I have a custom Wordpress login and if the user gets to the homepage and is not logged in, they are redirected to the custom login form(I have disabled this for now while I test). What I would like to do is create a URL parameter so that certain users can still get to the homepage without having to log in. From my research it seems like this is possible with a custom query_var. Right now I am just trying to make it work with anything entered into the new query_var and then once I get that working I will make sure it matches a specific value. Here is what I added to my functions.php:

function add_var() { 
  global $wp; 
if (get_query_var('auth')) {
  echo 'User is visiting from approved URL';

I am then adding ?auth=true to the homepage URL, but this does not seem to be working. Nothing is being echoed out. Any ideas?

  • 1
    get_query_var() won't work if you call it from the root of the functions file like that. You should use later hooks like parse_query or wp.
    – Sally CJ
    Oct 25, 2019 at 0:54
  • But one would add a custom query var for rewriting purposes or when the var is to be used with the WP query/request. Otherwise, you could simply use $_GET['auth'] which works anywhere in a PHP file.
    – Sally CJ
    Oct 25, 2019 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


The get_query_var() function and/or method only works with registered WordPress query_vars. You can actually view the method via get_query_var().

The normal URL parameters you can access with the normal PHP super global $_GET.

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