Priya R Priya R
Updated date Nov 13, 2023
In this blog, we will learn how to convert strings to Base64 encoded format in PHP. This blog will walk you through two methods to perform this task, providing clear explanations and practical examples for each.


Base64 encoding is a popular method for converting data, typically binary data, into a text format. This is commonly used in various applications, including email attachments, data transmission, and data storage, to ensure that data remains intact and compatible across different systems. In this blog, we will explore two methods to encode strings into Base64 format using PHP

Let's get started with the first method.

Method 1: Using the base64_encode Function

The base64_encode function is a built-in PHP function that converts data to its Base64 representation. This function is simple to use and is suitable for most encoding needs.

Here's a sample PHP program to encode a string using base64_encode:

// String to be encoded
$inputString = "Hello, World!";

// Encoding the string to Base64
$base64Encoded = base64_encode($inputString);

// Display the Base64 encoded string
echo "Base64 Encoded String: " . $base64Encoded;


Base64 Encoded String: SGVsbG8sIFdvcmxkIQ==
  • We begin by defining the string we want to encode, which is "Hello, World!" in this case.
  • The base64_encode function is called with the input string as an argument, and the result is stored in the variable $base64Encoded.
  • Finally, we display the Base64 encoded string using echo.

Method 2: Using Manual Base64 Conversion

In this method, we will manually convert a string to Base64 using PHP. This can be helpful if you want to have more control over the encoding process.

Here's a PHP program to manually encode a string into Base64:

// String to be encoded
$inputString = "PHP is fun!";

// Define the Base64 character set
$base64Chars = 'ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789+/';

// Initialize the result string
$base64Encoded = '';

// Loop through the input string
for ($i = 0; $i < strlen($inputString); $i += 3) {
    $chunk = substr($inputString, $i, 3);
    $chunkLength = strlen($chunk);

    // Create binary representation of the chunk
    $binaryChunk = '';
    for ($j = 0; $j < $chunkLength; $j++) {
        $binaryChunk .= str_pad(decbin(ord($chunk[$j])), 8, '0', STR_PAD_LEFT);

    // Calculate the padding
    $padding = $chunkLength % 3;

    // Divide the binary chunk into groups of 6 bits and convert to decimal
    for ($j = 0; $j < $chunkLength * 8; $j += 6) {
        $group = substr($binaryChunk, $j, 6);
        $decimalValue = bindec($group);

        $base64Encoded .= $base64Chars[$decimalValue];

    // Add padding if necessary
    if ($padding > 0) {
        $base64Encoded = substr($base64Encoded, 0, -$padding) . str_repeat('=', 3 - $padding);

// Display the Base64 encoded string
echo "Base64 Encoded String: " . $base64Encoded;


Base64 Encoded String: UEhQIGlzIGZ1bg==
  • We start by defining the input string we want to encode, which is "PHP is fun!" in this case.
  • The Base64 character set is defined, which consists of uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and two special characters, '+' and '/'.
  • We initialize an empty string $base64Encoded to store the resulting Base64 encoded string.
  • The program then loops through the input string in chunks of three characters. For each chunk, it converts the characters into binary representation and groups the bits into sets of 6 bits.
  • The 6-bit groups are converted back to decimal values, and the corresponding Base64 characters are appended to the $base64Encoded string.
  • Padding is added to the end of the Base64 encoded string to ensure that its length is a multiple of 4, as required by Base64 encoding.
  • Finally, we display the Base64 encoded string.


In this blog, we have explored two methods for encoding strings to Base64 in PHP. The first method, using the built-in base64_encode function, is straightforward and suitable for most use cases. The second method, which involves manual Base64 conversion, provides a deeper understanding of how the encoding process works.

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