Paras Chopra Paras Chopra - 3 months ago 26
HTTP Question

How to post data in PHP using file_get_contents?

I'm using PHP's function

to fetch contents of a URL and then I process headers through the variable

Now the problem is that some of the URLs need some data to be posted to the URL (for example, login pages).

How do I do that?

I realize using stream_context I may be able to do that but I am not entirely clear.



Sending an HTTP POST request using file_get_contents is not that hard, actually : as you guessed, you have to use the $context parameter.

There's an example given in the PHP manual, at this page : HTTP context options (quoting) :

$postdata = http_build_query(
        'var1' => 'some content',
        'var2' => 'doh'

$opts = array('http' =>
        'method'  => 'POST',
        'header'  => 'Content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded',
        'content' => $postdata

$context  = stream_context_create($opts);

$result = file_get_contents('', false, $context);

Basically, you have to create a stream, with the right options (there is a full list on that page), and use it as the third parameter to file_get_contents -- nothing more ;-)

As a sidenote : generally speaking, to send HTTP POST requests, we tend to use curl, which provides a lot of options an all -- but streams are one of the nice things of PHP that nobody knows about... too bad...