Function and usage of like_escape() in wordpress


Answers ( 1 )


    The like_escape() function in WordPress was previously used to escape strings before they were included in database search queries. However, it's important to note that this function was deprecated due to its poor documentation and the fact that it never worked as initially described. As a result, it's no longer recommended for use in modern WordPress development.

    Instead, developers are advised to use the wpdb::esc_like() method, which is a part of the wpdb class, for escaping strings in a LIKE query.

    Function Signature:

    like_escape( string $text ): string

    Function Description:

    • Purpose: The original intent was to escape a string for safe inclusion in a LIKE query.
    • Deprecation: The function was deprecated because it was not well-documented and did not function as expected.


    • $text (string, required): The text string that needs to be escaped.

    Return Value:

    • Returns (string): A string that is safe to include in a LIKE query. However, due to its deprecation, the reliability of this function is questionable.

    Usage (Not Recommended):

    $escaped_string = like_escape( $text_to_escape );

    However, this is not recommended due to the function's deprecation.

    Recommended Alternative:

    Use wpdb::esc_like() instead, as follows:

    global $wpdb;
    $escaped_string = $wpdb->esc_like( $text_to_escape );


    While like_escape() exists in WordPress's history, its use is discouraged due to deprecation and unreliability. Developers should use wpdb::esc_like() for escaping strings in LIKE queries as part of modern WordPress practices.

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