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Function Reference/add action


Hooks a function on to a specific action.

More specifically, this function will run the function $function_to_add when the event $hook occurs.

This function is an alias to add_filter().

See Plugin API/Action Reference for a list of action hooks. Actions are (usually) triggered when the WordPress core calls do_action().


<?php add_action$hook$function_to_add$priority$accepted_args ); ?>


(string) (required) The name of the action to which $function_to_add is hooked. (See Plugin API/Action Reference for a list of action hooks). Can also be the name of an action inside a theme or plugin file, or the special tag "all", in which case the function will be called for all hooks.
Default: None
(callback) (required) The name of the function you wish to be hooked.
Default: None
(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: 10
(int) (optional) The number of arguments the hooked function accepts. In WordPress 1.5.1+, hooked functions can take extra arguments that are set when the matching do_action() or apply_filters() call is run. For example, the action comment_id_not_found will pass any functions that hook onto it the ID of the requested comment.
Default: 1

Return Values

Always True.


Simple Hook

To email some friends whenever an entry is posted on your blog:

function email_friends( $post_ID ) {
   $friends = 'bob@example.org, susie@example.org';
   wp_mail( $friends, "sally's blog updated", 'I just put something on my blog: http://blog.example.com' );

   return $post_ID;
add_action( 'publish_post', 'email_friends' );

Accepted Arguments

A hooked function can optionally accept arguments from the action call, if any are set to be passed. In this simplistic example, the echo_comment_id function takes the $comment_id argument, which is automatically passed to when the do_action() call using the comment_id_not_found filter hook is run.

function echo_comment_id( $comment_id ) {
   echo 'Comment ID ' . $comment_id . ' could not be found';
add_action( 'comment_id_not_found', 'echo_comment_id', 10, 1 );

Using with a Class

To use add_action() when your plugin or theme is built using classes, you need to use the array callable syntax. You would pass the function to add_action() as an array, with your object as the first element, then the name of the class method, like so:

class My_Plugin_Class {
    public function save_posts_hook() {
         // do stuff here...

$my_class = new My_Plugin_Class; 
add_action( 'save_post', array( $my_class, 'save_posts_hook' ) );

If the class method can be called statically, the approach is much like the way you would a function: you can just pass a string with the full method:

class My_Plugin_Class {
    public static function save_posts_hook() {
         // do stuff here...

add_action( 'save_post', 'My_Plugin_Class::save_posts_hook' );


To find out the number and name of arguments for an action, simply search the code base for the matching do_action() call. For example, if you are hooking into 'save_post', you would find it in post.php:  <?php do_action'save_post'$post_ID$post$update ); ?> 

Your add_action call would look like:  <?php add_action'save_post''my_save_post'10); ?> 

And your function would be:

function my_save_post( $post_ID, $post, $update ) {
   // do stuff here

Change Log

Since 1.2.0

Source File

add_action() is located in wp-includes/plugin.php.


Actions: has_action(), add_action(), do_action(), do_action_ref_array(), did_action(), remove_action(), remove_all_actions()

See also index of Function Reference and index of Template Tags.
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