Published on November 14, 2021 Updated on June 13, 2024

Creating a Github Gist Clone with PHP

In this post, We’ll create a site like Github Gist using PHP, CSS and a 1 line of JavaScript! A preview of what we’re creating is below.

A preview of what we're creating


Collecting the stuff we need

Before we begin, you must have these things.

  • A local server
  • A code editor (I use Visual Studio Code)
  • Basic Knowledge of CSS, HTML & PHP
  • A MySQL Database

Getting Started

Creating the files

Now, let’s start. The first thing is to do, create the files. The files are,

  • index.php - The index file
  • config.php -The configuration file
  • gist.php - The gist view/delete file
  • gists.php - The file that shows all the gists
  • styles.css- The stylesheet

Creating the database

We will create a database named gists and create a table named gists. The table structure will look like this.

title content type id
unique mediumtext varchar(40) unique

If you are too lazy to create the table, you can use this SQL code.

CREATE TABLE `gists` (
  `title` varchar(99) NOT NULL,
  `content` mediumtext NOT NULL,
  `type` varchar(40) NOT NULL,
  `id` varchar(10) NOT NULL

  ADD UNIQUE KEY `id` (`id`),
  ADD UNIQUE KEY `title` (`title`);


And It’s time for the coding. We’ll first define the database connection constants. Put this in your config.php file.

$servername =  "localhost";
$username =  "root";
$password =  "";
$database =  "gist";

try {
	$conn =  new  PDO("mysql:host=$servername;dbname=$database", $username, $password);
} catch(PDOException $e) {
	echo  "<div class=\"message error\">Connection failed: "  . $e->getMessage().  "</div>";
	define('ERROR', true);

// Generate random string function
function generateRandomString($length = 10) {
    $characters = '0123456789abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ';
    $charactersLength = strlen($characters);
    $randomString = '';
    for ($i = 0; $i < $length; $i++) {
        $randomString. = $characters[rand(0, $charactersLength - 1)];
    return $randomString;

We use PDO because It’s easy & secure.

Then, in all the other PHP files (Not config.php) put this code.

<!DOCTYPE  html>
<html  lang="en">
<meta  charset="UTF-8">
<meta  http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible"  content="IE=edge">
<meta  name="viewport"  content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<link  rel="stylesheet"  href="styles.css">
<title>My Own Gist</title>
	<div  id="container">
		 <!-- This is where we put code -->

This is the template we’re going to use. And for the CSS, you can style yourself (Edit styles.css) or Go to this link to get the demo CSS code.

Create A New Gist Page

This is the code for the create new gist page. (index.php)

require "config.php";
if ( isset($_GET['create']) && isset($_POST['title']) && isset($_POST['content']) && isset($_POST['type'])) {
    if (empty($_POST['title']) or empty($_POST['content']) or empty($_POST['type'])) {
        $m="Please fill all the fields";
    else {
        try {
            $stmt=$conn->prepare("INSERT  INTO gists (`title`, `content`, `type`, `id`)
 VALUES (:title, : content, :type, :id)");
 $stmt->bindParam(':title', $tit);
            $stmt->bindParam(':content', $cont);
            $stmt->bindParam(':type', $type);
            $stmt->bindParam(':id', $id);
            switch ($_POST['type']) {
                case "1": $type="";
                case "2": $type="css";
                case "3": $type="javascript";
                case "4": $type="php";
                case "5": $type="xml";
                case "6": $type="jsx";
                case "7": $type="c#";
                default: $type="";
            $m="Gist added";
            header("Location: gist.php?id=".$id);
        catch (PDOException $er) {

Now, I’ll explain what this code does. First, it checks if $_GET["create"] , $_GET["title"] , $_GET["content"],$_GET["type"] is present. Then, it will check if the values are empty. If it’s empty, set the $e variable to true else it will try to add the data into the database and if there’s a error it’ll tell the user.

Now add this inside the #container of index.php.

<?php if (defined("ERROR")) {
            die("An error occured");
        } ?>
  if ($e) {
            echo "<div class=\"message error\">" . $m . "</div>";
    <h1 class="heading">Add new Gist</h1>
    <!---- ---->
    <div class="divider"></div>
    <!---- ---->
    <form action="?create" id="newgist" method="POST">
        <!---- ---->
        <label for="gist-title" class="label">Title</label>
        <input type="text" id="gist-title" name="title" class="input">
        <!---- ---->
        <label for="gist-content" class="label">Content</label>
        <textarea id="gist-content" name="content" class="input" style="height: 200px;font-family: monospace;font-size: 15px;"></textarea>
        <!---- ---->
        <label for="gist-type" class="label">Type</label>
        <select name="type" id="gist-type" class="input">
                <option value="1">Plain text</option>
                <option value="2">CSS</option>
                <option value="3">Javascript</option>
                <option value="4">PHP</option>
                <option value="5">HTML</option>
                <option value="6">JSX</option>
                <option value="7">C#</option>
        <!---- ---->
        <div class="divider"></div>
        <!---- ---->
        <button type="submit" class="btn">Create Gist</button>
    <!---- ---->
    <div class="divider"></div>
    <div class="divider"></div>
    <div class="divider"></div>
    <!---- ---->
<a href="gists.php" class="btn">Show other gists</a>

Single gist page

And in the gist.php file, add this code

<?php require "config.php";
if ( !isset($_GET["id"])) {
    die("Not Found");

if (isset($_GET["delete"])) {
    if (isset($_GET['confirm'])) {
        try {
            $stmt=$conn->prepare("DELETE FROM Gists WHERE `id` = :id");
            $stmt->bindParam(':id', $_GET["id"]);
            header("Location: gists.php");
        catch (PDOException $e) {
            echo "Error: " . $e->getMessage();
    die("<a href=\"gist.php?delete&id=" . $_GET["id"] . "&confirm=true\">Click to confirm</a><br><br><br><a class=\"btn\" href=\"gist.php?id=" . $_GET["id"] . "\">Click to go back</a>");

try {
    $stmt=$conn->prepare("SELECT * FROM Gists WHERE `id` = :id");
    $stmt->bindParam(':id', $_GET["id"]);
    $stmt->execute(); // set the resulting array to associative
    if ( !isset($result[0]['id'])) {
        die("Not found");
    else {

catch (PDOException $e) {
    echo "Error: " . $e->getMessage();

<h1 class="heading"><?=htmlspecialchars($title) ?><sup><?=$type ?></sup></h1><pre><code class="language-<?= $type ?>"><?=str_replace("<", "<", $code) ?></code></pre><br><br><a href="gists.php" class="btn">Show other gists</a><a href="index.php" class="btn">Create Gist</a><a href="gist.php?delete&id=<?= $result[0]['id'] ?>" style="background: #ab0000;" class="btn">Delete</a>

And for the end of the body, add this code.

<script  src="//"></script>

Ok, This is all this is all the hard stuff to do. So you can get the code from below.

Get the source code.


Something wrong or just found a typo? Edit this page on GitHub and make a PR!