If you’re just starting to learn about WordPress, or you want to freshen up your knowledge on using WordPress hooks before starting to code a premium theme, we’ve got a real treat for you today. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced developer, chances are, you’ll find something new in here that will improve your coding skills and streamline the entire development process. So, let’s get started with answering the most essential question and go on from there.
What Are WordPress Hooks?
You can think of WordPress hooks as special areas of the code where you can hook your own (or third-party) code. By using WordPress hooks, you can change what WordPress is doing or outputting by default. There are actually two types of WordPress hooks: action and filter hooks.
Action hooks allow you to do something, or take an action. It’s usually triggered at a specific time, or in a certain context: for example, loading a widget when WordPress is initializing, or even sharing a tweet each time someone publishes a new post. Filter hooks, on the other hand, allow you to modify data before it’s sent to the browser or the database. For example, every time WordPress outputs a blog post, the title goes through the the_title filter, which means you can allow a plugin to hook that filter and modify the appearance of the title.
Where Should You Place Them?
Now that you’ve got the basic understanding of what hooks are and different ways developers are using WordPress hooks, let’s take a look at where you can actually place them. In general, you can use your child theme’s functions.php file or develop a custom plugin. Developing a custom plugin is perhaps the best option, as it will allow you to use the same filters and actions across various themes and disable them when testing and debugging the code.
Tips For Using WordPress Hooks And Removing Them
If you’d like to hook in your own code, it’s pretty simple once you get a hang of it. First, however, you need to have a few vital pieces of information in order to start using WordPress hooks effectively. For actions, for example, you’ll need to know the name of the hook and when it runs. An action hook will look something like this:
add_action( $hook, $function_to_add, $priority, $accepted_args ); In the example above, priority is used to define the priority of the action, and it can be set to anything from 1 to 999.
For filters, you’ll also need to know the name of the hook, as well as the value you’ll get and have to return. Just like with the actions, you can also define priority if you want, but you don’t have to.
add_filter( $tag, $function_to_add, ); To remove a hook is quite simple. Just use the function remove_action or remove_filter along with the name of the hook, function, and priority.