Function and usage of get_file_data() in wordpress


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    The get_file_data() function in WordPress is used to retrieve metadata from a file. Here's a detailed explanation of its functionality and usage:


    • Name: get_file_data()
    • Purpose: Retrieves metadata from a file.


    • This function is primarily used to extract metadata from the first 8 KB of a file. It's commonly applied to plugin or theme files in WordPress.
    • Metadata needs to be defined in a specific format: each piece of metadata should be on its own line within the file.
    • Fields cannot span multiple lines. If a field's value extends beyond the first line, it will be truncated at the end of that line.
    • It's crucial for the file's author to ensure that the metadata is within the first 8 KB of the file. If it's not, they must modify the file accordingly to move the metadata to the top.


    1. $file (string, required): The absolute path to the file from which metadata is to be extracted.
    2. $default_headers (array, required): An array that specifies the headers to look for. It's formatted as array('HeaderKey' => 'Header Name').
    3. $context (string, optional): This parameter is used to specify a context, which, if provided, adds a filter hook named 'extra_$context_headers'. The default value is an empty string.


    • Type: string[]
    • Description: The function returns an associative array of file header values. Each header value is keyed by its header name.

    Sample Usage:

    // Define the absolute path to the file
    $file_path = '/path/to/your/plugin-or-theme/file.php';
    // Define the headers to retrieve
    $headers = array(
        'Version' => 'Version',
        'Author' => 'Author',
        'Name' => 'Name'
    // Call get_file_data function
    $file_data = get_file_data($file_path, $headers);
    // Example of accessing the data
    echo 'Plugin Version: ' . $file_data['Version'];
    echo 'Author: ' . $file_data['Author'];
    echo 'Plugin Name: ' . $file_data['Name'];

    In this example, the get_file_data() function is used to extract 'Version', 'Author', and 'Name' metadata from a specified plugin or theme file. The function returns these values in an associative array, which can then be accessed using the headers as keys.

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