Intelligent PHP Cache Control

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Chris Coyier on

This code snippet checks if a page has been modified since it was last displayed. If so, it sends a “304 not modified” header and exits, otherwise the content is rendered. Prepend this snippet on top of every PHP file you want to apply this intelligent caching-mechanism. Especially useful if you (have to) serve static content via php and want it to be cached like ordinary HTML or CSS.

//get the last-modified-date of this very file
//get a unique hash of this file (etag)
$etagFile = md5_file(__FILE__);
//get the HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE header if set
$ifModifiedSince=(isset($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE']) ? $_SERVER['HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE'] : false);
//get the HTTP_IF_NONE_MATCH header if set (etag: unique file hash)
$etagHeader=(isset($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_NONE_MATCH']) ? trim($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_NONE_MATCH']) : false);

//set last-modified header
header("Last-Modified: ".gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s", $lastModified)." GMT");
//set etag-header
header("Etag: $etagFile");
//make sure caching is turned on
header('Cache-Control: public');

//check if page has changed. If not, send 304 and exit
if (@strtotime($_SERVER['HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE'])==$lastModified || $etagHeader == $etagFile)
       header("HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified");

//your normal code
echo "This page was last modified: ".date("d.m.Y H:i:s",time());