PHP is an interesting language because much of it exists as snippets: modular chunks of code that can be run independently from each other. This makes it very easy to share code that someone else can simply plug into their own site and have working right out of the box.
Maybe that’s you. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel, right? If you’re developing or maintaining a PHP-based website and you want to add new features, there’s nothing wrong with using someone else’s freely-provided code. It’ll save you time and energy.
That’s where the following PHP script resources come in handy. Even if you don’t use them as-is, you can always use them as scaffolds for your own code or as learning tools to better understand PHP.
A Warning Before Using PHP Scripts
You have to be extra careful when downloading PHP scripts off the internet. Never trust that the code is harmless, and never assume that somebody has tested the code. Even when a website claims to check all code before putting it up for download, assume they don’t.
PHP scripts can be malicious. That page hit counter script that you downloaded? Maybe it’s spreading malware or maybe it isn’t — you can’t be sure until you comb through the entire script and understand what every single line of code does. It’s surprisingly easy to disguise malicious code as something more innocent.
But PHP scripts can be problematic for non-malicious reasons too. Maybe the script embeds an iframe on your site that generates page hits for the creator’s site, allowing him to inflate his own ad revenue. Or maybe the script has a glaring bug that could crash your site, wipe your database, or grant remote control through SQL injection.
One last warning: a lot of PHP resource sites are old. Some have even been around since before the turn of the millennium. As such, many scripts were written for outdated versions of PHP and may not work right out of the box, meaning you’ll have to adapt them for whatever version of PHP you’re running.
In short, these sites share a lot of the same risks as shady software download sites so keep your eyes peeled and run away from anything that doesn’t feel right.
The PHP scripts are divided into dozens of subcategories — far too many to list here. All we can say is that this repository is massive. Each script can be rated and reviewed, so you know which ones are worth trying or skipping.
ScriptDungeon is a lot like HotScripts, except the repository is much smaller: whereas HotScripts has thousands, ScriptDungeon only has hundreds. Don’t get me wrong though. Hundreds of scripts is still plenty and you’ll likely find some good ones here depending on what you need.
I like ScriptDungeon’s interface better. It still feels like it’s straight out of the 90s, but everything is easier to navigate. Plus you can sort results by newness or popularity, which you can’t do with HotScripts.
SeekScripts is similar to the aforementioned sites with one big difference. You’ll find dozens of script categories — including Ad Management, Chat Scripts, Financial Tools, News Publishing, and more — but the site itself doesn’t host the scripts. Instead, it links out to the creators’ sites.
As such, you’ll see some scripts here that aren’t available in the other repositories. The downside is that the site’s interface leaves much to be desired. No script ratings, no reviews, nothing but a short paragraph description.
Not to be confused with HotScripts, HScripts is a much smaller collection that’s provided by the site itself. There are no user submissions or off-site links. This means less variety and selection but in return you don’t have to worry about variance in quality.
What’s cool is that each script comes with a demo that you can try out. Not sure a given script is right for you? Just try it before you buy it (except not really because it’s free).
5. PHP Jabbers
PHP Jabbers is like HScripts but even smaller. As of this writing, the site has around 30 free scripts that you can use however you want. Note that you’ll have to create a free account before you can download any of the scripts.
Each script comes with detailed instructions for installation and usage. What I like most about these is that they’re modern and use better PHP practices that have developed over the past few years, making them good for learning.
Note that free users cannot remove branding or otherwise modify scripts from PHP Jabbers. To do that, you must purchase a Developer License.
Bonus: Code Canyon
If you want PHP scripts of the highest quality, you’re going to have to pay for them. Your best course of action will be to hire a programmer to make exactly what you want but that can be costly (some programmers charge over $100 per hour of work).
Your other option is to browse a paid marketplace like Code Canyon, which is where a lot of script writers have turned to these days. The browsing is a bit chaotic but the search filters are useful for finding exactly what you need. Except to pay anywhere from $5 to $100 per script depending on how advanced it is.
As of this writing, Code Canyon has close to 2,000 PHP scripts and that collection is growing by the day.
Why Not Write Your Own PHP Scripts?
It can be tempting to use someone else’s work as a time shortcut, and I don’t think that’s a bad option for small utilities like file conversions or image resizing, but bigger scripts should really be coded from scratch to fit your particular needs.
Not sure where to start? Check out these free sites for learning PHP.
What kind of PHP scripts are you looking for? What’s keeping you from scripting them yourself? Know of any other good sites that we missed? Let us know in the comments!