How to Secure Your PHP from Error Reporting

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By default, PHP will output errors, warnings and notice messages directly on the page if something unexpected in a script occurs. This is useful for resolving specific issues with a script but at the same time, it outputs information you don't want your users to know.

Therefore it's good practice to avoid displaying those messages which will reveal information about your server, like your directory tree for example, in production environments. In a development or testing environment, these messages may still be useful to display for debugging purposes. Here the quick solution for securing your PHP website.

Turn Off Error Reporting[edit]

You can turn them off so the messages don't show at all, however, this makes debugging your script harder.

  ini_set("display_errors", "0");

Or change them directly in the php.ini.

display_errors = 0

Handling errors[edit]

A better option would be to store those error messages to a place they are more useful, like a database:

set_error_handler(function($errno , $errstr, $errfile, $errline){
    $pdo = new PDO("mysql:host=hostname;dbname=databasename", 'dbuser', 'dbpwd', [

    if($stmt = $pdo->prepare("INSERT INTO `errors` (no,msg,file,line) VALUES (?,?,?,?)")){
      if(!$stmt->execute([$errno, $errstr, $errfile, $errline])){
        throw new Exception('Unable to execute query');
    } else {
      throw new Exception('Unable to prepare query');
  } catch (Exception $e){
    error_log('Exception: ' . $e->getMessage() . PHP_EOL . "$errfile:$errline:$errno | $errstr");

This method will log the messages to the database and if that fails to a file instead of echoing it directly into the page. This way you can track what users are experiencing on your website and notify you immediately if something go's wrong.


About This Tutorial

This page was last edited on 28 January 2019, at 21:47.