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PHP Enhancing a Simple PHP Application Cleaning URLs with Subfolders Using Absolute Server Paths

Ben Attenborough
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Ben Attenborough
Front End Web Development Techdegree Graduate 32,769 Points

Why not just use /inc/footer.php instead of ($_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"] . "/inc/footer.php"

I'm unclear why we need to use ($_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"] . "/inc/footer.php" instead of a root relative link like /inc/footer.php

2 Answers

Kris Phelps
Kris Phelps
7,609 Points

Hey Ben,

It's because it falls within the PHP function of "include". PHP doesn't use the root relative like HTML does.

Try it in your project and you'll see. Put this into your /receipt/index.php:


It won't work. This is because PHP is a server side language. Meaning, it can see deeper into the server than your website's HTML can.

Your website might be hosted at http://localhost/ but your actual website, from the server perspective is at: c:\XAMPP\htdocs\

So, in PHP, when you do this:


PHP will actually be looking for c:\inc\footer.php. You can verify this by creating an "inc" directory in c: then putting a copy of footer.php into it. The error on receipt.php will go away and you'll see your footer.

I hope this helps explain things :-).

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez
6,370 Points

Hi Ben - It looks like he's just using it as an example. In later videos, he actually uses variables from a config file. I originally thought the same thing though :-)