect

<?php

$is_true = FALSE;
$is_false = TRUE:
$movie_quote = NULL;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because FALSE, TRUE and NULL are not all lowercase.

Correct

<?php

$is_true = false;
$is_false = true:
$movie_quote = null;

// EOF
 

Formatting

7. Variables

Variables MUST be all lowercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore.

Incorrect

<?php

$welcome_Message = '';
$Welcome_Message = '';
$WELCOME_MESSAGE = '';

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $welcome_Message, $Welcome_Message and $WELCOME_MESSAGE are not all lowercase.

<?php

$welcomemessage = '';

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because welcome and message are not separated with an underscore.

Correct

<?php

$welcome_message = '';

// EOF
 

Formatting

8. Global Variables

Global variables MUST be declared one variable per line and MUST be indented after the first.

Incorrect

<?php

global $app_config, $cache, $db_connection;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $app_config, $cache and $db_connection are together on one line.

<?php

global $app_config,
$cache,
$db_connection;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $db_connection and $cache are not indentend once.

Correct

<?php

global $app_config,
	$cache,
	$db_connection;

// EOF
 

Formatting

9. Constants

Constants MUST be all uppercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore.

Incorrect

<?php

define('welcome_Message', '');
define('Welcome_Message', '');
define('welcome_message', '');

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because welcome_Message, Welcome_Message and welcome_message are not all uppercase.

<?php

define('WELCOMEMESSAGE', '');

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because WELCOME and MESSAGE are not separated with an underscore.

Correct

<?php

define('WELCOME_MESSAGE', '');

// EOF
 

Formatting

10. Statements

Statements MUST be placed on their own line and MUST end with a semicolon.

Incorrect

<?php

$quotes_exist = false; print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $quotes_exist = false; and print_welcome_message(); are on one line.

<div>
	<h1><?= print_welcome_message() ?></h1>
</div>

↳ Incorrect because print_welcome_message() is missing a semicolon.

Correct

<?php

$quotes_exist = false;
print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 
<div>
	<h1><?= print_welcome_message() ?></h1>
</div>

Formatting

11. Operators

Operators MUST be surrounded a space.

Incorrect

<?php

$total=3+14;
$string='Hello, World! ';
$string.='Today is a good day!';

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is no space surrounding the =, + or .= sign.

Correct

<?php

$total = 3 + 14;
$string = 'Hello, World! ';
$string .= 'Today is a good day!';

// EOF
 

Formatting

12. Unary Operators

Unary operators MUST be attached to their variable or integer.

Incorrect

<?php

$index ++;
-- $index;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is a space before ++ and after --.

Correct

<?php

$index++;
--$index;

// EOF
 

Formatting

13. Concatenation Period

Concatenation period MUST be surrounded by a space.

Incorrect

<?php

echo 'Hello, World! Today is '.$date.'!';

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is no space surrounding ..

Correct

<?php

echo 'Hello, World! Today is ' . $date . '!';

// EOF
 

Formatting

14. Single Quotes

Single quotes MUST be used.

Incorrect

<?php

echo "Hello, World!";

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because "Hello, World!" is not written with single quotes.

Correct

<?php

echo 'Hello, World!';

// EOF
 

Formatting

15. Double Quotes

Double quotes SHOULD NOT be used.

~ Acceptable

<?php

echo "Hello, World! Today is $date!";

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but burries the $date variable, which is why single quotes are preferred.

<?php

echo "Hello, World! He's watching movies and she's reading books.";

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable when long pieces of text have apostrophies that would need to be escaped.

Preferred

<?php

echo 'Hello, World! Today is ' . $date . '!';

echo 'Hello, World! He\'s watching movies and she\'s reading books.';

// EOF
 

Formatting

9. Functions

This section describes the format for function names, calls, arguments and declarations.

