Validating URLs and Email Addresses in PHP

A few years ago, I posted a couple functions for validating email addresses using PHP. This is a follow up post that provides a simpler method for validating both email addresses and URLs.

Using PHP's filter_var() function, it's actually quite easy to do now—no messy regular expressions involved. The following wrapper functions force a true boolean response, so you can use them safely in your logic.

Email Addresses

function is_email($email) {
    return filter_var($email, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL) !== false;


function is_url($url) {
    return filter_var($url, FILTER_VALIDATE_URL) !== false;

If you choose to not use the wrappers, just remember that filter_var() doesn't always return a boolean value. It will return the original string on success, and false on failure..

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Creator of Surreal CMS and other web things. Follow me for tweets about JavaScript, CSS, and web programming.