How to enable html files to display php code

When creating your own site, you have many options. The basic files, particularly on Linux servers like the ones used for our hosting accounts, are either generally either html (files ending in the extension .html or .htm) or php (files ending in the extension .php) files. HTML is the markup language for displaying content and is not processed on the server side. Php is a programming style language used to create pages that are processed and served from the server. Php files can always read and display HTML code, but HTML does not automatically parse php code. To do so, you will need to make adjustments to your .htaccess file. Once that is done, the php code will display within HTML files without issue. Follow the instructions below as they guide you on enabling html files to display php code via your .htaccess file.

Enabling HTML files to display php code

  1. Log into your cPanel dashboard.
  2. Use the File Manager to navigate to the root folder for the domain you are working with, ensuring you set the Show Hidden Files option.
  3. Once in the root folder for the domain, check for the .htaccess file. If one is not there, you will need to create a new one. Once located, edit the file by highlighting the file and click on the Edit icon from the toolbar at the top of the page.
  4. This brings you to the cpanel file editor. You will want to insert the following line of code at the top of the .htaccess file.
    AddType text/html .shtml .shtm .htm .html AddHandler server-parsed .shtml .shtm .htm .html  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes # Uncomment the version of PHP you have on your server # Only one of the following  can be uncommented AddHandler application/x-httpd-imh-php56 .html #AddHandler application/x-httpd-imh-php70 .html #AddHandler application/x-httpd-imh-php71 .html #AddHandler application/x-httpd-imh-php72 .html #AddHandler application/x-httpd-ea-php72 .html 

    Important! You will need to check your php version so you know which line to comment in the previous code.

  5. Click the Save Changes button in the upper right corner of the screen. Your html file should now display the php code within it. Below is a before and after shot of the effects of the .htaccess edit.

    Before After
    before htaccess code edit

    after htaccess code edit

Thoughts on “How to enable html files to display php code

    • I have updated the example code to include the correct syntax for PHP 7.0. You only need to uncomment the line that matches the version of PHP you are using. For PHP 7.0, your .htaccess file will look like the following:

      AddType text/html .shtml .shtm .htm .html
      AddHandler server-parsed .shtml .shtm .htm .html
      Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes
      # Uncomment the version of PHP you have on your server
      # Only one of the following can be uncommented
      AddHandler application/x-httpd-ea-php70 .shtml
      #AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5 .shtml
      #AddHandler application/x-httpd-php52 .shtml
      #AddHandler application/x-httpd-php54 .shtml
      #AddHandler application/x-httpd-php4 .shtml

      I hope this helps!

  • How do you do this if your server API is set to CGI/FastCGI?  I understand you need to use a php.ini file to do that but I can’t find a similar tutorial on that file.

    • Hello Ryan,

      Check out this FAQ -the PHP section. This is the closest thing that I could find that may provide the answer you’re seeking. If you continue to have problems, please let us know.

      Regards,
      Arnel C.

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