Implementing AJAX in PHP: A Step-by-Step Guide


Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is a powerful web development technique that allows you to create dynamic and interactive websites. With AJAX, you can update portions of a webpage without refreshing the entire page. This results in a more responsive and fluid user experience. PHP, a widely-used scripting language, often works behind the scenes to manage server-side data processing.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through implementing AJAX in PHP to create a simple, yet functional, application. We’ll build a search bar that fetches search results without refreshing the page, using AJAX to send requests to the PHP backend.

Also, you may like: How to make Password Reset System using Php?


Before diving into the code, ensure that you have the following software installed on your computer:

  1. PHP (7.x or higher)
  2. A web server (Apache or Nginx)
  3. A text editor (such as Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, or Atom)

Step 1: Set up your project directory

Create a new folder for your project and name it “ajax_php_example”. Inside this folder, create two new files: “index.php” and “search.php”.

Step 2: Design the HTML layout

Open “index.php” in your text editor and add the following HTML code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <title>AJAX in PHP: Search Example</title>
    <input type="text" id="search-input" placeholder="Search...">
    <div id="search-results"></div>

    <script src=""></script>
        // JavaScript and AJAX code will go here

This code sets up a simple webpage with a search input field and a div to display the search results. We’ve also included the jQuery library, which makes it easier to work with AJAX.

Step 3: Implement the AJAX request

Now, let’s add the JavaScript code to send an AJAX request to the PHP backend when a user types in the search input. Add the following code inside the script tag:

$(document).ready(function() {
    $('#search-input').on('input', function() {
        const searchQuery = $(this).val();

        if (searchQuery.length > 0) {
                url: 'search.php',
                type: 'GET',
                data: {
                    query: searchQuery
                success: function(response) {
        } else {

This code listens for input events on the search field and sends an AJAX request to “search.php” with the search query as a GET parameter. The PHP script’s response is then inserted into the “search-results” div.

Step 4: Create the PHP backend

Now, let’s create the PHP script that processes the search query and returns the results. Open “search.php” and add the following code:


$searchQuery = $_GET['query'];

// Mock data for demonstration purposes
$data = [
    'Ugli Fruit',
    'Vanilla Bean',
    'Yellow Passion Fruit',
    $results = [];
    // Search for the query in the data array
    foreach ($data as $item) {
        if (stripos($item, $searchQuery) !== false) {
            $results[] = $item;
    // Display the search results
    foreach ($results as $result) {
        echo '<div>' . htmlspecialchars($result) . '</div>';

In this example, we use a simple array of fruit names as mock data. The PHP script searches the array for items containing the search query and returns the matching results. You would likely query a database to fetch the search results in a real-world application.

Step 5: Test your application

Now that you’ve implemented the AJAX functionality with PHP, it’s time to test your application. If you haven’t already, start your web server and ensure that it’s configured to serve PHP files.

Navigate to the “ajax_php_example” directory in your browser (e.g., http://localhost/ajax_php_example/). Try typing in the search bar and observing how the search results are fetched and displayed without refreshing the page.


Ajax searching
Ajax searching


In this step-by-step guide, we’ve demonstrated how to implement AJAX in PHP to create a simple search application. By combining the power of AJAX and PHP, you can create more interactive and responsive web applications that provide a better user experience.

While this example is quite basic, it serves as a foundation for you to build upon and create more complex applications. You can improve this example by querying a database, implementing pagination for large result sets, or adding more advanced search features such as filters or sorting options.

We hope this guide helps you on your journey to mastering AJAX and PHP, and we encourage you to continue exploring their potential in web development.

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