  1. Function name MUST be all lowercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore
    • e.g. function welcome_message() {
  2. Function prefix MUST start with verb
    • e.g. get_, add_, update_, delete_, convert_, etc.
  3. Function call MUST NOT have a space between function name and open parenthesis
    • e.g. func();
  4. Function arguments
    • MUST NOT have a space before the comma
    • MUST have a space after the comma
    • MAY use line breaks for long arguments
    • MUST then place each argument on its own line
    • MUST then indent each argument once
    • MUST be ordered from required to optional first
    • MUST be ordered from high to low importance second
    • MUST use descriptive defaults
    • MUST use type hinting
    • e.g. func($arg1, $arg2 = 'asc', $arg3 = 100);
  5. Function declaration MUST be documented using phpDocumentor tag style and SHOULD include
    • Short description
    • Optional long description, if needed
    • @access: private or protected (assumed public)
    • @author: Author name
    • @global: Global variables function uses, if applicable
    • @param: Parameters with data type, variable name, and description
    • @return: Return data type, if applicable
  6. Function return
    • MUST occur as early as possible
    • MUST be initialized prior at top
    • MUST be preceded by blank line, except inside control statement
    • i.e. if (!$expr) { return false; }

Table of Contents

1. Function Name

Function name MUST be all lowercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore.

Incorrect

<?php

get_Welcome_Message();
Get_Welcome_Message();
GET_WELCOME_MESSAGE();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because the function names are not all lowercase.

<?php

getwelcomemessage();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because get, welcome and message are not separated with an underscore.

Correct

<?php

get_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

Functions

2. Function Prefix

Function prefix MUST start with verb.

Incorrect

<?php

active_users();
network_location($location1, $location2);
widget_form($id);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because functions are not prefixed with a verb.

Correct

<?php

get_active_users();
move_network_location($location1, $location2);
delete_widget_form($id);

// EOF
 

Functions

3. Function Call

Function call MUST NOT have a space between function name and open parenthesis.

Incorrect

<?php

print_welcome_message ();

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is a space between get_welcome_message and ().

Correct

<?php

print_welcome_message();

// EOF
 

Functions

4. Function Arguments

Function arguments:

  • MUST NOT have a space before the comma
  • MUST have a space after the comma
  • MAY use line breaks for long arguments
  • MUST then place each argument on its own line
  • MUST then indent each argument once
  • MUST be ordered from required to optional first
  • MUST be ordered from high to low importance second
  • MUST use descriptive defaults
  • MUST use type hinting

Incorrect

<?php

my_function($arg1 , $arg2 , $arg3);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is a space before ,.

<?php

my_function($arg1,$arg2,$arg3);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is no space after ,.

<?php

my_other_function($arg1_with_a_really_long_name,
	$arg2_also_has_a_long_name,
	$arg3
);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $arg1_with_a_really_long_name is not on its own line.

<?php

my_other_function(
$arg1_with_a_really_long_name,
$arg2_also_has_a_long_name,
$arg3
);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because arguments are not indented once.

<?php

function get_objects($type, $order = 'asc', $limit) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $type, $order and $limit are not in order of required to optional.

<?php

function get_objects($limit, $order, $type) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $limit, $order and $type are not in order of importance.

<?php

function get_objects($type, $order = true, $limit = 100) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because true is not a descriptive default for $order.

<?php

function add_users_to_office($users, $office) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $users and $office are missing their data type.

Correct

<?php

my_function($arg1, $arg2, $arg3);

my_other_function(
	$arg1_with_a_really_long_name,
	$arg2_also_has_a_long_name,
	$arg3
);

function get_objects($type, $order = 'asc', $limit = 100) {
	// ...
}

function add_users_to_office(array $users, Office $office) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Functions

5. Function Declaration

Function declaration MUST be documented using phpDocumentor tag style and SHOULD include:

  • Short description
  • Optional long description, if needed
  • @access: private or protected (assumed public)
  • @author: Author name
  • @global: Global variables function uses, if applicable
  • @param: Parameters with data type, variable name, and description
  • @return: Return data type, if applicable

Incorrect

<?php

function my_function($id, $type, $width, $height) {
	// ...
	return $Photo;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because my_function is not documented.

