Function and usage of global_terms() in wordpress


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    The global_terms() function in WordPress is used to maintain a canonical list of terms by syncing terms created for each blog with the global terms table. This function is particularly relevant in a WordPress Multisite environment, where multiple blogs or sites are hosted within a single WordPress installation. Here's a detailed explanation of the function and its usage:

    Function Signature

    global_terms( int $term_id, string $deprecated = '' ): int


    1. $term_id (int, required): This is the ID of a term on the current blog. A term can be anything like a category, tag, or a custom taxonomy term. This ID is specific to the blog in the multisite network.

    2. $deprecated (string, optional): This parameter is not used. It exists for backward compatibility. The default value is an empty string ''.


    • Purpose: The primary function of global_terms() is to ensure that there is a consistent and unified list of terms across the entire network of sites in a WordPress Multisite installation. When you create a term in one of the blogs, this function helps in syncing that term with a central, global list of terms.

    • Process: When you call global_terms() with a term ID from a specific blog, it checks if this term is already synchronized with the global terms table. If not, it will add the term to the global terms table.

    • Return Value: The function returns an integer, which is the ID of the term in the global terms table. This ID might be different from the original $term_id passed to the function, as it represents the term's ID in a network-wide context.

    Sample Usage

    Here's a simple example of how global_terms() might be used:

    $local_term_id = 123; // An example term ID from the current blog
    $global_term_id = global_terms($local_term_id);
    // Now you can use $global_term_id for operations that need to work network-wide

    In this example, $local_term_id is the ID of a term from the current blog. By passing it to global_terms(), we get $global_term_id, which is the ID of the corresponding term in the global terms table.

    Important Notes

    • Multisite Only: global_terms() is relevant only in a WordPress Multisite setup. In a standard WordPress installation, this function wouldn't have any impact.

    • Deprecation: The $deprecated parameter is not used and is kept for backward compatibility. It's good practice to avoid using deprecated parameters.

    • Context of Use: This function is generally used in plugins or themes that need to sync or manage terms across a multisite network.

    By using global_terms(), developers can ensure that terms are consistently managed across all sites in a Multisite network, making it easier to handle data such as categories, tags, and custom taxonomies in a unified manner.

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