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What is a PHP Session?

PHP Sessions allow web pages to be treated as a group, allowing variables to be shared between different pages. One of the weaknesses of cookies is that the cookie is stored on the user’s computer (and by user we mean the person with the browser visiting your web site). This provides the user the ability to access, view and modify that cookie for potentially nefarious purposes.
 
PHP sessions, on the other hand, store only an ID cookie on the user’s system which is used to reference the session file on the server. As such, the user has no access to the content of the session file, thereby providing a secure alternative to cookies.
 
PHP sessions also work when the user has disabled the browser’s cookie support. In this situation it includes the session ID information in the web page URLs.
 
PHP Session Variables
 
When you are working with an application, you open it, do some changes and then you close it. This is much like a Session. The computer knows who you are. It knows when you start the application and when you end. But on the internet there is one problem: the web server does not know who you are and what you do because the HTTP address doesn’t maintain state.
 
A PHP session solves this problem by allowing you to store user information on the server for later use (i.e. username, shopping items, etc). However, session information is temporary and will be deleted after the user has left the website. If you need a permanent storage you may want to store the data in a database.