Function and usage of get_tag_regex() in wordpress


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    The get_tag_regex() function in WordPress is used for generating a regular expression (RegEx) to match an opening HTML tag. Here's a detailed explanation and sample usage:

    Function Signature

    get_tag_regex( string $tag ): string

    Function Purpose

    • Primary Function: Generates a RegEx pattern that can be used to match an opening HTML tag in a given text.
    • Liberal Matching: The function is designed to liberally match an opening tag of the specified HTML element.


    • Self-Closing Tags: Matches tags that are self-closing (e.g., <img src="image.jpg" />).
    • Tags Without Body: Matches tags that do not contain a body but have a corresponding closing tag (e.g., <div></div>).
    • Tags With Body and Closing Tag: Matches tags that contain a body and a corresponding closing tag (e.g., <div>Content</div>).
    • Limitations:
      • Does not balance inner tags.
      • Does not ensure the generation of valid HTML.


    • $tag (string, required): The name of the HTML tag for which the RegEx is to be generated. Example value: 'video'.

    Return Value

    • Returns (string): A string representing the RegEx pattern for the specified tag.

    Sample Usage

    Suppose you want to match all the video tags in a given HTML content. Here’s how you could use get_tag_regex():

    $tag_name = 'video';  // Specify the tag to match
    $regex_pattern = get_tag_regex($tag_name);  // Get the RegEx pattern for the tag
    $html_content = '...';  // Some HTML content containing <video> tags
    preg_match_all("/{$regex_pattern}/", $html_content, $matches);  // Use the pattern to match tags
    // $matches will contain all the occurrences of <video> tags

    Practical Application

    This function is particularly useful when you need to parse or manipulate HTML content in WordPress, such as in plugins or themes, where you might need to search for, alter, or remove specific HTML tags.

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