So what are variables good for?
Variables keep your data all in one place, and make changing various aspects of your script very simple, consider the following:
<title><?php print "My First Script"; ?></title>
<h1><?php print "My First Script"; ?></h1>
As you can see the same segment of PHP has been used twice with exactly the same data. What if you needed to change that data? You would need to make at least 2 changes to the above script. Now imagine if that script was an extra 200 lines long and you had half of those lines with the phrase “My First Script” in them.
Now lets take the previous example and use a variable in it:
<?php $phrase = "My First Script"; ?>
<title><?php print $phrase; ?></title>
<h1><?php print $phrase; ?></h1>
As you can see we’ve added a new line that sets the variable named $phrase to the value of:
"My First Script"
The variable is then used in place of the previous 2 lines where it’s referenced simply by using it’s name. If you try changing the value of the variable, then re-run the script in your browser you’ll see that the text in the web-page will change to match.
Variables can also take functions.
If you change the first line of the above script to be:
You’ll see that your script then displays the current time and date, just as with the previous parts script where we fed the output directly to the print statement. The above example feeds the output of the date to the contents of the variable, which can then be reused.