PHP Headers and Popular Mime Types

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Like my Create a Basic Web Service Using PHP, MySQL, XML, and JSON illustrates, even though a file's extension ends in PHP, you can still tell the browser that you're outputting a different content type. Here are a few of the more popular content types used on the internet.


header('Content-Type: application/atom+xml');


header('Content-Type: text/css');


header('Content-Type: text/javascript');

JPEG Image

header('Content-Type: image/jpeg');


header('Content-Type: application/json');


header('Content-Type: application/pdf');


header('Content-Type: application/rss+xml; charset=ISO-8859-1');

Text (Plain)

header('Content-Type: text/plain');


header('Content-Type: text/xml');

Just because a file ends in .PHP doesn't mean it responds with XHTML -- respond however you'd like!

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  1. Great list of mime types.
    Perhaps I’d just be careful about the charset at the RSS example. People could add it blindly and suddenly accented characters would stop working if the rest of the site is using other encodings, like utf-8.

  2. Interesting list. Nothing new, but still nice. BTW Javascript and XML should be application, text is obsolete.

  3. @Matěj Grabovský: Interesting. Can you share your resource for knowing that?

  4. @David Walsh: Well, especially Wikipedia, RFCs (concretely RFC3023) and this thing.

  5. Thank you for sharing Matěj!

  6. You’re welcome, sir!

  7. BTW, It is common to prefix experimental mime types with ‘x-‘ (e.g. application/x-json)

  8. Very usefull stuff, I suggest you ad this one too (exe, zip, rar…)

    header("Content-Type: application/force-download");

    BTW, 7 comments, since may 7th… and it’s 7 a.m. here in Morocco

  9. Thanks a lot for this information.

  10. Content-Type or Content-type ?

  11. Have been using just the java, css and htmls. Will do with the rest later.
    Thanks for the list David.
    Pleasure reading.

  12. Perfect list! Just what I was looking for. Thanks, Mr. Walsh :-)

  13. nodeset[0];
    $i = $r->new_child(“item”);
    $i->new_child(“title”, $head);
    $i->new_child(“link”, $link);
    $i->new_child(“description”, $comment);

    $out = domxml_dumpmem($doc);
    $file = $arch . “.xml”;
    $f = fopen($file, ‘w’);
    fputs($f, $out);

    echo $out;

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!