Simple Pagination in PHP

Today we will learn how to paginate mysql data in php. This is going to be very simple php pagination. We will retrieve recrods from our employees table and paginate them.

Simple Pagination in PHP

Files we are going to need for this pagination are:

  • employees.sql: Contains database records for employees table
  • index.php: Will be retrieving employees records from database and paginate them
  • style.css: Will contain the styles for our index.php and pagination.

employees.sql is the sql file which you will need to import it will create the employees table and insert dummy records for our pagination.


  `employee_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  `fullname` text,
  `email` varchar(255) DEFAULT NULL,
  `gender` tinytext,
  `designation` varchar(100) DEFAULT NULL,
  `image` text,
  PRIMARY KEY (`employee_id`)

INSERT INTO `employees` (`employee_id`, `fullname`, `email`, `gender`, `designation`, `image`) VALUES
(1, 'Art Venere', '[email protected]', 'Male', 'Salesman', NULL),
(2, 'Anderson Thomas', '[email protected]', 'Male', 'Salesman', NULL),
(3, 'Darell Garcia', '[email protected]', 'Male', 'Data Entry Operator', NULL),
(4, 'Alisha Watson', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Data Entry Operator', NULL),
(5, 'Catherine Wilson', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Data Entry Operator', NULL),
(6, 'Andrew Willis', '[email protected]', 'Male', 'Human Resource Manager', NULL),
(7, 'Jenna Gibson', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Customer Relationship Officer', NULL),
(8, 'Stephen Dorf', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Store Keeper', NULL),
(9, 'Angela Parsons', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Accountant', NULL),
(10, 'George Orwell', '[email protected]', 'Male', 'Accounts Manager', NULL),
(11, 'Graciela Motley', '[email protected]', 'Female', 'Assistant Manager', NULL);

Then constants.php will be containing site url and database connection constants that we will be using in our index.php.


define("SITE_URL", "http://" . $_SERVER["SERVER_NAME"]);
define("DB_HOST", "DATABASE_HOST"); // Your database host
define("DB_NAME", "DATABASE_NAME"); // Your database name
define("DB_USER", "DATABASE_USERNAME"); // Username for database
define("DB_PASSWORD", "DATABASE_PASSWORD"); // Password for database

Then we create index.php which is main file where we are retrieving employees records from database table and paginate them. We first include our constants.php and then create a connection to database. 

First we will get the number of records in employees table which is important to determine the number of pages in pagination. $current_page and $items_per_page will be used to determine the offset point in database on a single paginated page. For example if we are currently on page 2 and we are showing 3 employees per page then the start limit will be  ($current_page - 1) * $items_per_page = 3

We then gracefully handle the current page number if user enters an invalid page number in url like -1 or any page number greater than total number of pages. If current page is greater than total number of pages we set it to total number of pages. If current page is less than 1 then we set it to 1.

Next we save the page url in a variable $page_url and we use parse_url() to get query parameters and save it in $url_query. The reason I used this method is if there are other parameters in url they shouldn't be changed or skipped and it will be easier to update only page number this way. For example if url query is ?param1=value1&param2=value2&page=2 in this case we want to keep all parameters but want to update only page=2. Then we create the url of next page and previous page. At last we retrieve records of current page from database and paginate them.



$dbcon = mysqli_connect(DB_HOST, DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, DB_NAME) OR die(mysqli_connect_error());
$total_rows = mysqli_query($dbcon, "SELECT FOUND_ROWS() FROM employees")->num_rows;
$current_page = isset($_GET["page"]) && intval($_GET["page"]) ? intval($_GET["page"]) : 1;

//---Records to show per page
$items_per_page = 3;
//---Number of pages to show in pagination
$total_pages = ceil($total_rows / $items_per_page);

//---Graceful handling of current page being greater than total number of pages
if($current_page > $total_pages ){
$current_page = $total_pages;

//---Graceful handling of current page being less than 1
if($current_page < $total_pages ){
$current_page = 1;

//---Page url & query parameters
$page_url = sprintf("%s/simple-pagination-in-php", SITE_URL);
$url_query = parse_url($_SERVER["REQUEST_URI"], PHP_URL_QUERY);
parse_str($url_query, $url_query);

//---Prev page url using query parameter in url
$url_query["page"] = $current_page - 1;
$prev_url = sprintf("%s/?%s", $page_url, http_build_query($url_query));

//---Next page url using query parameter in url
$url_query["page"] = $current_page + 1;
$next_url = sprintf("%s/?%s", $page_url, http_build_query($url_query));

//---Where to start in database records
$limit_start = ($current_page - 1) * $items_per_page;
$query = mysqli_query($dbcon, "SELECT * FROM employees LIMIT {$limit_start},{$items_per_page}");

while ($row = mysqli_fetch_assoc($query)) {
$employees[] = $row;
<!DOCTYPE html>
<title>Simple Pagination in PHP</title>
<meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" http-equiv="Content-Type"/>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/style.css" />
<div class="main-container">
if (!empty($employees)) {
foreach ($employees as $employee) {
$image = empty($employee["employee_image"]) ? "no-image.png" : $employee["employee_image"];
<div class="employee-row">
<div class="employee-image">
<img src="images/<?php echo $image ?>" class="image-responsive" />
<div class="employee-details">
<div><?php echo $employee["fullname"] ?></div>
<div><?php echo $employee["email"] ?></div>
<div><?php echo $employee["designation"] ?></div>
<div><?php echo $employee["gender"] ?></div>
<?php }
<div class="pagination-container">
<ul class="pagination">
<li><a href="<?php echo $total_pages > 1 ? $prev_url : "javascript:void(0);" ?>" class="btn btn-default pager-prev">Prev</a></li>
for($i = 1; $i <= $total_pages; $i++) {
$url_query["page"] = $i;
$href = sprintf("%s/?%s", $page_url, http_build_query($url_query));
<li class="<?php echo $i== $current_page ? "active" : ""; ?>">
<a href="<?php echo $href; ?>" class="btn btn-default"><?php echo $i; ?></a>
<li><a href="<?php echo $total_pages > 1 ? $next_url : "javascript:void(0);" ?>" class="btn btn-default pager-next">Next</a></li>
} else {
echo "No Records Found";


    box-sizing: border-box;
    margin: 0px;
    padding: 0px;
    background: #f0f0f0;
    font: normal normal 14px Open Sans,Verdana, Arial;
a:link {
    text-decoration: none;
    color: #3778cd;
    max-width: 1024px;
    margin: 0px auto;
    margin: 20px 0px;
    padding: 0px;
    margin: 0px;
    list-style: none;
    float: left;
ul.pagination li{
    background: #fff;
    color: #3778cd;
    display: inline;
    margin: 5px auto;
ul.pagination > > a{
    background: #3778cd;
    color: #fff;
ul.pagination > li > a,
ul.pagination > li > span{
    float: left;
    margin-left: -1px;
    display: table;
    clear: both;
    background: #fff;
    color: #333;
    padding: 10px;
    margin-bottom: 15px;
    box-shadow: 0px 0px 2px rgba(100,100,100,0.5);
    width: 100%;
    height: auto;
.employee-image, .employee-details{
    width: 100px;
    padding-left: 10px;
    display: inline-block;
    padding: 5px 10px;
    border: 1px solid #ddd;
    background: #fff;