How to pass array in URL query string using PHP
In this article, you will learn how to pass an array from one page to another in a URL query string using PHP. You will learn not only the single array, but also learn to pass indexed and multidimensional arrays to a URL query string using PHP.
The term 'Query String' is the part of a Uniform Resource Locator(URL). This is in the form of a series of key-value pairs and called as url parameters. This is basically used to build a typical url or to get data from url. For example-
In the above url, 'name=Smith&dept=it&role=developer&exp=5' is the query string, having multiple parameters. The parameters are separated by '&' and within each pair, the field name and value are separated by an equal sign(=).
The query string is used for many purposes, like as the form get method, which takes input field values in the url query string, search keywords, particular web page tracking, url building, and so on.
In HTML, you have observed how form input name with value passes in url query string if form method is post. But, this generates only a static query string. To build query strings dynamically, methods are provided by almost all popular programming languages. In this article, you will learn how to pass an array variables in a URL query string using PHP.
PHP provides http_build_query() method to generate URL encoded query string. This is available with PHP 5 and later versions.
Syntax of http_build_query()
http_build_query($query, $numeric_prefix, $separator, $encoded_type)
$query - It is an associative array or indexed array containing parameters. This can be one-dimensional array or a multidimensional array.
$numeric_prefix - A numeric prefix is provided if numeric indices are used in the base array.
$separator - This overrides the default parameter separator.
$encoded_type - This is the query string encoding type, like - PHP_QUERY_RFC1738, PHP_QUERY_RFC3986.
Pass simple array in http_build_query()
In the below example, we have used $vars array to create the URL query string. The $vars array contains data of search keyword and page number. In the next line, we have passed this array to http_build_query() method to generate query string.
<?php $vars = array('page' => 23, 'search' => 'etutorialspoint'); $qs = http_build_query($vars); $url = 'http://www.example.com/search.php?' . $qs; echo $url; ?>
The above code returns this url query string -
Pass indexed array in http_build_query()
Here, $vars is an indexed array containing employee data.
<?php $vars = array('employee','smith','technical','emp_id' => '332'); $qs = http_build_query($vars); $url = 'http://www.example.com/search.php?' . $qs; echo $url; ?>
The above code returns this url query string-
Pass multidimentional array in http_build_query()
Here, the '$vars' is a multidimensional array contains employee data. When this will pass through http_build_query() method, it returns a complex url query string.
<?php $vars = array('employee'=>array('name'=>'Smith', 'age'=>39, 'dept'=>'IT', 'dob'=>'9/22/1980'), 'role'=>array('developer', 'designer')); $qs = http_build_query($vars); $url = 'http://www.example.com/search.php?' . $qs; echo $url; ?>
The above script returns this url query string-
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