I've been reading the codex at this page: http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/stripslashes_deep

The code i wrote before reading that page is this:

$data   = array(
    'col1' => $v['float'],
    'col2' => stripslashes($v['string'])
$format = array( '%f', '%s' );
$wpdb->insert( 'table', $data, $format );

Basically i manually pass stripslashed values in the $data array. Now, is this code correct and secure or shall i perform a $_REQUEST = array_map( 'stripslashes_deep', $_REQUEST );? Is there any important difference or is it the same?

1 Answer 1


If you check out the source for the $wpdb->insert( $table, $data, $format) method you will find this comment:

Data to insert (in column => value pairs). Both $data columns and $data values should be "raw" (neither should be SQL escaped).

so you shouldn't need to do the SQL escape yourself on the data.

As far as I understand the process, the data inserted into the $wpdb->insert() method, goes through:

  • the $wpdb->prepare() method,
  • which uses $wpdb->escape_by_ref(),
  • which uses $wpdb->_real_escape(), for non floating values: ! is_float( $string ),
  • that uses the PHP wrapper mysql_real_escape_string() or mysqli_real_escape_string() for WP 3.9+ with PHP 5.5+.

From the PHP docs on the mysql_real_escape_string() function:

Escapes special characters in the unescaped_string, taking into account the current character set of the connection so that it is safe to place it in a mysql_query(). If binary data is to be inserted, this function must be used. mysql_real_escape_string() calls MySQL's library function mysql_real_escape_string, which prepends backslashes to the following characters: \x00, \n, \r, \, ', " and \x1a. This function must always (with few exceptions) be used to make data safe before sending a query to MySQL.

But as stated in the Codex page you refer to, in older versions of PHP the addslashes can be automatically applied to the $_POST, $_GET and $_REQUEST globals. The Magic Quotes feature is deprecated in PHP 5.3 and removed in 5.4.

  • 1
    so, at the end, what should i do? what's the correct and safe way to pass a string to wpdb->insert? if i don't stripslash the string, i don't think i will be able to preserve an eventual new line in a textarea...right?
    – Mariano
    Mar 29, 2014 at 12:08
  • This should take care of SQL injections, but you still have to do the validation/sanitazion. I think new lines will be preserved. If you want to allow HTML input, consider using wp_kses() to strip out evil scripts.
    – birgire
    Mar 29, 2014 at 12:36
  • no html, only \n new lines...so i don't have to worry about evil scripts...
    – Mariano
    Mar 29, 2014 at 12:41
  • I'm not sure you want to strip out all HTML or just encode it. If you want to strip HTML and only allow alphanumerics and white spaces (including new lines): echo preg_replace( '/[^a-zA-Z0-9\s]/i', '', wp_strip_all_tags( $text, FALSE ) ); but this might be too restrict for you ? There also exsits the WordPress functions esc_html() to escape HTML blocks and esc_textarea() to escape the textarea content.
    – birgire
    Mar 29, 2014 at 14:12
  • To strip out any % encoded octets: $text = preg_replace( '|%[a-fA-F0-9][a-fA-F0-9]|', '', $text ); I'm not sure this exists as a special function, but it's included in some WordPress functions.
    – birgire
    Mar 29, 2014 at 14:13

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