In WordPress' core code, you often see this:

if (1 == $someVar)

as opposed to this:

if ($someVar == 1)

I don't know if the first way is a WordPress-centric style of coding, but I've only noticed it in WP code (either core or 3rd-party code).

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    Yoda conditions these are .
    – fuxia
    Commented Jan 4, 2013 at 23:44
  • 3
    @AKTed It's off topic because it's not specific to WordPress, it's a PHP question. From the FAQ: not specific to WordPress (even if they happen in its context)
    – Milo
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 1:28
  • 3
    @Milo: I thought so at first, but it is WordPress specific in the context that WordPress includes it in their Codex as the way they want it done. It does qualify as a PHP question, but my question was specifically about noticing it in WP code a lot.
    – akTed
    Commented Jan 5, 2013 at 2:56
  • 3
    This question is on topic because it pertains to the documented WordPress coding standards. Reopened and answered as such.
    – EAMann
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 16:38
  • 3
    Okay, now I'm usually the Scope Police, and this is too pedantic even for me. I would say that a question that dovetails so precisely with the WordPress Coding Standards as this one not only is on-topic for WPSE, but also provides a great opportunity to expound upon the WordPress Coding Standard in question. This was a fastball down the middle; thankfully @EAMann recognized it, and swung for the fences. Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


This coding style is known as a Yoda Condition, and it's nothing specific to WordPress. I've used the same style in C++, C#, and even JavaScript code.

The main benefit of a Yoda Condition is that it prevents accidental value assignment from a typo. Consider the following (often-seen-in-the-wild) typo:

if ( $some_variable = 1 ) {
    // ...

This will always evaluate to true, but has the additional consequence of assigning the value 1 to $some_variable. Sometimes this is intentional, though. In WordPress specifically, you'll often see things like:

if ( $post = some_function( $_POST['id'] ) ) {
    // ...
} else {
    // ...

The point of this code is to assign a new value to the $post variable, and it works because the some_function() being used will return false on error.

Yoda Conditions (reversing the order of the == equality operator) protect you from accidentally assigning values when you didn't mean to. If you make a mistake and only put one = in the code, you'll get an error because you can't assign to a regular value:

if ( 1 = $some_variable ) {
    // ...

Like I said, this is not unique to WordPress, or even to PHP, however it is part of the required WordPress coding standards. If you're writing a plugin or theme for general distribution, or contributing to core, you need to know both what Yoda Conditions are and how to use them

  • 1
    Thank you for a very descriptive answer, much appreciated.
    – akTed
    Commented Jan 7, 2013 at 16:50

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