Correct

<?php

/**
 * Get photo from blog author
 * 
 * Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut id volutpat 
 * orci. Etiam pharetra eget turpis non ultrices. Pellentesque vitae risus 
 * sagittis, vehicula massa eget, tincidunt ligula.
 *
 * @access private
 * @author Firstname Lastname
 * @global object $post
 * @param int $id Author ID
 * @param string $type Type of photo
 * @param int $width Photo width in px
 * @param int $height Photo height in px
 * @return object Photo
 */
function my_function($id, $type, $width, $height) {
	// ...
	return $Photo;
}

// EOF
 

Functions

6. Function Return

Function return:

  • MUST occur as early as possible
  • MUST be initialized prior at top
  • MUST be preceded by blank line, except inside control statement

Incorrect

<?php

function get_object() {
	$var = false;
	if($expr1) {
		// ...
		if($expr2) {
			// ...
		}
	}

	return $var;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because get_object does not return as early as possible.

<?php

function get_movies() {
	// ...

	return $movies;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $movies is not initialized at top.

<?php

function get_movies() {
	$movies = array();
	// ...
	return $movies;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because return $movies is not preceded by blank line.

Correct

<?php

function get_object() {
	$var = false;
	if (!$expr1) {
		return $var;
	}
	if (!$expr2) {
		return $var;
	}
	// ...

	return $var;
}

// EOF
 
<?php

function get_movies() {
	$movies = array();
	// ...

	return $movies;
}

// EOF
 

Functions

10. Control Structures

This section defines the layout and usage of control structures. Note that this section is separated into rules that are applicable to all structures, followed by specific rules for individual structures.

  • Keyword MUST be followed by a space
    • e.g. if (, switch (, do {, for (
  • Opening parenthesis MUST NOT be followed by a space
    • e.g. ($expr, ($i
  • Closing parenthesis MUST NOT be preceded by a space
    • e.g. $expr), $i++), $value)
  • Opening brace MUST be preceded by a space and MUST be followed by a new line
    • e.g. $expr) {, $i++) {
  • Structure body MUST be indented once and MUST be enclosed with curly braces (no shorthand)
    • e.g. if ($expr) { ... }
  • Closing brace MUST start on the next line
    • i.e. ... }
  • Nesting MUST NOT exceed three levels
    • e.g. no if ($expr1) { if ($expr2) { if ($expr3) { if ($expr4) { ... }}}}

In addition to the rules above, some control structures have additional requirements:

  1. If, Elseif, Else
    • elseif MUST be used instead of else if
    • elseif and else MUST be between } and { on one line
  2. Switch, Case
    • Case statement MUST be indented once
      • i.e. case 1:
    • Case body MUST be indented twice
      • i.e. func();
    • Break keyword MUST be indented twice
      • i.e. break;
    • Case logic MUST be separated by one blank line
      • i.e. case 1: ... break; case 2: ... break;
  3. While, Do While
  4. For, Foreach
  5. Try, Catch
    • catch MUST be between } and { on one line

Table of Contents

1. If, Elseif, Else

  • elseif MUST be used instead of else if
  • elseif and else MUST be between } and { on one line

Incorrect

<?php

if ($expr1) {
	// if body
} else if ($expr2) {
	// elseif body
} else {
	// else body
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because else if was used instead of elseif.

<?php

if ($expr1) {
	// if body
}
elseif ($expr2) {
	// elseif body
}
else {
	// else body
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because elseif and else are not between } and { on one line.

<?php

$result1 = if ($expr1) ? true : false;

if($expr2)
	$result2 = true;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because structure body is not wrapped in curly braces.

Correct

<?php

if ($expr1) {
	// if body
} elseif ($expr2) {
	// elseif body
} else {
	// else body
}

if ($expr1) {
	$result1 = true;
} else {
	$result1 = false;
}

if ($expr2) {
	$result2 = true;
}

// EOF
 

Control Structures

2. Switch, Case

  • Case statement MUST be indented once
  • Case body MUST be indented twice
  • Break keyword MUST be indented twice
  • Case logic MUST be separated by one blank line

Incorrect

<?php

switch ($expr) {
case 0:
	echo 'First case, with a break';
	break;

case 1:
	echo 'Second case, which falls through';
	// no break
case 2:
case 3:
case 4:
	echo 'Third case, return instead of break';
	return;

default:
	echo 'Default case';
	break;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because case 0 thru default are not indented once.

<?php

switch ($expr) {
	case 0:
	echo 'First case, with a break';
	break;

	case 1:
	echo 'Second case, which falls through';
	// no break
	case 2:
	case 3:
	case 4:
	echo 'Third case, return instead of break';
	return;

	default:
	echo 'Default case';
	break;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because echo, break and return are not indented twice.

