PHP require vs include

  • require
    when the file is required by your application, e.g. an important message template or a file containing configuration variables without which the app would break.
  • require_once
    when the file contains content that would produce an error on subsequent inclusion, e.g.function important() { /* important code */} is definitely needed in your application but since functions cannot be redeclared should not be included again.
  • include when the file is not required and application flow should continue when not found, e.g.
    great for templates referencing variables from the current scope or something
  • include_once
    optional dependencies that would produce errors on subsequent loading or maybe remote file inclusion that you do not want to happen twice due to the HTTP overhead

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