I am trying to use information about the current user in a plugin that I am designing and I have seen people go about it in several different ways.

My Way

This way seems to work, but am I missing something?

global $current_user;

// Use information
echo "User ID: " . $current_user->user_id;
echo "User First Name: " . $current_user->first_name;

I have seen some people call the function get_currentuserinfo() on the next line after declaring the global variable $current_user. However, this seems to work without that call - so is it necessary?

Also, there is the function wp_get_current_user() - what is the difference between this and get_currentuserinfo()?

I have also seen people use a global variable called $profileuser and use get_user_to_edit() in order to set it to the user object. Is there some benefit to this?

I have also seen people refer directly to the $user_ID global variable in addition to using the $current_user. Why wouldn't they just use $current_user->ID?

1 Answer 1

  1. Call the function get_currentuserinfo() on the next line after declaring the global variable $current_user

  2. What is the difference between wp_get_current_user() and get_currentuserinfo()?

Below is a snippet:

function wp_get_current_user() {

    global $current_user;


    return $current_user;

I think the source code answers your first two questions, right?

Remember that wp_get_current_user() is defined in wp-includes/pluggable.php so it can be overridden.

Also, it is safe to stick with global $current_user this is because WordPress calls wp_get_current_user() during initialization.

Specifically, wp-settings.php -> new WP -> WP->init() -> wp_get_current_user

The usage of $profileuser, this global variable is only available when you are editing a user (user-edit.php) and the data will be thereof.

The last one questions I don't really know how to answer so I'll leave to others.

Hope you don't mind.

  • FYI: get_currentuserinfo() is deprecated as at WordPress 4.5.0. Use wp_get_current_user() instead. Jun 5, 2017 at 15:16

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