The Rewrite API for WordPress is the most important characteristic that you almost certainly don’t learn a lot about, but you’re without a doubt the use of with out even knowing it. The API supplies the capability for developing your personal distinctive hyperlinks – permalinks – on your site.

On this instructional, I’ll provide an explanation for permalinks in-depth – what they’re, why they’re everlasting, their conceivable buildings, and the way you’ll rewrite them in a sort this is intelligible for each people and machines. I’ll additionally provide an explanation for some key ideas in the back of permalinks in WordPress, first taking a look at the way to upload variables to non-optimized URLs and the way to use those variables and their values to question your database. Later, we’ll discover URL rewriting and the way to construct the most efficient construction for beautiful permalinks.

What we’ll duvet on this article:

URLs are the automobile used to ship HTTP GET requests over the internet. Extra exactly, the GET approach submits key=worth pairs inside a URL to get a reaction from a specified useful resource (learn extra about this matter at W3Schools).

Take the next URL:

The query mark splits this URL into two portions. The primary section is the area call, the second one section is the question string, which is a suite of question variables and values figuring out the useful resource asked by means of the consumer. The question string identifies the useful resource, nevertheless it doesn’t let us know the rest about its contents. We will be able to say that it’s now not semantically significant for people and machines.

Because of the Rewrite API, we will be able to translate non-semantic URLs into their semantic equivalent with an operation of URL rewriting. A rewrite rule would translate the previous URL into the next construction:

With the class and publish name throughout the URL, this construction describes extra exactly the useful resource content material for each people and engines like google, leading to a usable, obtainable and Search engine marketing-friendly URL. It may be bookmarked, shared and saved in a variety of tactics and it must by no means alternate in the longer term in order that the related useful resource may well be completely focused. This is why we name them permalinks.

URLs in WordPress: Question Vars and Question Strings

We will be able to ask WordPress to retrieve virtually the rest from a web site’s database. Normally, you question for posts in a specified class, or categorised with an exact tag, or revealed all over a selected time period. When the consumer submits a URL, WordPress mechanically handles the request and, in line with the template hierarchy laws, presentations the ends up in a unmarried web page or inside an archive.

Within the first a part of this publish, I’ll display you the way to employ integrated question string variables and the way to check in our personal customized variables, we’ll instruct WordPress to get those variables from the URLs and use them to question the database, after which we will be able to output the ensuing record of posts right into a customized archive web page.

Within the ultimate a part of this publish, I’ll display you the gear WordPress supplies us to translate those semantically unintelligible question strings into significant, obtainable, usable and Search engine marketing-optimized permalinks. I’ll additionally come up with an summary of default and customized permalink buildings equipped by means of WordPress, and in the end we’ll construct customized beautiful permalinks the use of the Rewrite API.

Public and Non-public Question Vars

Question vars are the keys that outline any SQL question WordPress runs towards the database. Those variables are available in two primary classes, relying at the method we will be able to use them. Non-public question vars will also be best set inside a script, whilst public question vars will also be despatched to WordPress with a question string.

But even so private and non-private variables, WordPress permits us to check in our personal customized question vars.

In a URL, public question variables are the keys following the query mark (the question string), and are visual after we’ve now not enabled Beautiful permalinks at the Settings → Permalinks admin web page. The next URL is an instance:

author_name is a public question var telling WordPress that the consumer is searching for all posts by means of the consumer carlodaniele. We will be able to upload a variety of public question vars to the question string, as we do within the following URL:

Now, WordPress gets all posts by means of carlodaniele and tagged as toolbar. And we will be able to do much more. The following question string is a mixture of a customized publish kind and a taxonomy-name=taxonomy-term pair.

Not like public variables, personal question vars will also be best used inside a script. Because of this, I received’t discover them on this publish (you’ll learn extra in the WordPress Codex). Right here, I will be able to merely indicate that the next URL received’t give us the anticipated consequence:,4,6

Right here author__in is a personal question var, and WordPress received’t display the posts by means of the required authors.

Maximum instances, due to public question vars, we don’t want to write code to regulate a consumer’s requests, we simply want to construct the fitting question strings and WordPress will do the remainder.

Now, take a look on the following record of public vars:

We will be able to retrieve posts by means of kind, writer, class, tag, taxonomy, yr, month, day, and so forth. We’ve got a question var for nearly any roughly question. What lacks right here, regardless that, is the likelihood to construct queries according to customized fields (we name them meta queries). If truth be told, WordPress supplies the meta_key and meta_value question vars, however they belong to the non-public workforce of variables, so that they’re now not to be had for URL requests, and must be best utilized in scripts. So, how are we able to ask for meta queries from URL question strings?

Step one is to check in new question vars.

Customized Question Vars

As soon as registered, those variables can happen in a question string identical to another public question variable. The next serve as presentations us the way to upload them to the record:

The query_vars filter permits us so as to add, take away or edit present variables earlier than the question runs. Right here we’ve simply added two customized variables and, any more, we will be able to get their values due to the get_query_var() function:

Now the question var values are to be had to construct a customized question.

WP_Query Elegance

When the consumer asks for a selected useful resource, being it a unmarried web page, a seek consequence or an inventory of posts, WordPress instantiates a brand new WP_Query object, whose strategies permit us to govern the real SQL question earlier than its execution.

I will be able to suppose you’re accustomed to the WP_Query elegance. If now not, earlier than studying over this publish make the effort to test our In-depth Guide to Conquering WP_Query.

