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I need access to my Theme's version number a number of times on each Admin Page view.

Right now I'm using get_theme_data which in turn parses the Theme's style.css file via get_file_data, so style.css gets parsed multiple times.

Is there a built-in caching mechanism for this data? Or should I just build a thin in-process caching wrapper around get_theme_data?


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This ticket (and associated commits) may be of interest to you: core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/20103 – helenhousandi Mar 27 '12 at 17:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In the mean time, keep using your method. But as @helenhousandi linked in a comment, WordPress 3.4 will be introducing a new WP_Theme object that will make this much easier.

Right now, you're using get_theme_data() to return an array with the theme's version. No, it's not cached ... but you could likely cache it yourself in a transient if you're accessing it a lot.

function my_get_theme_version() {
    $value = get_transient( 'theme_version' );
    if ( !$value ) {
        $info = get_theme_data( /* theme filename */ );
        $value = $info[ 'Version' ];

        // Cache the value for 12 hours.
        set_transient( 'theme_version', $value, 60 * 60 * 12 );

    return $value;

But in WP 3.4, get_theme_data() will be deprecated and will instead serve as a wrapper for the new WP_Theme API (meaning the above code will still work, but will trigger a deprecation notice).

So instead, you could use this:

function my_get_theme_version() {
    $theme_file = /* theme filename */;
    $theme = new WP_Theme( basename( dirname( $theme_file ) ), dirname( dirname( $theme_file ) ) );

    return $theme->get('Version');

The new object has some level of caching built in. I encourage you to read the discussion surrounding the new changes and to follow the Codex for when it's officially documented as well.

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Great answer, thanks! I'll actually just cache it in-process using a PHP static variable (I mostly just not want multiple file parsings for each page view). – julien_c Mar 27 '12 at 17:37
I usually advise against using static vars for caching ... it's easy to forget to remove them and, if the PHP process is long-running, you can easily create a memory leak by mistake when old static vars hang around. – EAMann Mar 27 '12 at 17:40

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