I am planning on building a plugin and i need to know if the data stored in the options table i will create for the plugin will be serialized or it will be in the ordinary sql format.

3 Answers 3


It totally depends on what data is being stored in the option, maybe_serialize will determine in the option is holding a singular static value, such as true/false, 0/1, empty string, whatever(it's called when an option is created or updated).. it will serialize when dealing with objects and arrays, singular values are not serialized.

The get_option function is equipped to deal with this however and will unserialize(or not) as necessary for you(using maybe_unserialize) when it's called, which basically does the inverse of maybe_serialize.

Hope that helps..

EDIT: Confirmed - checked source, above information is correct regarding serialization.


I am pretty sure it is searilized.

update_option() function serailizes the data passed.

The get_option() function deseralizes it.


Depends on some factors.

If you're storing options in the db trough WP's API, like using add_option() then the data is automatically serialized by WP if the option is a array.

(same happens in widgets)

If you don't want serialized data then just don't pass arrays to add_option. If you have multiple options you could serialize it yourself and send it as a string before you pass it to the function...

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