A Short Guide to WP_Query

A Short Guide to WP_Query

John Hewick

WordPress has come a long way since the days of creating posts based on complex criteria. Back during this early period, users had to conform to WordPress standards which made changes difficult to implement and manage.

Thankfully, with the introduction of the ‘WP_Query’ class, users can now list posts depending on their preference. For the developer, it’s become an invaluable class which enables a large degree of parameters. Here’s a short guide which defines the WP_Query along with some of the main advantages.

Defining WP_Query

As a simple definition, WP_Query allows users to carry out complex database requests using a simplistic modular approach. WP_Query is now considered one of the most influential parts of the WordPress codebase. Its main function is to pull posts on any page according to your query. It’s made even more impressive thanks to the information that is saved when it completes the request. This can improve page optimisation and provide insights into potential issues.

There are plenty of reasons to make use of WP_Query but the most fundamental include security, ease of development and modularity.

Security

The WP_Query provides a safer way to interact with the object. As we supply the parameters and functions to determine the outcome, the object’s internals safeguards from potential attacks. That includes SQL injection attacks which can be catastrophic to the WordPress user. What’s more, WP_Query makes certain that the correct data types are being used.

Ease of development

Anything that makes our lives easier as a developer can only be a good thing. Due to the nature of the object, much of the query complexity is taken care of, which avoids the need to highlight specifics of a database. The process remains self-explanatory as WP_Query is simply using an array to outline a criteria. That means no nested queries are required and you won’t have to input manual database joins. Instead, it’s just a case of creating an arguments array and initiating the class. What could be easier?

Modularity

WP_Query brings together several components for a modular approach that is far more effective than initial methods. In the past, making a raw query was a challenge even for the astute developer. As the query was made up of fragments of SQL code, it was both tedious and time consuming. Thanks to the WP_Query, this is no longer necessary as an associative array is used for the request. This enables greater flexibility allowing users to run array functions and tailor these to your needs.

The WP_Query brings more power than ever before. While it can be easy to get carried away with making endless queries, be sure to limit yourself to those which are of most importance. More queries can impact your RAM, especially on hosted systems. This means more server load which could negatively impact user experience. Try to use the same queries more than once and cache results. With that being said, have some fun with this class and enjoy the many development benefits.

John Hewick

Author John Hewick

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