I have a page set up like Page One, Page Two, Page Three

Each page has a tag of 'content'.

In the Wordpress loop I would like to create an array for each page with the page title as the array name.

I would then like to add and get values from the array using the array name.

I have some demo code here.

If I try to get the length of the array using the array name it returns '0' and the keys/values are not returned.

        $mt_test_args = array(
            'post_type' => 'page',
            'tag' => 'content',
            'order' => 'ASC'

        $mt_test_loop = new WP_Query($mt_test_args);


        // create array for each page   
        $arr_name = get_the_title();
        $arr_name = str_replace(' ','_',$arr_name);
        $$arr_name = array();// The page array

        // Add text and color keys to array
        $$arr_name[$text] = 'Page Text';
        $$arr_name[$color] = 'red';


    <option><?php the_title(); ?></option>

    <?php endwhile; endif; ?>

    <?php wp_reset_postdata(); ?>

        echo count($Page_One); // no echo
        echo $Page_One[$text]; // no value
  • I have answered this, but I believe the question to be off-topic here, since at it's core it's about variable variables and/or a code review unrelated to WordPress. Voted to close. Jul 9, 2013 at 10:54
  • The first part of this question was answered but it hasn't worked to achieve the second part, setting a using key/vales in the array using the name of the array Jul 9, 2013 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


From the PHP manual:

Variable names follow the same rules as other labels in PHP. A valid variable name starts with a letter or underscore, followed by any number of letters, numbers, or underscores. As a regular expression, it would be expressed thus: '[a-zA-Z_\x7f-\xff][a-zA-Z0-9_\x7f-\xff]*'

Hence before diving into your code further:

  1. It would need much more than $arr_name = str_replace(' ','_',get_the_title()); to make this fail-safe. Currently, your code is bound to fail as soon as the page title contains any non-alphanumeric characters.

  2. Because of the above, among other reasons, I'd strongly suggest you reconsider the general architectural approach. Ask yourself this: Why would you need variable variable in the first place? (I don't see a reason and I doubt this to be the most viable solution, even if a valid reason exists.)

  • I don't think there would be a page title with non-alphanumeric characters. Can you suggest a better way to do this, I would just like to create an array using the page title, any help would be greatly appreciated. Jul 9, 2013 at 11:05

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