In PHP, the PHP OR operator is used to combine two or more conditions in a logical expression. If at least one of the conditions is evaluated to true, the OR operator will return true.

The OR operator is an essential tool for developers, as it enables them to create efficient code and simplify complex expressions.

The following image shows you how it does work.

PHP Logical OR Operator

As you saw in the previous diagram, if only one way is correct, so it will return a true boolean result. That’s all.

Syntax of PHP OR Operator

The syntax of the OR operator is straightforward. It uses the || symbol and is placed between two or more conditions. Here’s an example of how to use the OR operator in PHP:

if ($x == 10 || $y == 20) {
    // Code block

In this example, the code block is executed if either $x is equal to 10 or $y is equal to 20. So, If both conditions are false, the code block is skipped.

Anyway, the following table shows you the cases of the two both operands and the expected result.

Operand 1Operand 2Or Operator Result (Operand 1 || Operand 2)

Using PHP OR Operator

The OR operator can be used in several situations, such as in if statements, while loops, and for loops. In if statements, the OR operator is used to check if at least one of the conditions is true. So, If one of the conditions is true, the code block associated with the if statement is executed.

In loops, the OR operator can be used to determine if the loop should continue executing. For example, in a while loop, the loop will continue executing as long as at least one of the conditions is true. If all the conditions evaluate to false, the loop will exit.

Use the PHP OR (||) Logical Operator with the Short Expression

Actually, this way is used to assign or select the correct result to the PHP variable which will be in use in the following code scripts. Or just execute the correct result in something else. Let’s see the following examples.

   $is_set_email = isset($_POST["email"]) || false;
   echo $is_set_email; // false

In the example, I am looking for the true boolean value and searching for the email of the user input. So if it doesn’t exist, so it will show me a false value.

Otherwise, it will show me a true value like the below example.

   $_POST["email"] = true;
   $is_set_email = isset($_POST["email"]) || false;
   echo $is_set_email; // true

In the next section, I am going to explain the usage of the OR operator with the if condition.

Use the OR Operator with the IF Condition

The “if” condition is used to check about one or more two correct values, and here I will use it to check for the username using the OR operator.

   $username = "CodedTag";
   if( ! isset( $username ) || $username === null || strlen( $username ) < 10 ) {
     echo "Invalid Username"; 

The previous example shows you only one condition is not achieved. And that was the character length of the – $username word. It was less than 10 letters, so it printed the – “Invalid Username” message.

Best Practices for Using PHP OR Operator

While the OR operator is a useful tool, it’s important to use it properly to ensure the code remains efficient and readable. Here are some best practices for using the OR operator in PHP:

  1. To enhance readability, utilize parentheses to group conditions.
  2. Avoid nesting OR operators, as it can lead to complex and hard-to-read expressions.
  3. Utilize descriptive variable names to enhance the clarity of the code.

Wrapping Up

The OR operator is an essential tool for developers working in PHP. By combining conditions with the OR operator, developers can create efficient and readable code that delivers accurate results. Remember to follow best practices when using the OR operator to ensure your code remains efficient and maintainable.

For a quick example.

  echo ( true || false ); // true
  echo ( true || true || false ); // true 
  echo ( false || false || true ); // true
  echo ( !false || true ); // true
  echo ( false || false ); // false

That’s all. Thank you for reading. if you like to learn more about the PHP data types read this article. Stay tuned for my next tutorials.