<?php

switch ($expr) {
	case 0:
		echo 'First case, with a break';
		break;
	case 1:
		echo 'Second case, which falls through';
		// no break
	case 2:
	case 3:
	case 4:
		echo 'Third case, return instead of break';
		return;
	default:
		echo 'Default case';
		break;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because case 0, case 1 thru case 4, and default are not separated by one blank line.

Correct

<?php

switch ($expr) {
	case 0:
		echo 'First case, with a break';
		break;

	case 1:
		echo 'Second case, which falls through';
		// no break
	case 2:
	case 3:
	case 4:
		echo 'Third case, return instead of break';
		return;

	default:
		echo 'Default case';
		break;
}

// EOF
 

Control Structures

3. While, Do While

Correct

<?php

while ($expr) {
	// structure body
}

do {
	// structure body;
} while ($expr);

// EOF
 

Control Structures

4. For, Foreach

Correct

<?php

for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++) {
	// for body
}

foreach ($iterable as $key => $value) {
	// foreach body
}

// EOF
 

Control Structures

5. Try, Catch

Incorrect

<?php

try {
	// try body
}
catch (FirstExceptionType $e) {
	// catch body
}
catch (OtherExceptionType $e) {
	// catch body
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because catch is not between } and { on one line.

Correct

<?php

try {
	// try body
} catch (FirstExceptionType $e) {
	// catch body
} catch (OtherExceptionType $e) {
	// catch body
}

// EOF
 

Control Structures

11. Classes

This section describes class files, names, definitions, properties, methods and instantiation.

  1. Class file MUST only contain one definition and MUST be prefixed with class-
    • i.e. class Userclass-user.php, class Officeclass-office.php
  2. Class namespace MUST be defined and MUST include vendor name
    • e.g. namespace MyCompany\Model;, namespace MyCompany\View;, namespace MyCompany\Controller;
  3. Class name MUST start with a capital letter and MUST be camelcase
    • e.g. MyCompany
  4. Class documentation MUST be present and MUST use phpDocumentor tag style
    • i.e. @author, @global, @package
  5. Class definition MUST place curly braces on their own line
    • i.e. class User { ... }
  6. Class properties
    • MUST follow variable standards
    • MUST specify visibility
    • MUST NOT be prefixed with an underscore if private or protected
    • e.g. $var1;, private $var2;, protected $var3;
  7. Class methods
    • MUST follow function standards
    • MUST specify visibility
    • MUST NOT be prefixed with an underscore if private or protected
    • e.g. func1(), private func2(), protected func3()
  8. Class instance
    • MUST start with capital letter
    • MUST be camelcase
    • MUST include parenthesis
    • e.g. $user = new User();, $OfficeProgram = new OfficeProgram();

Table of Contents

1. Class File

Class file MUST only contain one definition and MUST be prefixed with class-.

Incorrect

Filename: class-user.php

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

class Office
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because User and Office are defined in one file.

Filename: user.php

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because filename is not prefixed with class-.

Correct

Filename: class-user.php

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Filename: class-office.php

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class Office
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Classes

2. Class Namespace

Class namespace MUST be defined and MUST include vendor name.

Incorrect

<?php

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because there is no namespace defined.

<?php

namespace Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because vendor name is missing in the namespace name.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Classes

3. Class Name

Class name MUST start with a capital letter and MUST be camelcase.

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class officeProgram
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because officeProgram does not start with a capital letter.

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class Officeprogram
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because Officeprogram is not camelcase.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class OfficeProgram
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Classes

4. Class Documentation

Class documentation MUST be present and MUST use phpDocumentor tag style.

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because User is missing documentation.

<?php

namespace MyCompany\View;

/**
 * User View
 */
class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because User is missing phpDocumentor tags.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\View;

/**
 * User View
 *
 * @author Firstname Lastname
 * @global object $post
 * @package MyCompany\API
 */
class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Classes

5. Class Definition

Class definition MUST place curly braces on their own line.

