The Obscure WordPress Get_option Parameter

Any WordPress Plugin developer worth their salt knows about the get_option function, which allows options to be retrieved from the database. What I recently discovered is that this function accepts a second parameter, indicating a default value to be returned if the option doesn’t exist in the database.

Here’s a simple example of the “old” and “new” ways of retrieving options from the database:


$option = get_option( 'Option Name' );
if( false === $option ) {
$option = 'My real option value.';


$option = get_option('option_name', 'default');

As you can see, this simplifies option retrieval and makes your code just a little easier to read.

EDIT: Thanks Nick Ohrn for pointing out a bug in the first code snippet. I’ve updated it so nobody is confused.

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