I have worked with Ruby on Rails and I was looking for some code that did something close to the wonderfull RoR's ActiveRecord.

I stepped by this site. Its PHP-ActiveRecord!

I found it amazing, and it was exactly what I was looking for, but I didn't find anyone trying to use it on WordPress, so I got a little scared.

Any experiences you could share?

My first idea was to require the library in functions.php and create a child theme with the models inside a folder. What I really don't know is how it's going to deal with the tables in the database it can't mess with.

Well, I'll wait your impressions.

2 Answers 2


If you plan to use it just for your own code, and have it running alongside WordPress' default database driver (wpdb), I see no real problems.

It's only if you plan on fully integrating/overriding WP's driver that I see it being near-impossible; hard-coded SQL is prolific throughout core, and translating them to ActiveRecord method calls would defeat any efforts for code optimisation.

FWIW, WordPress does support a driver override with db.php in your wp-content directory.

Update: For bringing PHP ActiveRecord into WordPress, I would suggest using a MU plugin. This keeps it out of the theme (where it doesn't belong), out of WordPress core, and ensures that it is always loaded (Must Use plugins cannot be deactivated in the admin).

Copy the library to wp-content/mu-plugins/php-activerecord. Then in wp-content/mu-plugins/php-activerecord.php:


 * Plugin Name: PHP ActiveRecord
 * Description: Load the PHP ActiveRecord library for use in plugins &amp; themes.
 * Version:     0.1
 * Author:      TheDeadMedic
 * Author URI:  http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/users/1685/thedeadmedic
 * Plugin URI:  http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/155530

require_once dirname( __file__ ) . '/php-activerecord/ActiveRecord.php';

    function ( $cfg ) {
        $cfg->set_model_directory( '/path/to/your/model_directory' );
                'wordpress' => sprintf( 'mysql://%s:%s@%s/%s?charset=%s', DB_USER, DB_PASSWORD, DB_HOST, DB_NAME, DB_CHARSET ),

        $cfg->set_default_connection( 'wordpress' );
  • Its intended for my code only. To use alongside wpdb, because the plugins, themes, etc, will continue to use wpdb normally. For this use, does the process I described make sense to you? Any other tip? Jul 23, 2014 at 13:18
  • 1
    Are you coding your own theme, or developing a child theme based on an existing one? Jul 23, 2014 at 13:20
  • I'm using a theme called Divi. I didn't intend to create a child theme. I'm just adding php on it in functions.php and on certain parts of the pages using a plugin that inserts php. I'm doing a kind of MVC. Controllers and routes went well, but for models, the ActiveRecord would be a dream. Jul 23, 2014 at 13:24
  • 1
    I would strongly recommend using a child theme. See my revised answer for a suggestion on how to integrate PHP AR. Jul 23, 2014 at 13:38
  • Thanks a LOT! I'll try it out and comment the results! You're a guru, TheDeadMedic! Jul 23, 2014 at 13:59

PHPactiverecord is a dead project since 2013.

Try to use models from WPMVC instead.


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