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because { is not on its own line.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Classes

6. Class Properties

Class properties:

  • MUST follow variable standards
  • MUST specify visibility
  • MUST NOT be prefixed with an underscore if private or protected

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// Public
	$var1;

	// Protected
	$var2;

	// Private
	$var3;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because visibility is not specified for $var1, $var2 and $var3.

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	public $var1;
	protected $_var2;
	private $_var3;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because protected and private properties are prefixed with _.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	public $var1;
	protected $var2;
	private $var3;
}

// EOF
 

Classes

7. Class Methods

Class methods:

  • MUST follow function standards
  • MUST specify visibility
  • MUST NOT be prefixed with an underscore if private or protected

Incorrect

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...

	// Public
	function get_var1() {
		return $this->var1;
	}

	// Protected
	function get_var2() {
		return $this->var2;
	}

	// Private
	function get_var3() {
		return $this->var3;
	}
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because visibility is not specified for get_var1(), get_var2() and get_var3().

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...

	public function get_var1() {
		return $this->var1;
	}

	protected function _get_var2() {
		return $this->var2;
	}

	private function _get_var3() {
		return $this->var3;
	}
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because protected and private methods are prefixed with _.

Correct

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class User
{
	// ...

	public function get_var1() {
		return $this->var1;
	}

	protected function get_var2() {
		return $this->var2;
	}

	private function get_var3() {
		return $this->var3;
	}
}

// EOF
 

Classes

8. Class Instance

Class instance:

Incorrect

<?php

$office_program = new OfficeProgram;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because new OfficeProgram is missing parenthesis.

Correct

<?php

$office_program = new OfficeProgram();

// EOF
 

Classes

12. Best Practices

  1. Variable initialization SHOULD occur prior to use and SHOULD occur early
    • e.g. $var1 = '';, $var2 = 0;
  2. Initialization/declaration order
    • MUST lead with globals, follow with constants, conclude with local variables
    • MUST lead with properties and follow with methods in classes
    • MUST lead with public, follow with protected, conclude with private methods in classes
    • SHOULD be alphabetical within their type
    • i.e. global $var1;, define('VAR2', '');, $var3 = 0;
  3. Globals SHOULD NOT be used
    • i.e. no global $var;
  4. Explicit expressions SHOULD be used
    • e.g. if ($expr === false), while ($expr !== true)
  5. E_STRICT reporting MUST NOT trigger errors
    • i.e. do not use deprecated functions, etc.

Table of Contents

1. Variable Initialization

Variable initialization SHOULD occur prior to use and SHOULD occur early.

~ Acceptable

<?php

$movies = get_movies();

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but $movies should be initialized prior to use.

<?php

if ($expr) {
	// ....
}

$movies = array();
$movies = get_movies();

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but $movies should be initialized earlier.

Preferred

<?php

$movies = array();

if ($expr) {
	// ....
}

$movies = get_movies();

// EOF
 

Best Practices

2. Initialization/Declaration Order

Initialization/declaration order:

  • MUST lead with globals, follow with constants, conclude with local variables
  • MUST lead with properties and follow with methods in classes
  • MUST lead with public, follow with protected, conclude with private methods in classes
  • SHOULD be alphabetical within their type

Incorrect

<?php

define('ENVIRONMENT', 'PRODUCTION');

$id = 0;

global $app_config;

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because $app_config is not first, ENVIRONMENT not second, and $id not third.

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class Office
{
	public function get_name() {
		// ...
	}

	private $name;
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because get_name() is declared before $name.

<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class Office
{
	private $id;
	private $name;
	private $status;

	private function get_name() {
		// ...
	}

	public function get_id() {
		// ...
	}

	protected function get_status() {
		// ...
	}
}

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because get_id() is not first, get_status() not second, and get_name() not third.

~ Acceptable

<?php

global $db_connection,
	$app_config,
	$cache;

define('MODE', 1);
define('ENVIRONMENT', 'PRODUCTION');

$id = 0;
$firstname = '';
$lastname = '';

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but the globals and constants should be in alphabetical order.

<?php

function get_movies() {
	// ...
}

function get_actors() {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but get_actors should be declared before get_movies.

