When you develop you will definitely want to turn on error reporting in PHP. It gives you valuable information as to why something has failed. Letโ€™s check some of the most important error reporting directives in php.ini:

  • error_reporting

    This sets which errors should be reported. Using E_ALL is a good practice.

  • display_errors

    This handles displaying errors to the screen.

  • log_errors

    This controls reporting errors to a log file. Recommended practice is to always have this enabled.

  • error_log

    This defines error log file where errors should be written. It only applies if log_errors is enabled.

Showing errors should depend on the environment your application is present.

// Turn off all error reporting

// Report simple running errors
error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE);

// Reporting E_NOTICE can be good too (to report uninitialized
// variables or catch variable name misspellings ...)
error_reporting(E_ERROR | E_WARNING | E_PARSE | E_NOTICE);

// Report all errors except E_NOTICE
error_reporting(E_ALL & ~E_NOTICE);

// Report all PHP errors (see changelog)

// Report all PHP errors

// Same as error_reporting(E_ALL);
ini_set('error_reporting', E_ALL);

Development environment

When developing your application locally, you want to show errors on screen and in logs.

display_errors = on
log_errors = on
error_reporting = E_ALL

Production environment

Be careful when deploying application code online. Disable showing errors on screen for security purposes. You definitely donโ€™t want to expose error messages which can contain delicate information about your application to the outside world. However, having logging errors enabled is always useful for information about what went wrong in case of errors.

display_errors = off
log_errors = on
error_reporting = E_ALL

Error reporting can also be changed with the error_reporting() function.


See also