Validate individual data elements or group validation rules into sets to validate a form.

1.3.0 2015-06-16 22:16 UTC

This package is auto-updated.

Last update: 2024-06-29 02:54:20 UTC


Validation Library

Simple input validation.

Build Status Total Downloads Latest Stable Version


There are two components to this library. A set of validation methods and an input validation engine.


The Validator class can be used to quickly validate a single piece of input.

include 'vendor/autoload.php';

use werx\Validation\Validator;

$input = 'foo';
$valid = Validator::minlength($input, 4);


The following validators are available. Each validator returns a bool. true = passed validation, false = failed validation.

bool required (mixed $input)
bool date (mixed $input [, $input_format = MM/DD/YYYY])
bool minlength(mixed $input, int $min)
bool maxlength(mixed $input, int $max)
bool exactlength(mixed $input, int $length)
bool greaterthan($input, int $min)
bool lessthan(mixed $input, int $max)
bool alpha(mixed $input)
bool alphanumeric(mixed $input)
bool integer(mixed $input)
bool float(mixed $input)
bool numeric(mixed $input)
bool email(mixed $input)
bool url(mixed $input)
bool phone(mixed $input)
bool zipcode(mixed $input)
bool startswith(mixed $input, string $match)
bool endswith(mixed $input, string $match)
bool contains(mixed $input, string $match)
bool regex(mixed $input, string $regex)
bool inlist(mixed $input, array $list)

Validation Engine

The Validation Engine is used to validate a set of data against a set of rules.


First, get an instance of the Validation Engine:

use werx\Validation\Engine as ValidationEngine;

$validator = new ValidationEngine;

Then add rules:

$validator->addRule('firstname', 'First Name', 'required|minlength[2]|alpha');
  • Form input name / array key of the element you are validating
  • User friendly label for the element
  • Pipe-delimited list of rules
    • Each rule corresponds to a method name from the Validator class
    • If the method accepts arguments, the args should be in square brackets after the rule name
      • Example: minlength[2]
      • Exception: methods which accept an array as parameter should be in curly brackets after the rule name.
        • Example: inlist{red,white,blue}
    • Except for the required validator, all validators will return true if the input is empty.
      • In other words, minlength[2] will only actually fire if you also add a required rule.

Now you can get a validation result.

$valid = $validator->validate($_POST);
Validating Input Arrays

Sometimes you aren't using a simple string as your input field name. Let's say your HTML input form is something like this:

<input type="text" name="volunteer[name]">
<input type="text" name="volunteer[email]">

To build a rule for in this scenario, separate the array name and key name with a period when adding your rule.

$validator->addRule('volunteer.name', 'Name', 'required|minlength[2]|alpha');
$validator->addRule('volunteer.email', 'Email Address', 'required|email');


In addition to predefined validation methods from the Validator class, you can also use closures to create custom validation methods.

$closure = function ($data, $id, $label) {
	$message = null;
	$success = $data[$id] == 'Foo';
	if (!$success) {
		$message = sprintf('%s must equal "Foo"', $label);
	return [$success, $message];

$validator->addRule('firstname', 'First Name', $closure);

$valid = $validator->validate($_POST);

Three values will be passed to your closure:

  1. The full data set being validated.
  2. The id of the element being validated.
  3. The label for the element being validated.

The closure is expected to return an array.

  • The first element of the array should be the validation result (bool).
  • The second element of the array should be an error message to display if validation failed.
    • If validation passed, message may be null.


What if you want to save groups of rules instead of adding each rule individually every time you want to validate them? We've got you covered.

Create a new class that extends werx\Validation\Ruleset and add your rules in the constructor.

namespace your\namespace\Rulesets;

use werx\Validation\Ruleset;

class Contact extends Ruleset
	public function __construct()
		$this->addRule('firstname', 'First Name', 'required|minlength[2]');
		$this->addRule('lastname', 'Last Name', 'required');
		$this->addRule('phone', 'Phone Number', 'required|phone');
		$this->addRule('email', 'Email Address', 'required|email');

Then when you are ready to validate this group of rules:

$contact_rules = new your\namespace\Rulesets\Contact;
$valid = $validator->validate();

Utility Methods

There are a couple utilities to make dealing with validation results easier.


Returns a simple array containing a list of validation error messages.

if (!$valid) {
	$summary = $validator->getErrorSummary();

	[0] => First Name must only contain the letters A-Z.
	[1] => First Name must be at least 2 characters long.
	[2] => Last Name is a required field.

Returns the error summary formatted as an html unordered list (<ul>).


Returns list of fields that had an error. Useful if you want to apply some decoration to your form indicating which fields had a validation errors.

if (!$valid) {
	$error_fields = $validator->getErrorFields();

	[0] => firstname
	[1] => lastname

Once you've added your rules, you can get back a list of required fields. This is useful when you want to indicate on your form which fields must be completed.

$validator->addRule('firstname', 'First Name', 'required');
$validator->addRule('lastname', 'Last Name', 'required');
$validator->addRule('age', 'Age', 'required|integer');

$required = $validator->getRequiredFields();

	[0] => firstname
	[1] => lastname
	[2] => age

Allows you to set custom error messages.

When displaying the error messages, {name} will be replaced with the name of the field being validated. The rest of the field is parsed with sprintf() so that parameters like minlength can be placed in the returned error message.


$validator->addCustomMessage('required', "You didn't provide a value for {name}!");
$validator->addCustomMessage('minlength', "Oops, {name} must be at least %d characters long.");


This package is installable and autoloadable via Composer as werx/validation. If you aren't familiar with the Composer Dependency Manager for PHP, you should read this first.

$ composer require werx/validation --prefer-dist


Unit Testing

$ vendor/bin/phpunit

Coding Standards

This library uses PHP_CodeSniffer to ensure coding standards are followed.

I have adopted the PHP FIG PSR-2 Coding Standard EXCEPT for the tabs vs spaces for indentation rule. PSR-2 says 4 spaces. I use tabs. No discussion.

To support indenting with tabs, I've defined a custom PSR-2 ruleset that extends the standard PSR-2 ruleset used by PHP_CodeSniffer. You can find this ruleset in the root of this project at PSR2Tabs.xml

Executing the codesniffer command from the root of this project to run the sniffer using these custom rules.

$ ./codesniffer