What is PHP Array

What is PHP Array? Arrays in PHP are a type of data structure, which provides us to store the purposes of building a different variable in order to save multiple elements with a similar data type inside a single variable. The arrays support to build off a list of similar elements, available by index or key. The array is used here to save any element in one variable and also to allow an easy path via an index or a key. Using a function in PHP, an array is generated.

What is an array in PHP?

An array is nothing but the data structure that permits the area of multiple values under a particular name. In simple terms, it’s a variable that is able of carrying more than one value. The values specified to the array are homogeneous in reality, which implies the data type of all the values should be the same. If an array is assumed to be holding the integer value only then it won’t be possible to save character or string values in that.

An array could also behold a number of items that follow a particular order to save the items or values. Once the array is formed, we can specify various values to it. In languages like C, C++ the developer is assumed to specify the size of the array initially but in PHP we are free to add as many items as we need, and the size of the array will increase respectively.

Understanding PHP Array

So, now we will try to learn arrays in PHP using the syntax and examples. PHP arrays are performed by the use of array function which is written as ‘array()’. It has a really easy syntax that performs the usage of the array very easily. Following is the syntax to declare and initialize the array in PHP.

$array_name = array("val", "val2", "val3",..)

How does PHP Array Works?

The point that the array performs the working with programs could not be denied. Under this section, we will learn how really the array performs the work easy and we will analyze some examples to get a definite view of the PHP array’s ability.

Example: The under-representation will take the name of various students and will print it.

$student=array("Rauf", "Ali", "Tayyaba", "Haleema");
echo student[0];
echo "<br>";
echo student[1];
echo "<br>";
echo student[2];
echo "<br>";
echo student[3];

Types of PHP Array

In PHP we have two types of array.

  1. One-dimensional array
  2. Multi-dimensional array

One-dimensional array

  • The one-dimensional array may be specified as the type of array that consists of multiple values assigned to the individual array.
  • The values specified in the one-dimensional array are homogenous in reality which means it provides only the values with the same data type to be added to the array.
  • The syntax will be like
$array_name = array("val", "val2", "val3")

Multi-dimensional array

  • A multi-dimensional array may be described as the set of the array that permits us to specify values in multiple arrays at the same time.
  • The values specified to the multi-dimensional array could be heterogeneous which indicates values of different data types could be saved in the arrays and it has to be taken care that the order of items of particular data types should be the same in all the arrays.
  • Here we will look at two-dimensional array syntax. Well, just for your information, the complexity of the array develops as the dimension of the array gains.
$array_name = array
array("Str1", "Int1", "Int11"),
array("Str2", "Int2", "int22"),
array("Str3", "Int3", "int33"),
array("Str4", "Int4", "int44"),

What can you do with PHP Array?

Array in PHP is really informative while dealing with complex programs. It performs a smooth important role in order to make the program less large. For illustration, in order to store 5 values, we will require 5 different variables but by the use of an array in PHP, we can save 5 various values of the same data type in one array. By the quality of the array, the program could be performed very usefully as it helps to save the memory that is usually utilized by the allocation of variables

For simple code, a one-dimensional array could be very valuable, and if the program is slightly complex then a developer can leverage the multi-dimensional array to get the required result. In PHP, there is no necessary to specify the data type of the array. It automatically identifies the data type by separating the values or items specified to it. In addition to all the features of an array, its tendency of increasing the size automatically makes it a favorite among the developers.

Working with PHP array

In the above sections, we discovered how an array is performed in PHP, the way it saves the value, and how we can use the values allowed to the array. Now in this section, we discuss how the array could be used mutually with some of the inbuilt functions to get the desired output. As we understand the best way to learn anything is helped by examples, the same way we will have a look at an example to sink more profound on working with an array.

Example: In this example, we will use the count function with the array to find the total number of students in a school.

$arraylenght = count($studnet);
echo "The total number of students is" . $arraylenght;

Why do we need a PHP Array?

To get the answer to this question, we have to mention all the things that we have learned so far in this tutorial. It’s an understood thing that we favor to use anything only if it allows us some kind of advantages and as an array is very beneficial to us in various aspects, we always favor to work with array wherever needed. While composing the code, whenever we require to save many values for some common entity then the array is the first thing that comes into our mind.

As pre-discussed, the only way to include the data structure in programs is helped by the mean of an array. Tree, stack, queue, linked list are some of the data structure that defines the way data gets saved. To implement those data structures, an array is the only and most reliable option. In addition to its functionality, it’s very simple to use. Also, we require it as it gives us an opportunity to decrease the use of memory. The program developer using arrays are constantly very effective and utilizes less memory.


In any programming language, array performs a very active role and onward expected to be used most of the time while evolving complex programs. It gives a tool of effective memory utilization that performs the most needed thing while working with a sufficient number of data.

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