I'm trying to implement some hooks into a theme, but rather than write out every hook with repetitive code I was wondering if I could use and array to declare the hooks instead.

E.g. ordinarily i'd use something like:

function hook_name_1() {
    do_action( 'hook_name_1' );

function hook_name_2() {
    do_action( 'hook_name_2' );

Is there a way to place the hook names into an array and then call them with one foreach loop or something similar? Something like the following:

$hook_array = array(

foreach ($hook_array as $hook) {
    function $hook() {
  • 1
    I don't know (my gut says it will work), but I'd encourage you just to try it! (And make sure that your array contains strings!)
    – mrwweb
    Jan 15, 2013 at 0:04
  • Looks like it would work to me too. Since you've written it, how about testing it for us?
    – s_ha_dum
    Jan 15, 2013 at 0:11
  • Unfortunately it results in Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_VARIABLE, expecting T_STRING or '('
    – Rob
    Jan 15, 2013 at 0:54
  • Nearly there - it would seem that the $tag in the do_action needed to be global variable, but this still leaves the function names which can't be found created dynamically... $hook_array = array( 'hook_name_1' ); foreach ($hook_array as $hook) { function hook_name_1() { do_action( $GLOBALS['hook'] ); } }`
    – Rob
    Jan 15, 2013 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


What's wrong with good old do_action? ;) You could write a simple wrapper:

    function wpse81578_hook( $hook ) {
        do_action( $hook );

If you're looking for something dynamic, take a look at the do_atomic function of the Hybrid theme framework: it "adds contextual action hooks to the theme. This allows users to easily add context-based content without having to know how to use WordPress conditional tags. The theme handles the logic."

  • Hi Diggy, this results in "Cannot redeclare wpse81578_hook()"
    – Rob
    Jan 15, 2013 at 0:54
  • 1
    It should work just fine, in your templates, e.g. single.php: wpse81578_hook( 'hook_1' );echo '<hr>'; wpse81578_hook( 'hook_2' ); and in your functions.php: function hook_1_test(){echo 'hook_1_test';} add_action( 'hook_1', 'hook_1_test' ); function hook_2_test(){echo 'hook_2_test';} add_action( 'hook_2', 'hook_2_test' );
    – diggy
    Jan 15, 2013 at 1:15
  • Just to be clear, do not wrap the code in my answer in a foreach loop. Just put those three lines in your functions.php
    – diggy
    Jan 15, 2013 at 1:18

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