Teodor Teodor - 1 year ago 79
PHP Question

Check if a PHP cookie exists and if not set its value

I am working on a multilingual site so I tried this approach:

echo $_COOKIE["lg"];
if (!isset($_COOKIE["lg"]))
setcookie("lg", "ro");
echo $_COOKIE["lg"];

The idea is that if the client doesn't have an
cookie (it is, therefore, the first time they've visited this site) then set a cookie
lg = ro
for that user.

Everything works fine except that if I enter this page for the first time, the first and second
return nothing. Only if I refresh the page is the cookie set and then both
print the "ro" string I am expecting.

How can I set this cookie in order to see its value from the second
on the first visit/page load of the user? Should be without needing to refresh the page or create a redirect.

Answer Source


You can't according to the PHP manual:

Once the cookies have been set, they can be accessed on the next page load with the $_COOKIE or $HTTP_COOKIE_VARS arrays.

This is because cookies are sent in response headers to the browser and the browser must then send them back with the next request. This is why they are only available on the second page load.

Work around

But you can work around it by also setting $_COOKIE when you call setcookie():

if(!isset($_COOKIE['lg'])) {
    setcookie('lg', 'ro');
    $_COOKIE['lg'] = 'ro';
echo $_COOKIE['lg'];
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