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Introduction to WordPress Hooks (Talk at WordCamp Columbus 2015)

UPDATE (2015/08.19):  The video of this talk is now available on!

Thank you to everyone who came out to my Hooked on WordPress:  An Introduction to Actions and Filters talk at WordCamp Columbus.  I hope it gave you a good background to get started on creating your own plugins.   The slides I used during the talk can be found here:

I also want to share a few links that you might find useful:

  • Plugin API – This is the official documentation from the WordPress Codex for all the functions related to hooks.
  • Adam Brown’s WordPress Hook Database – There are hundreds of actions and filters in WordPress’ core. Adam has put together a comprehensive database of them.
  • How to write a WordPress plugin – Francis Yaconiello has written a post documenting how to create a WordPress plugin as a class.  This was the approach I talked about that can help avoid naming conflicts in your functions.
  • WordPress Hook Firing Sequence – Rachel Vasquez has done some excellent research into the order in which WordPress’ core actions take place.  This is a long read, but very insightful!
  • How to Override E-Mail Recipients in WordPress Development Environment – A blog post I wrote earlier this year that shows how to use the wp_mail filter to ensure that your users don’t receive e-mail messages while you’re developing or testing your website in an environment other than the production server.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.


  1. Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for sharing my blog post! Love the slides, they’re really fun (that cat and the explosion!). I like how you’ve shared some starting examples which I’m def gonna try. There’s just so many hooks, it’s hard to know which ones to experiment with first.

    Definitely sharing this. Thanks.

    • Hi Rachel,

      You’re very welcome. You put a lot of work into that post, and it’s full of useful details, especially to those I was teaching today who are new to the concept of actions and filters. Was happy to share it!


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