I am a new learner of Wordpress plugin. recently I came across a method get_option(). When I pass the page parameter of add_settings_field() function then it outputs all the input fields (checkboxes) of that page as true if checkbox is checked and false if checkbox is unchecked.

I didn't understand how does the function know that whether a checkbox is checked or not. May be I'm not able to focus the part of code where this is being decided.

I will be grateful if anyone explains to me the use of the function and how it works?

  • Hi! Welcome to the community. I'm sorry but your question seems about a very specific code, maybe in one theme or plugin, would you mind to share in your question where did you find the argument $page passed to the add_settings_field function? Nov 26, 2019 at 1:38
  • Just to put you on the right track, I've shared a simple reference to the WP documentation and explained it a bit as an answer, However if you walk the extra mile and share with us what code do you have in front on you and what you are trying to achieve, boht could be significatively enhanced; the question (yours) and answer (mine, or even yours and earning extra points to show your achieved kwowledge!). Nov 26, 2019 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


Well, as you can see in the contributed example to the WordPress Reference, it is not that add_settings_field magically knows about a setting being true or false, and it is not limited to checkboxes (boolean flags):

Instead, the function signature states clearly that the $callback parameter it is required. And the introduction says:

The $callback argument should be the name of a function that echoes out the html input tags for this setting field. Use get_option() to retrieve existing values to show.

Maybe it should say that get_option it's the recommended (as it is the easier) way to show stored setting in the database, but you decide how do you use it in your callback function, and how that control renders the option.

In this example provided, yes, it is a checkbox that is checked (or not), depending on the value stored:

function callback_input_myid() {
    echo "<input type='checkbox' id='mynewcheckboxID' value='1'"
    if ( get_option('mynewcheckboxID') == '1' ) {
        echo ' checked';
    echo '/>';

But as I've said before, it is not limited to boolean settings and checkboxes therefore. You could store a text, a color and your function render a ColorPicker, to store a date therefore render a DatePicker, even store a file in base64, however I'm not sure that should be advisable, just saying what is rendered and what option is retrieved it is entirely your responsibility.

Put it simple, get_option is just a convenient and pluggable way to do a SELECT FROM options table.

  • Thank you @jesus Franco for clear explanation. Nov 26, 2019 at 17:58
  • Glad to be helpful Nov 26, 2019 at 17:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.