Function and usage of has_filter() in wordpress


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    The has_filter() function in WordPress is a utility function used to check if a specific filter hook has been registered in a WordPress website. This function is particularly useful for developers who need to verify the existence of hooks and their callbacks in themes or plugins. Here's a detailed explanation of its usage:

    Function Signature

    has_filter( string $hook_name, callable|string|array|false $callback = false ): bool|int

    Function Description

    • Purpose: has_filter() checks whether any filter has been registered for a specified hook in WordPress.
    • Return Values: The function returns different types of values based on the parameters passed:
      • If only $hook_name is provided, it returns a boolean value indicating whether the hook has anything registered.
      • If both $hook_name and $callback are provided, it returns the priority of the hook if that specific callback is attached. If the callback is not attached, it returns false.


    1. $hook_name (string, required): This is the name of the filter hook you want to check. Filter hooks in WordPress are points in the code where plugins can alter or add to the core functionality.

    2. $callback (callable|string|array|false, optional): This parameter specifies the callback function that you want to check for on the specified hook. It's optional and defaults to false. The callback can be a function name, an array (for class methods), or a callable.

      • If $callback is omitted, the function will only check if anything is registered on the hook.
      • If $callback is provided, the function checks whether that specific callback is registered on the hook.


    1. Check if Any Filter is Registered on a Hook:

      if ( has_filter('the_content') ) {
          // Do something if any filter is registered for 'the_content'
    2. Check if a Specific Callback is Registered on a Hook:

      if ( has_filter('the_content', 'my_custom_filter_function') === 10 ) {
          // Do something if 'my_custom_filter_function' is attached to 'the_content' with priority 10

    Important Notes

    • Non-Boolean Return Values: When using the $callback argument, has_filter() may return a non-boolean value (like 0) that evaluates to false. Therefore, it's recommended to use the === operator for testing the return value to differentiate between false and 0.
    • Use in Development: This function is commonly used in plugin or theme development to conditionally add or remove filters based on whether a specific hook or callback is already in use.

    Sample Usage

    Consider a scenario where you want to modify the WordPress content only if a specific filter ('my_custom_filter_function') is not already applied to 'the_content' hook:

    if ( has_filter('the_content', 'my_custom_filter_function') === false ) {
        add_filter('the_content', 'my_custom_filter_function');

    In this example, the add_filter() function is called only if 'my_custom_filter_function' is not already attached to the 'the_content' hook. This prevents duplicate application of the same filter.

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