Debugging PHP: The Ultimate Guide to Error Reporting

As a developer, error reporting is an essential part of your job. It allows you to identify and fix errors and bugs in your code, ensuring that your application is reliable and secure. In PHP, error reporting is done using the error_reporting() function. In this blog post, we will discuss how to enable and configure error reporting in PHP, including examples and references.

Enabling Error Reporting in PHP

To enable error reporting in PHP, you need to set the error_reporting value to a specific level. The possible error reporting levels are:

  1. E_ALL: All errors and warnings (including runtime errors, notices, and strict standards) are displayed.
  2. E_ERROR: Fatal errors are displayed, which halt the script execution.
  3. E_WARNING: Non-fatal errors are displayed, which do not halt the script execution.
  4. E_NOTICE: Notices are displayed, which indicate non-critical errors.
  5. E_STRICT: Strict standards are displayed, which are used to enforce coding standards.

To enable error reporting for all levels, you can use the following code at the beginning of your PHP script:

ini_set('display_errors', 1);

This will enable error reporting for all levels and display errors on the screen. Note that this should only be done during development, as displaying errors on a production server can pose a security risk.

Configuring Error Reporting in PHP

In addition to enabling error reporting, you can also configure how PHP handles errors. For example, you can log errors to a file, send them by email, or display them on the screen. You can also customize error messages to make them more informative and user-friendly.

To log errors to a file, you can use the following code:

ini_set('log_errors', 1); 
ini_set('error_log', '/path/to/error.log');

This will log errors to the specified file instead of displaying them on the screen.

To customize error messages, you can use the set_error_handler() function to define a custom error handler function. This function will be called whenever an error occurs, and you can use it to display a custom error message or perform other actions.

function customErrorHandler($errno, $errstr, $errfile, $errline)
    echo "<b>Error:</b> [$errno] $errstr<br>"
    echo "Error on line $errline in $errfile<br>"


This code defines a custom error handler function that displays a custom error message and the file and line number where the error occurred.


Enabling and configuring error reporting in PHP is an essential aspect of the software development process. By enabling error reporting and customizing error messages, you can quickly identify and fix errors in your code, leading to more reliable and secure applications. However, it is important to remember to disable error reporting and display on a production server to prevent sensitive information from being exposed to users.


  1. PHP Manual: Error Reporting (
  2. PHP Manual: Error Handling (
  3. PHP Manual: Custom Error Handling (

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any doubts regarding the post. Please let me know.