Use a cookie to iterate between visits with PHP.

Here's a small code snippet that I use to increment a value between visits using a PHP cookie.

I use it, for example, when I have 3 different images that could go on a page, and I want to serve up the next one in the sequence on subsequent visits to the page. I just use the "$num" where appropriate.

You can edit the '2' in line 14 to change the wrap around value to suit your needs. Happy PHPing.

	//- Purpose: increment from 0 - 2, then loop back around //

	// Is a cookie set already?
	if ($_COOKIE['numcycle']!='') {
		// If cookie was corrupted, it will return 0
		// when evaluated as in int.
		$num = (int)$_COOKIE['numcycle'];
		// if the newly iterated $num is over our limit,
		// in this case 2, then reset it to 0
		$num = $num <= 2 ? $num : 0;
		// now reset the cookie with the new number
		setcookie('numcycle',$num,time() + (86400 * 30)); // 86400 = 1 day
	} else {
		// Cookie wasn't set, so let's set one.
		setcookie('numcycle','0',time() + (86400 * 30)); // 86400 = 1 day
		$num = 0;

	echo $num;

Comments on this post.


By Aleksejs Ivanovs on Jun 02 2013

Great explanation, thanks!

By Doug Wack on Oct 24 2013

Great. I’ll use this method to increment a value between visits using a PHP cookie.

By Kabir Khan on Oct 23 2015

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