As you know Composer is a package management app.

There are situation whem you do not know how to install Composer on your development and / or production servers. So you you can choose one of the next methods:

Method 1: Use PHP-Download.com To Install PHP Packages Without Composer

This is the simplest method.

The website php-download.com helps you download all the dependencies of a PHP package along with the vendor folder.

Technically speaking, the site still uses Composer under the hood. But you don’t really have to care about how it does its magic. It gives you a zip file output that you can immediately unzip and consume without needing to install anything.

From the website’s homepage, enter the name of the github package you’re looking for. For example, enter zoonman/linkedin-api-php-client and do a search.

Installing PHP Packages Without Composer (Example zoonman LinkedIn API client)

The download page allows you to chose if you want a “require” option or if you want to “create project”. Most people would probably want to use the “require” option. If you’re working with a PHP framework like Laravel or CakePHP, you may want to explore the “create project” option.

When you select “require”, the site uses Composer under the hood to put all of the library’s dependencies together into a neat zip file that includes the vendor folder, autoload.php, etc.

Press download to get the zip file. Now, you can include these in your project normally.

Method 2: Manually Installing PHP Libraries Without Composer

he composer.json file lists the dependencies. In your example:

"require": {
    "php": ">=5.5.0",
    "guzzlehttp/guzzle": "^6.0",
    "psr/http-message": "^1.0",
    "psr/log": "^1.0"
},

You must then find the corresponding packages in the packagist site. Repeat the same process for each dependency: find additional dependencies in their corresponding composer.json files and search again.

When you finally have a complete list of the required packages, you only need to install them all one by one. For the most part, it’s just a matter of dropping the files somewhere in your project directory. But you must also ensure that PHP can find the needed classes. Since you aren’t using Composer’s auto-loader, you need to add them to your own custom autoloader. You can figure out the information from the respective composer.json files, e.g.:

"autoload": {
    "psr-4": { "Coinbase\\Wallet\\": "src/" }
},

If you don’t use a class auto-loader you’ll need to figure out the individual require_once statements. You’ll probably need a lot of trial and error because most library authors won’t care documenting that.

Conclusion

We highly recommend Method 1 above.

As for Method 2, when you consider the amount of manual work involved in getting it to work, you may conclude that it makes more sense to use Composer after all. We fully agree with that.

We included Method 2 (manual method) mostly for information purposes. It helps you understand some of what Composer does for you behind the scenes and why it has become so popular among PHP developers.

No package manager is perfect. But at this time, Composer is currently still the best at what it does.