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How does this php code work?

I am confused how the php code knows if the form is a post when the php code runs before the form is even made. Here is the code from the video.



if ($_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD"] == "POST"){ $name = $_POST["name"]; $email = $_POST["email"]; $message = $_POST["message"]; $emailBody = ""; $emailBody = $emailBody . "Name: " . $name . "\n"; $emailBody = $emailBody . "Email: " . $email . "\n"; $emailBody = $emailBody . "Message: " . $message;

// TODO: Send Email

//redirects to the thank you page 
header("Location: contact.php?status=thanks");

} ?>



                <form method="post" action="contact.php">
                            <th><label for="name">Name</label></th>
                            <td><input type="text" name="name" id="name"></td>

                            <th><label for="eamil">Email</label></th>
                            <td><input type="text" name="email" id="email"></td>

                            <th><label for="message">Message</label></th>
                            <td><textarea name="message" id="message"></textarea></td>

                    <input type="submit" value="Send">


1 Answer

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,148 Points

The php doesn't run initially, because the $_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD" does not equal POST when the contact page is initially loaded.

That first if block if ($_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD"] == "POST") causes the rest of the PHP mail code to not be executed.

Instead, it loads the form. When the form is submitted, it gets sent back to the same file via the action attribute in the form element. The same code is ran again, starting with the if block if ($_SERVER["REQUEST_METHOD"] == "POST"), which this time this comes out as true because of the method attribute of the form element. So now we run the PHP mail code, and finish it off with appending some code into the URL, and than exiting that code block.

Later down the road, you'll use PHP again to check the GET value to is if status is set, and if status equals thanks. If that evaluates true it'll display the message sent message you create, instead of the form.