What are Hooks?

Last Updated:July 1, 2023

When you write a PHP function in WordPress function.php file, there should be a way to call that function to execute. WordPress has something called Hooks that you can use to call your custom-written function.

Hooks in WordPress are a core feature of the WordPress development framework that allow developers to modify or add functionality to different parts of a WordPress website without directly modifying the core code. They provide a way to interact with and customize the behavior of WordPress themes and plugins.

There are two types of hooks in WordPress:

  • Action Hooks: Action hooks allow you to insert custom code at specific points in the execution flow of a WordPress page. Actions are typically used to add or modify content, perform actions, or enqueue scripts and stylesheets. Developers can “hook” their custom functions or code onto specific action hooks provided by WordPress or other themes and plugins.

Example of an action hook:

do_action('my_custom_action');
  • Filter Hooks: Filter hooks allow you to modify data or content before it is displayed or used within WordPress. Filters receive a value, modify it, and then return the modified value. They are useful for manipulating text, data, or modifying the behavior of specific functions. Filters can be used to modify default WordPress functionality or the output of themes and plugins.

Example of a filter hook:

$modified_content = apply_filters('my_custom_filter', $content);

Hooks follow a specific naming convention and have unique names to distinguish them. WordPress core, themes, and plugins provide various hooks that developers can leverage to extend and customize WordPress functionality.

Hooks are essential for creating custom themes, building plugins, and making modifications to existing functionality without directly modifying core files. They allow for better code organization, maintainability, and compatibility with future updates of WordPress.

Developers can add their custom functions or code to hooks using functions like add_action() for action hooks or add_filter() for filter hooks. By utilizing hooks effectively, developers can extend the capabilities of WordPress and create more dynamic and flexible websites.