You will often have the need to access data that resides on another server, whether you are writing an online RSS aggregator or doing screen scraping for a searching mechanism. PHP makes pulling this data into a string variable an extremely simple process.

You can go with the really short method:

$url = “https://www.howtogeek.com”;

$str = file_get_contents($url);

 

The only problem with that method is that some web hosts have url access blocked in the file methods, for security reasons. You may be able to use this workaround method instead:

 

function get_url_contents($url){
        $crl = curl_init();
        $timeout = 5;
        curl_setopt ($crl, CURLOPT_URL,$url);
        curl_setopt ($crl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
        curl_setopt ($crl, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, $timeout);
        $ret = curl_exec($crl);
        curl_close($crl);
        return $ret;
}

You should now have the contents of the website in a string variable. Note that this doesn’t pull down the supporting files such as javascript or CSS. You will have to further parse the page and retrieve those seperately if you need the whole thing.

Lowell Heddings Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people.
Read Full Bio »