Facebook Style URL Extract with PHP and jQuery AJAX

by Vincy. Last modified on July 6th, 2023.

In PHP, URL extraction can be done in many ways. In the previous tutorial, we have seen how to extract the remote content from a given URL using the PHP cURL script.

In this tutorial, we will do the Facebook-like URL extract using jQuery and PHP.

We are using SimpleHTMLDOM parser class for parsing the HTML DOM elements of the remote content. We are sending the URL via jQuery AJAX to parse the title, description, and images, if any.

After parsing, we print results with the extracted content.

View Demo

HTML Input to Call jQuery URL Extract

This code has a text area that triggers the URL extract on its key-up event.


<div id="frm-extract">
    <textarea id="url" placeholder="Enter the URL" onKeyup="extractURL()"></textarea>
    <div id="output"></div>

jQuery URL Extract Function

This function sends a URL to a PHP page to call SimpleHTMLDOM parser to extract the remote content. On successful extract, this function will slide down the results.

function extractURL() {
	url: "url_extract.php",
	type: "POST",
		$("#url").css("background","#FFF url(LoaderIcon.gif) no-repeat right center");
	success: function(responseData){  

PHP Remote URL Extract

We have to include SimpleHTMLDOM parser class in this PHP file. This class’s file_get_html() function is used for getting remote content. By parsing this content, we get the page title, description, and number of images.

if(!empty($_POST["url"]) && filter_var($_POST["url"], FILTER_VALIDATE_URL)) {		
	//extracting HTML content for the URL 
	$content = file_get_html($_POST["url"]); 
	//Parsing Title 
	foreach($content->find('title') as $element) {
		$title = $element->plaintext;
	//Parsing Body Content
	foreach($content->find('body') as $element) {
		$body_content =  implode(' ', array_slice(explode(' ', trim($element->plaintext)), 0, 50));

	$image_url = array();
	//Parse Site Images
	foreach($content->find('img') as $element){
		if(filter_var($element->src, FILTER_VALIDATE_URL)){
			list($width,$height) = getimagesize($element->src);
			if($width>150 || $height>150){
				$image_url[] =  $element->src;	
	$image_div = "";
	if(!empty($image_url[0])) {
		$image_div = "<div class='image-extract'>" .
		"<input type='hidden' id='index' value='0'/>" .
		"<img id='image_url' src='" . $image_url[0] . "' />";
		if(count($image_url)>1) {
		$image_div .= "<div>" .
		"<input type='button' class='btnNav' id='prev-extract' onClick=navigateImage(" . json_encode($image_url) . ",'prev') disabled />" .
		"<input type='button' class='btnNav' id='next-extract' target='_blank' onClick=navigateImage(" . json_encode($image_url) . ",'next') />" .
		$image_div .="</div>";
	$output = $image_div . "<div class='content-extract'>" .
	"<h3><a href='" . $_POST["url"] . "' target='_blank'>" . $title . "</a></h3>" .
	"<div>" . $body_content . "</div>".
	echo $output;

We can navigate among the extracted images on Facebook to select our favorite one. We send the extracted image URL in JSON format to a jQuery function.

jQuery Image Navigation

This function manages image navigation by clicking the previous following buttons.

function navigateImage(urlAry,nav) {
	var urlArrayLength = urlAry.length;
	var index = $('#index').val();
	if(nav=='prev') {
		if(index!=0) {
			var prev_index = (parseInt(index)-1);
			$(".image-extract img").attr('src', urlAry[prev_index]);
			if(prev_index==0) $('#prev-extract').prop('disabled',true);
	if(nav=='next') {
		if(index<urlArrayLength-1) {
			var next_index = (parseInt(index)+1);
			$(".image-extract img").attr('src', urlAry[next_index]);
			if(next_index>=urlArrayLength-1) $('#next-extract').prop('disabled',true);

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Written by Vincy, a web developer with 15+ years of experience and a Masters degree in Computer Science. She specializes in building modern, lightweight websites using PHP, JavaScript, React, and related technologies. Phppot helps you in mastering web development through over a decade of publishing quality tutorials.

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