Solved: get url segment

Getting URL segments in PHP is an essential skill for building dynamic and user-friendly websites. This is particularly crucial when dealing with search engine optimization (SEO), as capturing URL segments can help create more meaningful and searchable URLs. This, in turn, improves your website visibility and investment returns.

In PHP, there are a variety of ways to get URL segments, and one effective method is by using the _SERVER superglobal and the explode function. This approach enables us to dissect URLs into smaller parts, which can then be analyzed and used as necessary.

$segments = explode('/', $url);

The SERVER Superglobal

The first part of the solution involves understanding the _SERVER superglobal in PHP. This is an array that contains information regarding headers, paths, and script locations. The ‘REQUEST_URI’ element within this superglobal is used to get the current URL. Examining what each URL segment means and how you can use them effectively, can significantly enhance your website’s usability and SEO.

$_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’] usually stores the current requested URL. So, if our URL is, the ‘REQUEST_URI’ will return /post/123.

The Explode Function

Equally important in getting URL segments is the explode function. This useful PHP function splits a string by a string. It takes two parameters, the delimiter that will be used to split the string, and the string itself.

In this case, we will split the URL stored in $_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’] by the slash (“/”). This will create an array where each element is a segment of the URL.

$segments = explode('/', $url);

Now the $segments variable will contain an array of all URL segments. For instance, if the URL was, then $segments would be an array where $segments[0] is ‘post’, and $segments[1] is ‘123’.

Note, the explode function will also include the empty string before the first slash, so you might want to remove it or ignore it during processing.

Additional Libraries and functions

While the above code provides a straightforward way to get URL segments in PHP, several libraries and functions can make the task easier and more efficient.

For instance, the parse_url function in PHP can parse a URL and return its components, such as scheme, host, path, query string, etc. Furthermore, libraries like PHP-Router can allow more complex routing scenarios, making it easier to build large web applications.

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