PHP file_put_contents: Learn with Examples


In this guide, we will explore various aspects of PHP file_put_contents, from basic usage to advanced techniques with examples.


PHP file_put_contents function is used to write data to files. It is a convenient alternative way to using fopen, fwrite, and fclose separately.

This function streamlines the code, making it more readable and concise.

Syntax and Parameters:

The syntax of the file_put_contents function is as follows:

file_put_contents(filename, data, flags, context);

  • filename: Filename where you will write data.
  • data: The data which you will write in the file.
  • flags (optional): Flags to modify the behavior of the function, like FILE_APPEND for appending.
  • context (optional): A context resource created with stream_context_create().

Writing Text using PHP file_put_contents:

To write text to a file, use the following syntax:


$fileName = 'files/example.txt';

$content = 'Welcome in DI Tutorials';

file_put_contents($file, $content);


This code snippet creates (or overwrites) a file named example.txt and writes the content “Hello, world!” to it.

Appending Text using file_put_contents:

Appending data to a file use option FILE_APPEND constant:


$fileName = 'files/append.txt';

$newContent = ' Appended text.';

file_put_contents($file, $newContent, FILE_APPEND);

The FILE_APPEND flag ensures that the new content is added to the end of the file without overwriting existing data.

Locking Files for Concurrent Access:

In scenarios where multiple processes or threads may access the same file simultaneously, file locking becomes crucial to prevent data corruption. Use the LOCK_EX flag to achieve this:


$fileName = 'files/lockFile.txt';

$content = 'Locking Files for Concurrent Access';

file_put_contents($file, $content, LOCK_EX);


This prevents other processes from writing to the file concurrently.

Error Handling with file_put_contents:

Error handling is essential to ensure the robustness of your code. file_put_contents returns the number of bytes written or false on failure. You can handle errors with if statement like this:


$file = 'files/output.txt';

$content = 'Data to write.';

if (file_put_contents($file, $content) !== false) {

echo 'Data written successfully.';

} else {

echo 'Error writing to the file.';



Data written successfully.

Writing JSON Data using PHP file_put_contents:

You can easily store JSON data using file_put_contents:


$file = 'data.json';

$data = ['name' => 'John', 'age' => 30,’address’=>’abc’];

$jsonData = json_encode($data);

file_put_contents($file, $jsonData, LOCK_EX);


This code encodes the associative array as JSON and writes it to a file.


Q: How to append content to a file in PHP?

A: Use the file_put_contents function with the FILE_APPEND flag to add content to the end of a file in PHP.

Q: What does file_put_contents do in PHP?

A: file_put_contents writes data to a file. It can create or overwrite files and supports various flags for different operations.

Q: How to use append in PHP?

A: Append data to a file using the file_put_contents function with the FILE_APPEND flag.

Q: What is a file appending in PHP?

A: File appending involves adding new content to the end of an existing file, without overwriting its contents.


The file_put_contents function in PHP provides an elegant solution for file manipulation tasks. From writing and appending text to locking files for concurrent access, this function offers a range of capabilities.

Take advantage of this versatile function to simplify your code, enhance error handling, and efficiently manage file operations in PHP.

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