I'm currently trying to make my own theme, but i'm not quite sure how the get_option() function works, because how come this..

echo get_option('show_header', 'sultenhest_theme_display_options');
echo get_option('sultenhest_theme_display_options')['show_header'];

..both returns 1 (but Dreamweaver doesnt like the second option). While

echo get_option('twitter', 'sultenhest_theme_social_options');

..simply returns 'sultenhest_theme_social_options', which is incorrect.

An option would be to define the array as such

$social_options = get_option( 'sultenhest_theme_social_options' );

and call it like this

echo $social_options['twitter'];

It returns the correct string, but it only works in the header.php (if the array is defined there) file and not in, e.g. footer.php.

UPDATE: Following partly ialocin and Brad Dalton i came up with this solution, which works like a charm:

function sultenhest($option, $arg){
  $the_array = array();
  foreach( get_option('sultenhest_theme_'.$option) as $key => $item ){
    $the_array[$key] = $item;
  return $the_array[$arg];

and echoing it out like this:

echo sultenhest('social_options', 'twitter') ? '<a href="' . sultenhest('social_options', 'twitter') . '">Twitter</a>' : '';

1 Answer 1


You are using get_option() wrong, first variant, so take another look at the get_option() documentation. Basically you can't directly access an array element with the function, it just doesn't support it.

The second variant should be possible, but you need at least PHP 5.4 - if I'm not totally mistaken; I don't know anything about dreamweaver.

The reason why you can't access the variable everywhere you want is the variable scope, read up on it at the PHP Manual: Variable scope.

The easiest thing I imagine is to do it the old fashion way, just make a function you can use. Exemplary like this:

function wpse_179693_echo_my_options_array_value() {
    $social_options = get_option( 'sultenhest_theme_social_options' );
    if ( isset( $social_options['twitter'] ) ) {
        echo $social_options['twitter'];
    } else {
        return FALSE;
  • 1
    get_option('some_option')['some_key'] actually does work in php 5.4, it's called array dereferencing.
    – Milo
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 23:00

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