PHP random number examples (rand function)

PHP random number FAQ: Can you show an example of the PHP random function?

Sure. To create a random number in PHP, just use a line of code like this:

$r = rand(1,10);

That will generate a random number from 1 to 10.

Real-world PHP random number example

Next, here's a snippet of PHP code that shows how to create a random number in PHP in some real-world code:


// a drupal php block example
// alvin alexander,

// first, here are the three snippets of HTML that I want to display in 
// my upper-left corner block

// (1) html for "subscribe to newletter"
$newsletter = <<< NEWSLETTER
<p class="rtecenter"><a
  target="_blank" border="0" href=""><img
  title="subscribe to our newsletter" alt="subscribe to our newsletter"
  src="/sites/default/files/users/user3/devdaily-news-96x77.png" /><br />
subscribe to our<br />
monthly newsletter</a></p>

// (2) html for "rss feed html"
$dd_rss_feed = <<< DD_RSS
<!-- RSS -->
<p class="rtecenter"><a
   href="/rss.xml"><img alt="Subscribe to our RSS feed"
   title="Subscribe to our RSS feed" src="/images/feed-icon-64x64-ds.png" /></a>
   <br />rss feed</p>

// (3) html for "write for devdaily html"
$dd_write = <<< WRITE_FOR_DD
<!-- WRITE -->
<p class="rtecenter"><br />
<a alt="Write for devdaily" title="Write for devdaily"
   href="/news/2010/06/03/devdaily-open-to-writers"><img alt=""
   src="/images/write/article-48.png" /><br />write for devdaily </a></p>
<p> </p>

// get a random number that varies from "1" to the number of 
// html content blocks you want to rotate
$r = rand(1,3);

// now emit the output based on the random number
if ($r == 1)
  echo $newsletter;
elseif ($r == 2)
  echo $dd_rss_feed;
  echo $dd_write;


I've made the PHP rand function call bold in that source code so you can see it more easily. As you can see, creating a random number in PHP is very simple. Just specify the lowest possible number and the highest possible number, and you're in business.