Measuring PHP page load time

When you want to measure the actual page load time of a PHP page most developers will get the microtime at the top of the page, whilst this does measure the page load time of the scripts running on the page it doesn't accurately measure the page load time of the script.

To do so you can use $_SERVER['REQUEST_TIME_FLOAT'] to get the actual start time of the page request. Which can differ by 0.01 second or so.

$total_time = ( ( explode(' ', microtime())[0] + explode(' ', microtime())[1] ) - $_SERVER['REQUEST_TIME_FLOAT'] );

If you're just looking for a timer function then this is the most accurate way to do so.

class Timer {
	private $start;
	public function __construct() {
		$this->start = ( explode(' ', microtime())[0] + explode(' ', microtime())[1] );
	public function stop() {
		return ( explode(' ', microtime())[0] + explode(' ', microtime())[1] ) - $this->start;
	public function reset() {

$timer = new Timer();
$total_time = $timer->stop();

SourceGuardian - The Zend Engine API is outdated

The following error occurred on CentOS 6 with cPanel 11.48.4 when using the CLI version of PHP:

SourceGuardian requires Zend Engine API version 220131226. The Zend Engine API version 220121212 which is installed, is outdated.

Googling for a way to safely update Zend Engine API resulted in 3+ year old threads with no answers or clues on how to update with WHM installed.

If you're looking to update the Zend Engine API, then this guide is not for you. Instead, I chose to remove Zend from the CLI PHP config as the error message being displayed on all PHP crons was breaking the scripts.

Here's how to remove Zend from your PHP CLI config...

First, find the config file for the CLI PHP. You can do this by checking your existing config file using php -i – use grep to grab the path with php -i | grep 'Configuration File' .

For me php.ini was located at /usr/local/lib/php.ini

Find the line zend_extension = "/usr/local/sourceguard/ixed.x.x.lin" and comment it out. Restart Apache and you should notice that the error no longer displays. I'm not entirely sure what the Zend Engine is for under CLI PHP but I haven't encountered any issues yet.

If you encounter issues, just uncomment the line and restart Apache. Following these instructions should be a last resort if you cannot update Zend Engine API, so you do so at your own risk.

Sending dynamic status headers from PHP

Sending the right HTTP protocol for headers from PHP is easy, you just need to find which HTTP protocol your server is using. Most servers will be using HTTP/1.1, but allowing PHP to serve the protocol version for you means safer headers for older systems and greater cross-platform compatibility.

Rather than sending

header( 'HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found' );

we're going to send

header( $_SERVER['SERVER_PROTOCOL'] . ' 404 Not Found' );



gives us the HTTP protocol which matches the previous 'HTTP/x.x' format.

This can be used with any header that requires the HTTP protocol to be sent, it is not limited to 404 errors in particular.

EDIT 2015-10-10:

Available from PHP 5.4.0, function 'http_response_code' is the alternative to this and sends the correct protocol along with the correct status code description.

Usage: http_response_code(404);
Output: HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found

Recursively zip files with PHP

This function is useful for zipping files/directories when you only have FTP access to a site, and for when you are using a web host ‘File Manager’ which bugs out on permissions or otherwise.

function Zip($source, $destination)
    if (!extension_loaded('zip') || !file_exists($source)) {
        return false;
    $zip = new ZipArchive();
    if (!$zip->open($destination, ZIPARCHIVE::CREATE)) {
        return false;
    $source = str_replace('\', '/', realpath($source));
    if (is_dir($source) === true)
        $files = new RecursiveIteratorIterator(new RecursiveDirectoryIterator($source), RecursiveIteratorIterator::SELF_FIRST);
        foreach ($files as $file)
            $file = str_replace('\', '/', $file);
            // Ignore "." and ".." folders
            if( in_array(substr($file, strrpos($file, '/')+1), array('.', '..')) )
            $file = realpath($file);
            if (is_dir($file) === true)
                $zip->addEmptyDir(str_replace($source . '/', '', $file . '/'));
            else if (is_file($file) === true)
                $zip->addFromString(str_replace($source . '/', '', $file), file_get_contents($file));
    else if (is_file($source) === true)
        $zip->addFromString(basename($source), file_get_contents($source));
    return $zip->close();

Zip('/folder/to/compress/', './');

Recursively copy files with PHP

This function is useful for copying files when you only have FTP access to a site, and for when you are using a web host 'File Manager' which bugs out on permissions or otherwise.

function recurse_copy($src, $dst) { 
    $dir = opendir($src); 
    while(false !== ( $file = readdir($dir)) ) { 
        if (( $file != '.' ) && ( $file != '..' )) { 
            if ( is_dir($src . '/' . $file) ) { 
                recurse_copy($src . '/' . $file,$dst . '/' . $file); 
            else { 
                copy($src . '/' . $file,$dst . '/' . $file); 

recurse_copy('./big-directory', './big-directory-new');

Download file with cURL & PHP

CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER is a simple way of copying a file from a remote server onto your own. However, if you're downloading a large file you may hit memory limits because the entire contents of the download have to be read to memory before being saved.

Note: Even if your memory limit is set extremely high, you would be putting unnecessary strain on your server by reading in a large file straight to memory.

