Function and usage of get_plugin_data() in wordpress


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    The get_plugin_data() function in WordPress is used to extract metadata from a plugin file. This metadata is typically provided in the header of the plugin file. Here's a detailed explanation of the function and its usage:

    Function Signature:

    get_plugin_data( string $plugin_file, bool $markup = true, bool $translate = true ): array


    • Parses Plugin Contents: It reads the plugin file and extracts the metadata, which includes information like the plugin's name, version, author, and more.
    • Retrieves Plugin’s Metadata: The function specifically looks for plugin headers, which should be formatted correctly and placed at the beginning of the file.


    • Formatting Requirements: All plugin headers must be on individual lines without any newlines within them. If the description contains newlines, only the first part (before the newline) will be displayed.
    • Header Example:
      Plugin Name: Example Plugin Name
      Plugin URI:
      Description: This is a description of the Example Plugin.
      Author: John Doe
      Author URI:
      Version: 1.0.0
      ... other optional headers ...
    • File Size Limitation: Only the first 8 KB of the plugin file are scanned. If the plugin data is not within this limit, the plugin author needs to rearrange the file so that the headers are at the top.
    • File Permissions: It is assumed that the file has read permissions. The function does not check this and only opens the file for reading.


    • $plugin_file (string, required): The absolute path to the main plugin file.
    • $markup (bool, optional): Determines if the returned data should have HTML markup. Default is true.
    • $translate (bool, optional): Determines if the returned data should be translated. Default is true.

    Return (Array):

    • The function returns an array of plugin data, where each piece of data corresponds to a piece of metadata in the plugin file. The array keys and sample values include:
      • Name: "Example Plugin Name"
      • PluginURI: ""
      • Version: "1.0.0"
      • Description: "This is a description of the Example Plugin."
      • Author: "John Doe"
      • AuthorURI: ""
      • TextDomain: Plugin textdomain
      • DomainPath: Relative directory path to .mo files
      • Network: Boolean indicating if the plugin can only be activated network-wide
      • RequiresWP: Minimum required version of WordPress
      • RequiresPHP: Minimum required version of PHP
      • UpdateURI: ID of the plugin for update purposes, usually a URI
      • Title: Title of the plugin and link to the plugin’s site
      • AuthorName: Plugin author’s name

    Values will be empty if not supplied by the plugin. The function is particularly useful for plugin developers and administrators who need to programmatically access plugin information.

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