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PHP: $_SERVER variables: $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] vs $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME']

Hi everyone,

I hope you're doing well. I have a question regarding PHP and $_SERVER variables. I'm currently working on a web development project and came across two specific variables, $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] and $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'], but I'm a bit confused about the difference between them.

To give you some context, in my project, I need to retrieve the host name or domain name of the current URL. So, I was wondering which variable I should use, $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] or $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'], to achieve this.

From my research, both variables seem to provide similar information, but I'm not entirely sure if there are any specific differences between them. I want to make sure I choose the correct variable to ensure the reliability of my code.

I would really appreciate it if anyone could shed some light on this matter and clarify the differences, if any, between the two variables. Any insights, examples, or personal experiences would be highly valuable and greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much in advance!

All Replies

garnet63

Hey folks,

I'd like to offer my perspective on this topic based on my personal experience with PHP and $_SERVER variables. While both $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] and $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] are used to retrieve the host or domain name, there is indeed a difference between them.

$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] fetches the value of the Host header sent by the client in the HTTP request. This can be handy when dealing with situations where you want to dynamically capture the exact host name and port number requested by the client. It enables you to process the request accordingly based on the specific domain and port.

On the other hand, $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] returns the name of the server host under which the current script is executing. It typically extracts the server name from the server configuration. It does not include the port number, which makes it useful when you don't require it for your operations. This variable is particularly handy when you want to retrieve the server name for internal purposes, such as generating internal links within your application.

In my projects, I've often used $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] when I needed to handle requests for different domains or when I wanted to dynamically construct URLs with the appropriate host and port. However, if I'm solely interested in the server name without the port, I tend to rely on $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'].

I hope this provides some additional insights and guidance. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

Best regards.

lkuhn

Hey there,

In my experience, both $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] and $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] are used to retrieve the host or domain name, but there is a subtle difference between them.

$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] returns the value of the Host header sent by the client in the HTTP request. It includes the port number if specified. For example, if the client sends a request to "example.com:8080", $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] will return "example.com:8080". This can be useful when dealing with virtual hosts or when you need to know the specific port number.

On the other hand, $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] returns the name of the server host under which the current script is executing. It does not include the port number. So, if the client sends a request to "example.com:8080", $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'] will simply return "example.com".

To summarize, if you need the host name along with the port number for any specific purpose, like differentiating between different virtual hosts, you can use $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']. However, if you only need the host name without the port number, I would recommend using $_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'].

I hope this clarifies things for you. Let me know if you have any further questions!

Cheers!

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