When I was first starting to create web sites with PHP, I struggled with getting error reporting turned on. Turns out, that you can have it enable at the server, or in the document, or in both. For development, it’s probably a good idea to have this at the top of script:
error_reporting(E_ALL); ini_set('display_errors', '1');
This will allow php to display all errors, notices, and warnings. Simple things like developing with error reporting full on like this help prevent security breaches and unknown application behavior.