Correct

<?php

global $app_config,
	$cache,
	$db_connection;

define('ENVIRONMENT', 'PRODUCTION');
define('MODE', 1);

$id = 0;
$firstname = '';
$lastname = '';

// EOF
 
<?php

namespace MyCompany\Model;

class Office
{
	private $id;
	private $name;
	private $status;

	public function get_id() {
		// ...
	}

	protected function get_status() {
		// ...
	}

	private function get_name() {
		// ...
	}
}

// EOF
 

Preferred

<?php

function get_actors() {
	// ...
}

function get_movies() {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Best Practices

3. Globals

Globals SHOULD NOT be used.

~ Acceptable

<?php

$pdo = new PDO('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=test', $user, $pass);

function get_user($id) {
	global $pdo;
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but global variables should be avoided.

Preferred

<?php

function get_database_object() {
	return new PDO('mysql:host=localhost;dbname=test', $user, $pass);
}

function get_user($id) {
	$pdo = get_database_object();
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Best Practices

4. Explicit Expressions

Explicit expressions SHOULD be used.

~ Acceptable

<?php

if ($expr == true) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

↳ Acceptable, but === could be used here instead.

Preferred

<?php

if ($expr === true) {
	// ...
}

// EOF
 

Best Practices

5. E_STRICT Reporting

E_STRICT reporting MUST NOT trigger errors.

Incorrect

<?php

$firstname = call_user_method('get_firstname', $User);

// EOF
 

↳ Incorrect because call_user_method (deprecated) will cause E_STRICT warning.

Correct

<?php

$firstname = call_user_func(array($User, 'get_firstname'));

// EOF
 

Best Practices


Table of Contents

Inspired in part by style guides from:
CodeIgniter, Drupal, Horde, Pear, PSR-1, PSR-2, Symfony, and WordPress.

@iyawa-revo

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iyawa-revo commented Aug 16, 2018

Thank a lot for this great work

@andrewcode2017

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andrewcode2017 commented Aug 28, 2018

Thank you very much for this work.

@shamimmoeen

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shamimmoeen commented Sep 1, 2018

👍

@joemaller

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joemaller commented Sep 24, 2018

Thank you for this. One note: Semicolons are redundant in short-echo tags since closing php tags ?> imply a semicolon. ref

@ItsJustATypo

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ItsJustATypo commented Jan 26, 2019

This guide is helpful. I think there's a typo in section 8/Formatting, rule 10/Statements, The rule states:

  1. Statements
    Statements MUST be placed on their own line and MUST end with a semicolon.

and gives this as an example as being INCORRECT because it's missing a semicolon:

<div>
<h1><?= print_welcome_message() ?></h1>
</div>
↳ Incorrect because print_welcome_message() is missing a semicolon.

but the example given as CORRECT is also missing a semicolon:

<h1><?= print_welcome_message() ?></h1>

Following the rule, it should be:

<h1><?= print_welcome_message(); ?></h1>
@hwmatthewa

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hwmatthewa commented Dec 14, 2019

Function name MUST be all lowercase and words MUST be separated by an underscore
e.g. function welcome_message() {

This directly contradicts PSR1:
'Method names MUST be declared in camelCase.' https://www.php-fig.org/psr/psr-1/#1-overview

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ypicot commented May 4, 2020

Great work, with usefull examples.
One small correction : acording to PSR-12, "Code MUST use an indent of 4 spaces for each indent level, and MUST NOT use tabs for indenting."
https://www.php-fig.org/psr/psr-12/#24-indenting

@arcanisgk

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arcanisgk commented Jun 19, 2020

Great work, with usefull examples.
One small correction : acording to PSR-12, "Code MUST use an indent of 4 spaces for each indent level, and MUST NOT use tabs for indenting."
https://www.php-fig.org/psr/psr-12/#24-indenting

hey, then what do we do; we follow the psr-12; or we omit it; and continue to use references from different standards;

It would be convenient to add the reference at the bottom of each Guideline:

REF-> Use Reference from PSR-1.
REF-> Use Reference from Sinfony Recommendation.
REF-> Use Reference from Wordpress Recommendation.

Instead of putting it at the end:

Inspired in part by style guides from:
CodeIgniter, Drupal, Horde, Pear, PSR-1, PSR-2, Symfony, and WordPress.

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ShyroZz commented Jun 26, 2020

What a nice guide 😃 👍

But tell me why using // EOF comment at the end of the file is a great thing ?

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