Function and usage of get_user_option() in wordpress


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    The get_user_option() function in WordPress is a powerful tool for developers working with user-specific settings. Here's a detailed explanation and a sample usage of this function:

    Function Signature

    get_user_option( string $option, int $user, string $deprecated = '' ): mixed


    • Purpose: get_user_option() is used to retrieve a user-specific option. It can fetch options set for a specific site (in a multisite network) or network-wide settings if the site-specific option does not exist.
    • Functionality:
      • If the $user parameter is not provided, it defaults to the current user.
      • The function first checks for a user-specific option ($option) for the given site. If it doesn’t find one, it looks for a network-wide option.
      • The result is passed through a filter, which also receives the original option name and the user data object.
      • It's important to note that this function differs from get_option(), which retrieves options from the WordPress options table that are not specific to a particular user.


    1. $option (string, required): The name of the user option to retrieve.
    2. $user (int, optional): The user ID for whom the option is being retrieved. If not set, the current user's ID is used.
    3. $deprecated (string, optional): Previously used to allow a fallback to get_option(). Generally left as an empty string and not used in modern WordPress development.

    Return Value

    • Type: mixed
    • Description: Returns the value of the user option if successful. If the option does not exist or the user ID is invalid, it returns false.

    Sample Usage

    Consider a scenario where you need to retrieve a custom user setting, like 'dashboard_color', for the currently logged-in user:

    $user_id = get_current_user_id(); // Fetches current user ID
    $dashboard_color = get_user_option('dashboard_color', $user_id);
    if ($dashboard_color !== false) {
        echo "Dashboard color for user: " . $dashboard_color;
    } else {
        echo "No specific dashboard color set for this user.";

    In this example:

    • We first obtain the current user's ID using get_current_user_id().
    • Then, we attempt to retrieve the 'dashboard_color' option for this user.
    • If the option exists, its value is echoed; otherwise, a message indicating the absence of a specific setting is displayed.

    This function is particularly useful in scenarios where you have user-specific settings in a multi-user environment, such as a WordPress multisite network.

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