WordPress Plugin development


  • add_action(string $tag, callable $function_to_add, int $priority = 10, int $accepted_args = 1)
  • add_filter(string $tag, callable $function_to_add, int $priority = 10, int $accepted_args = 1)


$tag(string) (Required) The name of the filter to hook the $function_to_add callback to.
$function_to_add(callable) (Required) The callback to be run when the filter is applied.
$priority(int) (Optional) Used to specify the order in which the functions associated with a particular action are executed. Lower numbers correspond with earlier execution, and functions with the same priority are executed in the order in which they were added to the action.Default value: 10
$accepted_args(int) (Optional) The number of arguments the function accepts.Default value: 1


The way Plugin hooks work is that at various times while WordPress is running, WordPress checks to see if any Plugins have registered functions to run at that time, and if so, the functions are run. These functions modify the default behavior of WordPress.

There are two kinds of hooks:

Filters give you the ability to change the value of a piece of data during the execution of WordPress. Callback functions for filters will be passed through a variable, modified, and then returned. They are meant to work in an isolated manner, and should never affect global variables or anything else outside of the function.

Actions, in contrast, allow you to add to or change how WordPress operates. Your callback function will run at a specific point in in the execution of WordPress, and can perform some kind of task, like echoing output to the user or inserting something into the database.

Filter Reference

Action Reference


Plugin API

Filters vs Actions


function before_comment($comment_text){
            return 'input before comment'.$comment_text;
function after_comment($comment_text){
            return $comment_text.'input after comment';



function hook_javascript() {
    $output="<script> alert('Page is loading...'); </script>";
    echo $output;

Plugin development examples : Favorite Song Widget

function wpshout_register_widgets() {
    register_widget( 'Favorite_Song_Widget');

add_action( 'widgets_init', 'wpshout_register_widgets' );

class Favorite_Song_Widget extends WP_Widget {

function Favorite_Song_Widget() {
    // Instantiate the parent object
            'favorite_song_widget', // Base ID
            __('Favorite Song', 'text_domain'), // Name
            array( 'description' => __( 'Widget for playable favorite song', 'text_domain' ), ) // Args

function widget( $args, $instance ) {
    echo $args['before_widget']; 
    echo '<h3>Favorite Song Lists:</h3>';
    echo $instance['songinfo'];
    echo '<a href="' . $instance['link'] . '">Download it</a><br>';
    echo $instance['description'];
            echo $args['after_widget'];

function update($new_abc,$old_abc) {
    $instance = $old_abc;
    // Fields
    $instance['link'] = strip_tags($new_abc['link']);
    $instance['songinfo'] = strip_tags($new_abc['songinfo']);
            $instance['description'] = strip_tags($new_abc['description']);
    return $instance;

// Widget form creation
function form($instance) {
     $link = '';
    $songinfo = '';
            $description = '';
    // Check values
    if( $instance) {
        $link = esc_attr($instance['link']);
        $songinfo = esc_textarea($instance['songinfo']);
                    $description = esc_textarea($instance['description']);
    } ?>

        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('link'); ?>"><?php _e('Link', 'wp_widget_plugin'); ?></label>
        <input class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('link'); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name('link'); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo $link; ?>" />
        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('songinfo'); ?>"><?php _e('Song Info:', 'wp_widget_plugin'); ?></label>
        <input class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('songinfo'); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name('songinfo'); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo $songinfo; ?>" />
        <label for="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('description'); ?>"><?php _e('Description:', 'wp_widget_plugin'); ?></label>
        <textarea class="widefat" id="<?php echo $this->get_field_id('description'); ?>" name="<?php echo $this->get_field_name('description'); ?>" type="text" value="<?php echo $description; ?>"></textarea>
            <p><a href="#" id="add-more-tabs"><?php _e('Add More Tabs', 'wp_widget_plugin'); ?></a></p>
<?php }