I'm working on a customized login form for WordPress. I noticed that it's pretty difficult to achieve what I wanted.

Here's the HTML of the form:

<form method="post" action="<?php bloginfo('url') ?>/wp-login.php">
    <div class="loginbox_fields">
        <div class="loginbox_field"><input type="text" name="log" id="user_login"  value="" placeholder="<?php _e('Username'); ?>"/></div>
        <div class="loginbox_field"><input type="password" name="pwd" id="user_pass" value="" placeholder="<?php _e('Password'); ?>"/></div>
        <div class="loginbox_text">
            <input name="rememberme" type="checkbox" id="rememberme" value="forever"  <?php checked( $rememberme ); ?> />
            <label for="remember"><?php esc_attr_e('Remember Me'); ?></label>
        <a href="/nojs.html" class="loginbox_button form_submit" title="<?php esc_attr_e('Log In'); ?>"><?php esc_attr_e('Log In'); ?></a>
                <td class="first_column">Not registered?</td>
                <td>Forgot password?</td>
                <td class="first_column"><a href="<?php echo get_permalink(); ?>?action=register" class="loginbox_stdbutton" title="Register">Register</a></td>
                <td><a href="<?php echo get_permalink(); ?>?action=lostpassword" class="loginbox_stdbutton" title="Reset Password">Reset Password</a></td>

Due to style requirement, I put div wraps around input boxes and the submit button is an anchor tag. According to the document, wp_login_form and its hooks will not be able to implement this design.

So I followed the suggestions on this question (I asked) Custom user profile, registration, login page with theme , and got something close to http://digwp.com/2010/12/login-register-password-code/ . Basically, it allows you to put the login form anywhere you want, but still points back to wp-login.php when submitted.

But it has one major flaw. When login is incorrect, it points you back to wp-login.php. Like this demo, if you click "Login" without entering anything, it leads you back to the default wp-login.php form.

I'm currently putting the above form in one of the custom pages. I had a filter hooked to template_include and used this HTML code as the login form. I only wanted to change the style, I'm not planning on adding functions.

What does it take to implement this login form design? Shall I start from wp-login.php and change it? If so, how do I start (in terms of putting in the theme and form)?

1 Answer 1


To redirect back to your custom login form after login fails try this code:

// hook failed login
add_action('wp_login_failed', 'my_front_end_login_fail'); 

function my_front_end_login_fail($username){
    // Get the reffering page, where did the post submission come from?
    $referrer = add_query_arg('login', false, $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']);

    // if there's a valid referrer, and it's not the default log-in screen
    if(!empty($referrer) && !strstr($referrer,'wp-login') && !strstr($referrer,'wp-admin')){
        // let's append some information (login=failed) to the URL for the theme to use
        wp_redirect($referrer . '?login=failed'); 

You'll have to check also for an empty password or login - when login form from frontend (your custom login form) is submitted empty, you'll end up on standard wp-login.php again. To prevent this, append this code:

add_action( 'login_head', 'my_frontend_login_no_pass_no_username' );

function my_frontend_login_no_pass_no_username(){
    $referrer = add_query_arg('login', false, $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']);
    if ( (!isset($_REQUEST['user_login']) || ( isset( $_REQUEST['user_login'] ) && trim( $_REQUEST['user_login'] ) == '' ) ) || (!isset($_REQUEST['user_pass']) || ( isset( $_REQUEST['user_pass'] ) && trim( $_REQUEST['user_pass'] ) == '' ) ) ){
        wp_redirect( add_query_arg('login', 'failed', $referrer) ); 

If you're interested in a proper login after registration fails too, check my blogpost on this topic.

  • Thank you for the answer. You pointed the right direction. I'll read your post further. Although after digging a bit, it turns out that wp_login_failed will only be triggered when both username and password is filled. I found a post here: wordpress.org/support/topic/… which mentioned wp_authenticate. I ended up hooking both, and changed wp_authenticate to match my particular requirement.
    – He Shiming
    Feb 10, 2013 at 13:17
  • Again, thank you for the elegant solution on login_head.
    – He Shiming
    Feb 10, 2013 at 13:37
  • You're welcome. I've spent few hours on this problem just few days ago, and I'm glad I can share my knowledge and save other's time ;) Feb 10, 2013 at 13:50

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