Static Keyword

Domains: PHP


This page describes the use of the static keyword to define static methods and properties. static can also be used to define static variables and for late static bindings. Please refer to those pages for information on those meanings of static.

Declaring class properties or methods as static makes them accessible without needing an instantiation of the class. A property declared as static cannot be accessed with an instantiated class object (though a static method can).

For compatibility with PHP 4, if no visibility declaration is used, then the property or method will be treated as if it was declared as public.

Static methods

Because static methods are callable without an instance of the object created, the pseudo-variable $this is not available inside the method declared as static.


In PHP 5, calling non-static methods statically generates an E_STRICT level warning.


In PHP 7, calling non-static methods statically is deprecated, and will generate an E_DEPRECATED warning. Support for calling non-static methods statically may be removed in the future.

Example #1 Static method example

class Foo {
    public static function aStaticMethod() {
        // ...

$classname = 'Foo';
$classname::aStaticMethod(); // As of PHP 5.3.0

Static properties

Static properties cannot be accessed through the object using the arrow operator ->.

Like any other PHP static variable, static properties may only be initialized using a literal or constant before PHP 5.6; expressions are not allowed. In PHP 5.6 and later, the same rules apply as const expressions: some limited expressions are possible, provided they can be evaluated at compile time.

As of PHP 5.3.0, it's possible to reference the class using a variable. The variable's value cannot be a keyword (e.g. self, parent and static).

Example #2 Static property example

class Foo
    public static $my_static = 'foo';

    public function staticValue() {
        return self::$my_static;

class Bar extends Foo
    public function fooStatic() {
        return parent::$my_static;

print Foo::$my_static . "\n";

$foo = new Foo();
print $foo->staticValue() . "\n";
print $foo->my_static . "\n";      // Undefined "Property" my_static 

print $foo::$my_static . "\n";
$classname = 'Foo';
print $classname::$my_static . "\n"; // As of PHP 5.3.0

print Bar::$my_static . "\n";
$bar = new Bar();
print $bar->fooStatic() . "\n";

Similar pages

Page structure



PHP tags

Variables in PHP