I found a major bug inside our custom plugin, we simply adding the new rules and flushing the existing rewrite_rules on every page load("add_action('wp_loaded', 'flush_rules')"), which seems not a good practice. I am curious to know if there is any way to check the different between the existing rewrite_rules(already stored in DB ) and the latest rewrite_rules before calling to flush_rules() method? Most of the time, the existing and the latest rewrite_rules are the same.


2 Answers 2


Here's the trick I've been using:

  • Use an array to store the rewrites
  • Hash the array
  • Store the hashed array as an option
  • Check to see if the stored option matches the curret rewrite hash; if not, update the rewrites

Greatly simplified code snippet (this is meant as a starting point, not a finished product):

add_action( 'init', 'wpse_393260_rewrites' );
function wpse_393260_rewrites() {
    // Array of rewrites.
    $my_rewrites = array(
        'foo/([a-z0-9-]+)[/]?$' => 'index.php?foo=$matches[1]',
        'bar/([a-z0-9-]+)[/]?$' => 'index.php?bar=$matches[1]',
        // etc.
    // Implements the rewrite rules.
    foreach ( $my_rewrites as $regex => $query ) {
        add_rewrite_rule( $regex, $query, 'top' );
    // Hashes the $my_rewrites array.
    $hashed_rewrites = md5( serialize( $my_rewrites ) );
    // Gets the currently-active rewrites from the option.
    $my_current_rewrites = get_option( 'my_rewrites_option' );
    // If anything's changed, flush the rewrites and update the option.
    if ( $my_current_rewrites !== $hashed_rewrites ) {
        update_option( 'my_rewrites_option', $hashed_rewrites );
  • 1
    Thanks, it works as I was expecting.. :) Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 17:11

You could add a flush rewrite only upon submitting a form:

if ( (isset($_POST['update_myform'])) && check_admin_referer('check_form', 'check_form') ) { 


'false' ensures that rules are only updated, not totally rewritten.

You can even further add conditional rules inside the if, such as making sure that a specific field has been submitted (and therefore narrowing down the number of times flush is triggered).

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