How To Run Php Script Every 5 Minutes

How To Articles

Running a PHP script every 5 minutes can be a useful technique when you want to automate certain tasks or update data on your website regularly. I have personally found this method to be extremely helpful in maintaining the functionality and freshness of my web applications.

Setting up a cron job

To run a PHP script every 5 minutes, we will be using a cron job. A cron job is a time-based job scheduler in Unix-like operating systems. It allows you to schedule tasks to run automatically at specified intervals. Here’s how you can set up a cron job to run your PHP script:

  1. Access your server’s command-line interface (CLI) or terminal.
  2. Use the command crontab -e to open the crontab file for editing.
  3. Add a new line at the end of the file with the following syntax:

*/5 * * * * /path/to/php /path/to/your/script.php

  • */5 * * * *: This represents the schedule interval. In this case, it means every 5 minutes.
  • /path/to/php: Replace this with the path to the PHP executable on your server.
  • /path/to/your/script.php: Replace this with the path to your PHP script file.

Save the crontab file and exit the editor. The cron job is now set up and your PHP script will be executed automatically every 5 minutes.

Additional considerations

There are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when running a PHP script with a cron job:

  • Make sure the PHP script you want to run is executable. You can use the chmod command to set the appropriate permissions.
  • Double-check the paths to the PHP executable and script file to ensure they are correct.
  • Consider redirecting the output of the PHP script to a log file for debugging purposes. You can do this by modifying the cron job command like this:

*/5 * * * * /path/to/php /path/to/your/script.php >> /path/to/logfile.log 2>&1

This will append the output of the script to the specified log file, including any error messages.


Running a PHP script every 5 minutes can be a powerful way to automate tasks and keep your website up to date. By setting up a cron job and following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily achieve this level of automation. Whether you need to update data, send notifications, or perform any other recurring task, this technique will save you time and effort in the long run.