Does apply_filters/do_action $tag name have a characters limit? Can be any problems if the tag name is way too long? I ask this because I know that WP transients have a limit of 45 characters.

FYI, this is the tag I'm referring to:

apply_filters( $tag, ....

2 Answers 2


I always thought that the memory size was the limit for the string length, but according to the PHP documentation:

string can be as large as up to 2GB (2147483647 bytes maximum)

There is also the maximum allowed memory size (memory_limit) for the PHP script, to consider.

Testing: Do not perform this on a production server:

You could always use the str_repeat idea from this answer to test it:

// Check the hook name size limit:

$long_hook_name = str_repeat( 'x', 1024 * 1024 ); // Adjust the size until you hit the roof!

add_action( $long_hook_name, function(){
    echo 'Greetings from the hook with a very long name';

do_action( $long_hook_name );

but only test this where it's safe (locally?) ;-)

The same should apply for the add_filter(), since add_action() is just a wrapper:

function add_action($tag, $function_to_add, $priority = 10, $accepted_args = 1) {
            return add_filter($tag, $function_to_add, $priority, $accepted_args);

according to the source.


The $tag is used as a key in an array, so it is converted to either a string or an integer. There is no maximum size for strings, the available memory is the only real restriction. The size of an integer depends on the platform:

The size of an integer is platform-dependent, although a maximum value of about two billion is the usual value (that's 32 bits signed). 64-bit platforms usually have a maximum value of about 9E18, except for Windows, which is always 32 bit. PHP does not support unsigned integers. Integer size can be determined using the constant PHP_INT_SIZE, and maximum value using the constant PHP_INT_MAX since PHP 4.4.0 and PHP 5.0.5.

Use strings for better readability. Don’t try to fill the memory. :)

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