I generally Google when I need a quick reference for a Wordpress function, and generally it's a Codex post that comes up first (eg. https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/get_term when Googling 'get-term').

I've been relying on the codex for years, and was vaguely aware that there was a separate Code Reference (eg. https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/get_term/) that did give more detail than the Codex... but mostly appeared to be a duplicate listing. Sometimes this returns first in Google searches instead.

But recently I've come across discrepencies between the two... and it seems the Codex may be out of date on some things. For example, re. the two links above - I spent a bit of time reading trac tickets before I realised that $taxonomy is indeed no longer a required parameter on get_term(). I was on the garden path because the Codex still lists that it is required.

I can't see anywhere on the Codex that mentions it is deprecated, although there are links to the Code Reference at the top of each page.

Does anyone know if the Codex is deprecated? Does it still serve a purpose? Or should I be pretty much ignoring it and just using developer.wordpress.org?

1 Answer 1


(hmm this is somewhat off-topic, but will let others decide on it)

Better answer

Although it is hard to track official announcement, as @darmb pointed out in the comments there are indications that the official documentation effort is drifting away from the codex in favor of the developer site, and the "make" blogs/sites. So in a way, while not officially announced (as far as it is possible to see), the codex should be treated as if it was deprecated.


  • "...with the ultimate goal being to eventually shut down the Codex." (link)
  • "The Codex is deprecated, and is slated to go away at some point. Thus, the Theme Review page on the Codex is no longer official, or maintained." (link)

Original answer

The codex is a wiki style site. It being up to date requires some volunteers to actually go and edit it. Usually with new code you will get something there, although quality might not be the greatest, but it may suffer from "bitrot" on older topics with minor changes.

The developer site is a phpdoc style site auto generated from the phpdoc style comments accompanying function declarations and hook usage , therefor it is in sync with the actual code (and you can actually see the code there).

Pain point of codex - it may diverge from actual description if no one cares about some API. Strong point it is human generated for humans and in theory easier to edit.

Pain point of the developer site -it is only for latest version and depends on the quality of comments in the code, something that on avarage may change only every 4 months. Strong point - it shows you the code it self, being a replacement for using the text editor to search in the code.

I think that misleading information is worse then no information and therefore I try to avoid the codex, but no, it is not deprecated, and if you find a gap there you are welcome to fill it :)

  • Perfect, thanks heaps for this explanation Mark. I didn't realise the developer site was automatically documented, that makes perfect sense. In regards to the question being off-topic, I questioned that myself before posting it, but I had Googled and couldn't find an answer.. and it relates directly to Wordpress.. I figured if I saw it here I would think it's a great question, so I decided to post it anyway. Happy to be advised otherwise though!
    – Tim Malone
    Apr 18, 2016 at 3:07
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    Actually re-reading wordpress.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, I don't see how it is off-topic...
    – Tim Malone
    Apr 18, 2016 at 3:07
  • @TimMalone, wordpress.org questions should be directed to the wordpress.org stuff. Otto is spotted here from time to time but otherwise there is no one with authority to answer this kind of question that hangs around here. You basically are asking about recommendation for a "book" ;) Apr 18, 2016 at 5:06
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    Actually the Codex is in the process of being deprecated as the new developer docs are created. Numerous pages of the Codex now automatically redirect to the new developer docs.
    – darrinb
    Apr 18, 2016 at 5:46
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    There's a reference to the Codex being deprecated here: make.wordpress.org/themes/2015/05/27/…
    – darrinb
    Apr 18, 2016 at 6:22

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