Customized Box (Meta) Queries

We’ve got were given a number of parameters that let us to set a custom field query, just like the meta_query argument, which is a multi-dimentional array of unmarried meta queries with the next keys:

  • key (string) – a customized box key
  • worth (string|array) – customized box worth
  • kind (string) – customized box kind
  • evaluate (string) – a comparability operator

For example, shall we set the next meta_query argument:

'relation' is an non-compulsory part surroundings the common sense relation between unmarried queries (defaults to 'AND').

Out of doors the WordPress Loop (i.e. in a plugin document), we will be able to cross the array to the set approach of the $question object as follows:

The set method helps to keep two arguments: the question variable call and its worth.

To impact the question, we’d alternate it after the question advent, however earlier than its execution. To perform this activity, we’ll hook a callback serve as to the pre_get_posts action.

The next instance presentations how all this works:

It’s essential to notice that the $question object is handed to the serve as by means of reference, now not by means of worth. Because of this any adjustments to the $question object impacts at once the unique question, now not simply an example of question. As a outcome, it’s a excellent follow to ensure that we’re enhancing simply the primary question (! $query->is_main_query()), and the adjustments aren’t affecting admin queries (is_admin()). When wanted, shall we take a look at different stipulations to remember to alternate the primary question completely in explicit pages (i.e. is_post_type_archive()).

Now, let’s put in combination all that we’ve been speaking about to this point in a case in point.

List Posts by means of Customized Fields

Say you need to construct a ebook catalogue with WordPress. With this function, you might check in a customized publish kind named ebook including a number of customized fields, like author_name, author_surname, writer, and so forth. And say you need to offer web site customers with hyperlinks to archive pages by means of author_surname.

Now we all know what to do. First, we need to check in a question var naming it book-author:

Observe that the customized question variable has been named book-author and now not writer, which is a reserved time period for publish authors (view the total record of reserved phrases in the Codex). Now WordPress is acutely aware of the question var, and we will be able to get its worth from a URL due to the get_query_var serve as.

Now believe the next serve as hooked to pre_get_posts:

get_query_var() will get the price of 'book-author'. If to be had, this worth is driven into the $meta_query array.

We’ve set a price for the 'relation' part, too, simply in case we set a couple of meta question.

In any case, the set approach passes the array of parameters to the $question object, converting the question earlier than its execution.

Now you’ll ship a URL like the next:

And also you’ll get all books for your archive the place the customized box author_surname is Rowling.

With a excellent working out of WP_Query object and question vars, we will be able to get the rest from the database simply sending the correct URLs. It’s time to rewrite those URLs into usable, obtainable and Search engine marketing-friendly buildings.

WordPress supplies 3 permalink structures:

  • Unsightly permalinks
  • Beautiful permalinks
  • PATHINFO permalinks (index.php seems within the URL)

By means of default, WordPress makes use of the unsightly permalink construction. (i.e. or However we know the way essential a lovely permalink construction is (i.e., so move to the Settings > Permalinks admin web page of your set up and set your favorite construction.

We will be able to take a look at probably the most to be had choices, or set a customized construction the place we will be able to supply a number of structure tags. Those tags are key phrases we will be able to upload to permalinks to present them a selected that means. For example, %yr% would tell the consumer in regards to the yr of e-newsletter of a publish.

WordPress supplies 10 default construction tags, however we will be able to upload any collection of customized tags, one for every customized question variable we’ve in the past registered.

Custom permalink structure
With this construction enabled, the publish call might be preceded by means of the yr of e-newsletter.

That being stated, our ultimate activity is to check in a customized construction tag and instruct WordPress on the way to use it.

Including Rewrite Tags

Let’s hook the next serve as to the init motion:

The add_rewrite_tag function, registers a brand new construction tag. The serve as helps to keep 3 arguments: the tag call, a regex to check the tag call, an non-compulsory question (now not set right here).

Now WordPress is acutely aware of the tag. We simply want to check in the rewrite rule that tells WordPress the way to employ it. Here’s the code:

The add_rewrite_rule() function will do the magic right here:

  • The primary argument is a typical expression to check towards the asked URL;
  • The second one argument is the URL to fetch when the regex is matched; and
  • The ultimate argument is a string whose worth will also be both 'best' or 'backside' ('best' will take priority over present laws).

Observe that after we check in a customized publish kind, we need to name the flush_rewrite_rules() on plugin activation, differently the brand new rewrite laws received’t paintings (learn extra in the Codex)

Now a URL like the next:

could be rewritten within the following beautiful permalink:

Observe: At all times save Permalink settings whilst you upload or edit rewrite tags and laws, even though you didn’t alternate the permalink construction, differently tags and laws received’t take impact.

The Question Observe Plugin

An excellent developer software to test the question vars is a loose plugin referred to as Query Monitor. This plugin presentations matched rewrite laws and question strings, question vars, database queries, hooks and a lot more. It’s unquestionably price a glance.

Query Monitor
Question Observe provides a menu in WordPress Toolbar

Wrapping Up

On this publish we checked out the way to question the WordPress database, passing values from URL question strings the use of public and customized question variables. We additionally explored permalinks with a focal point on customized buildings. In any case, we added new rewrite tags and laws, and constructed consumer and Search engine marketing-friendly URLs.

I am hoping you’ve discovered this instructional useful and you’ll now customise your personal URL construction to fit your wishes.

Have you ever handled permalinks in WordPress? Percentage your stories, examples and questions within the feedback underneath.

WordPress Developers

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