So this may be a very noob question, but I believe if I can get the answer to this I can clean up code and speed things up significantly.

I build projects using Woocommerce quite a lot, and in doing so I find myself writing functions that often use the same calls from other functions. For example:

$last_order = wc_get_customer_last_order();


$customer = new WC_Customer( $customer_id );

For example. Those are used quite often throughout various functions. What is the best practice (both for speed and cleanliness) to call these once and reuse them throughout my functions.php file - while still allowing me to call said function from a .php file and not receive errors? TIA.

1 Answer 1


It's a great question. There is a simple and not so clean way to go, and there is a cleaner way to go that is more complicated.

Simple, dirty way to go

You can declare global variables in PHP that will be available anywhere in PHP in this pageload. So for example, the first time you do the call you can say:

global $store_last_order;
$store_last_order = wc_get_customer_last_order();

Then any time you need the last order instead of calling that function again, you just use this:

global $store_last_order; // get access to this again

Good things: This is quick and easy.

Bad things: You have to make sure you know where the variable is used first so you set it in that place first, then other places use it after that, or you set it once before anyone uses it.


You could also use a PHP array to pass around all the information you need. E.g. make this once at the top of functions.php or somewhere before it's needed:

$important_stuff = [ 'last_order' => get_last_order(),
                     'customer_info' => get_customer_info() ]

Then whenever you need one of those things, make sure you have access to $important_stuff somehow (pass it in the function call or make it a global if you have to), then do:

do_something($important_stuff['last_order']) ; // e.g. to get last_order

** Good ** This is cleaner and fast and easier to write

** Bad ** This may get out of hand if it gets very big. You have to pass around a reference to $important_stuff everywhere

Best, More Complicated

You could write your own PHP class which takes care of storing all this information, and which takes care of stuff like getting the information if it doesn't already have it.


$myStore = get_my_data_store();
$last_order = $myStore->get_last_order();

Then inside this class perhaps it's doing something like:

function get_last_order() {
     if (already got the last order before) {
           return last order;
     } else {
           get last order
           return last order;

Good: This is much cleaner code and more more extensible to save you money and time later if you expand it. You'll become a better developer and you'll be able to do more stuff faster in the future

Bad: This is much more code to write and you have to learn about things like PHP Singletons and using Classes in PHP

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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