PHP 5 Forms – Validate E-mail and URL

This chapter shows how to validate names, e-mails, and URLs.

PHP – Validate Name

The code below shows a simple way to check if the name field only contains letters and whitespace. If the value of the name field is not valid, then store an error message:

$name = test_input($_POST["name"]);
if (!preg_match("/^[a-zA-Z ]*$/",$name)) {
$nameErr = "Only letters and white space allowed";

The preg_match() function searches a string for pattern, returning true if the pattern exists, and false otherwise.

PHP – Validate E-mail

The easiest and safest way to check whether an email address is well-formed is to use PHP’s filter_var() function.

In the code below, if the e-mail address is not well-formed, then store an error message:

$email = test_input($_POST["email"]);
if (!filter_var($email, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL)) {
$emailErr = "Invalid email format";

PHP – Validate URL

The code below shows a way to check if a URL address syntax is valid (this regular expression also allows dashes in the URL). If the URL address syntax is not valid, then store an error message:

$website = test_input($_POST["website"]);
if (!preg_match("/\b(?:(?:https?|ftp):\/\/|www\.)[-a-z0-9+&@#\/%?=~_|!:,.;]*[-a-z0-9+&@#\/%=~_|]/i",$website)) {
$websiteErr = "Invalid URL";

PHP – Validate Name, E-mail, and URL

Now, the script looks like this:


The next step is to show how to prevent the form from emptying all the input fields when the user submits the form.