How to show and handle errors in PHP?

When you develop you will definitely want to turn on error reporting in PHP. It gives you valuable information why something failed. Let’s check some of the most important error reporting directives in php.ini:

  • error_reporting

    This sets which errors should be reported. Using E_ALL is a good practice.

  • display_errors

    This handles displaying errors to the screen.

  • log_errors

    This controls reporting errors to a log file. Recommended practice is to always have this enabled.

  • error_log

    This defines error log file where errors should be written. It only applies if log_errors is enabled.

Showing errors should depend on the environment your application is present.

Development environment

When developing your application locally, you want to show errors on screen and in logs.

display_errors = on
log_errors = on
error_reporting = E_ALL

Production environment

Be careful when deploying application code online. Disable showing errors on screen for security purposes. You definitely don’t want to expose error messages which can contain delicate information about your application to the outside world. However having logging errors enabled is always useful for information what went wrong in case of errors.

display_errors = off
log_errors = on
error_reporting = E_ALL

Error reporting can be also changed with error_reporting() function.


See Also

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Content of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. Code snippets in examples are published under the CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0). Thanks to all the contributors.