Web dev

Multi cron with one cron job file

This article explain how to use only one PHP file for start several cron job in other PHP files.

The code below is useful for:

  • who has shared hosting services with only one cron job activable;
  • who doesn’t want to use or doesn’t want to have full access to the server crontab/cronjob;
  • who is curious about the article :-).


This is the sample environment solved:

  • A cronjob is active every hours and runs mainCron.php file;
  • there are fileCron1.php that will start at 02:00() and fileCron2.php will start at 23:00 ();
  • fileCron1 and 2 are in a directory accessible from a public url, there is an expedient to prevent improper use of these.

PHP code


startCron('fileCron1','02'); //will start the fileCron1.php file at 02:00
startCron('fileCron2','23'); //will start the fileCron2.php file at 23:00

function startCron($op,$time){
   $Hnow = date('H');        //get actual hour
   if ($Hnow >= $time && $Hnow < ($time+1)){require($op.'.php');}

the define SECRET statement will prevent the public access to the 2 fileCron PHP, but is necessary a line of code inside both files in the first line of code, after the php open tag (<?php) like that:

if (!isset(PROTECTION)){exit;}

for adding a cron file is possible to use the startCron function:  startCron(phpFilename, HH);

The code above is a good start also for a more precise cron, it will be easy to add minutes and seconds control.

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