Instead you can write the download straight to a file stream using CURLOPT_FILE.

$url  = '';
$path = '/path/to/';
$fp = fopen($path, 'w');
$ch = curl_init($url);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FILE, $fp);
$data = curl_exec($ch);

Batch Delete from Table in MSSQL

This script allows you to perform an operation in batches. This should allow you to keep the log file for the database down whilst performing large operations.

SET ROWCOUNT allows you to set how many records will be effected per query.
SET @intFlag = 1 sets the loop to start at 1
WHILE (@intFlag <=100) loop through this code X times (for this example 100)
SET @intFlag = @intFlag + 1 add 1 to the loop count


SET @intFlag = 1
WHILE (@intFlag <=100)

DELETE FROM tblTemp WHERE tmpDate < '2012-10-01'

SET @intFlag = @intFlag + 1

Here the ROWCOUNT is set to 500,000. On this server attempting to delete 1,000,000 records by running 2 batches of 500,000 delete records was 35 seconds faster than running a single 1,000,000 delete records statement. But running 10 batches of 100,000 delete records was also slower than 2 batches at 500,000 records. This may vary server to server.

MySQL Datetime vs Timestamp

Taken from

Timestamps in MySQL generally used to track changes to records, and are updated every time the record is changed. If you want to store a specific value you should use a datetime field.
If you meant that you want to decide between using a UNIX timestamp or a native MySQL datetime field, go with the native format. You can do calculations within MySQL that way ("SELECT DATE_ADD(my_datetime, INTERVAL 1 DAY)") and it is simple to change the format of the value to a UNIX timestamp ("SELECT UNIX_TIMESTAMP(my_datetime)") when you query the record if you want to operate on it with PHP.
- blivet,
An important difference is that DATETIME represents a date (as found in a calendar) and a time (as can be observed on a wall clock), while TIMESTAMP represents a well defined point in time. This could be very important if your application handles time zones. How long ago was '2010-09-01 16:31:00'? It depends on what timezone you're in. For me it was just a few seconds ago, for you it may represent a time in the future. If I say 1283351460 seconds since '1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC', you know exactly what point in time I talk about. (See Nir's excellent answer below). [Downside: valid range].
- MattBianco,
In MYSQL 5 and above, TIMESTAMP values are converted from the current time zone to UTC for storage, and converted back from UTC to the current time zone for retrieval. (This occurs only for the TIMESTAMP data type, and not for other types such as DATETIME.)
By default, the current time zone for each connection is the server's time. The time zone can be set on a per-connection basis, as described here: MySQL Server Time Zone Support
- Nir,
I always use DATETIME fields for anything other than row metadata (date created or modified).
As mentioned in the MySQL documentation:

The DATETIME type is used when you need values that contain both date and time information. MySQL retrieves and displays DATETIME values in 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS' format. The supported range is '1000-01-01 00:00:00' to '9999-12-31 23:59:59'.
The TIMESTAMP data type has a range of '1970-01-01 00:00:01' UTC to '2038-01-09 03:14:07' UTC. It has varying properties, depending on the MySQL version and the SQL mode the server is running in.

You're quite likely to hit the lower limit on TIMESTAMPs in general use -- e.g. storing birthdate.
- scronide,

Perform fast MSSQL Delete operations

The solution focuses on utilizing a view in order to simplify the execution plan produced for a batched delete operation. This is achieved by referencing the given table once, rather than twice which in turn reduces the amount of I/O required.


delete from t1 where a in (select top (10000) a from t1 order by a);


create view v1 as (select top (10000) * from t1 order by a)

delete from v1

You can also use this method for update operations aswell:

update t1

  set b = 'y'

  from (select top (100) b

        from t1

        order by a ) t1

The posts that provided this information referenced a link ( provided by Kevin Stephenson of MySpace and Lubor Kollar, a member of the SQL Server Customer Advisory Team. This link is now unavailable but the Internet Archive has a copy of this page at

Truncate all Tables in an MSSQL Database

When dealing with deleting data from tables which have foreign key relationships - which is basically the case with any properly designed database - we can disable all the constraints, delete all the data and then re-enable constraints.

-- disable all constraints
-- delete data in all tables
EXEC sp_MSForEachTable "DELETE FROM ?"
-- enable all constraints
exec sp_msforeachtable "ALTER TABLE ? WITH CHECK CHECK CONSTRAINT all"

More on disabling constraints and triggers here.

if some of the tables have identity columns we may want to reseed them.

EXEC sp_MSforeachtable "DBCC CHECKIDENT ( '?', RESEED, 0)"

Note that the behaviour of RESEED differs between brand new table, and one which had some data inserted previously from BOL:

DBCC CHECKIDENT ('table_name', RESEED, newReseedValue)

The current identity value is set to the newReseedValue. If no rows have been inserted to the table since it was created, the first row inserted after executing DBCC CHECKIDENT will use newReseedValue as the identity. Otherwise, the next row inserted will use newReseedValue + 1. If the value of newReseedValue is less than the maximum value in the identity column, error message 2627 will be generated on subsequent references to the table.