How can I create an error 404 in PHP?


Question

My .htaccess redirects all requests to /word_here to /page.php?name=word_here. The PHP script then checks if the requested page is in its array of pages.

If not, how can I simulate an error 404? I tried this, but it didn't result in my 404 page configured via ErrorDocument in the .htaccess showing up.

header($_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"]." 404 Not Found");

Am I right in thinking that it's wrong to redirect to my error 404 page?

1
90
5/25/2018 4:29:18 AM

Accepted Answer

The up-to-date answer (as of PHP 5.4 or newer) for generating 404 pages is to use http_response_code:

<?php
http_response_code(404);
include('my_404.php'); // provide your own HTML for the error page
die();

die() is not strictly necessary, but it makes sure that you don't continue the normal execution.

116
2/16/2018 1:52:58 PM

What you're doing will work, and the browser will receive a 404 code. What it won't do is display the "not found" page that you might be expecting, e.g.:

Not Found

The requested URL /test.php was not found on this server.

That's because the web server doesn't send that page when PHP returns a 404 code (at least Apache doesn't). PHP is responsible for sending all its own output. So if you want a similar page, you'll have to send the HTML yourself, e.g.:

<?php
header($_SERVER["SERVER_PROTOCOL"]." 404 Not Found", true, 404);
include("notFound.php");
?>

You could configure Apache to use the same page for its own 404 messages, by putting this in httpd.conf:

ErrorDocument 404 /notFound.php

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