Identical to file(), except that file_get_contents() returns the file in a string, starting at the specified offset up to maxlen bytes. On failure, file_get_contents() will return FALSE.
file_get_contents() is the preferred way to read the contents of a file into a string. It will use memory mapping techniques if supported by your OS to enhance performance.
Note: If you're opening a URI with special characters, such as spaces, you need to encode the URI with urlencode().
Note: context parameter can be skipped by NULL.
Note: This function is binary-safe.
Tip: You can use a URL as a filename with this function if the fopen wrappers have been enabled. See fopen() for more details on how to specify the filename and Appendix M for a list of supported URL protocols.
Note: Context support was added with PHP 5.0.0. For a description of contexts, refer to Reference CLIII, Stream Functions.
When using SSL, Microsoft IIS will violate the protocol by closing the connection without sending a close_notify indicator. PHP will report this as "SSL: Fatal Protocol Error" when you reach the end of the data. To workaround this, you should lower your error_reporting level not to include warnings. PHP 4.3.7 and higher can detect buggy IIS server software when you open the stream using the https:// wrapper and will suppress the warning for you. If you are using fsockopen() to create an ssl:// socket, you are responsible for detecting and suppressing the warning yourself.