What is feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed? WordPress Hooks 101

Published19 August, 2023

When you discuss the building blocks of numerous websites across the web – an impressive figure that reaches well beyond the 60% mark – WordPress emerges as the primary platform. It is the powerhouse of code repositories, offering a diverse array of standout features. Among these features, a special mention must be given to Hooks. Often touted as the Swiss Army knife of WordPress functionalities, they are supremely versatile yet equally puzzling for many developers. In this deep-dive, we examine the enigmatic world of WordPress Hooks. Our focal point will be the `feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed`. Let’s get ready for a convoluted ride and seek to unravel the numerous intricacies behind one of the most frequently used – and misunderstood – aspects of WordPress management.

The underlying principle of disseminating information about technological complexities is to break it down into sections organized sequentially. To make the process easier for you, here’s a roadmap of the topics we will be covering:

Table of Contents

An Overview of WordPress and the Concept of Hooks

WordPress – the web software you can use to create responsive websites or blogs – is a free, open-source content management system (CMS). Accounting for over 35% of global websites, this giant is driven by its vast user base and outstanding features. Among these, the WordPress Hook system is one of the small details that make a significant difference. The Hooks in WordPress are used in multiple instances where developers wish to augment the environment with additional functionality or when alterations must be done to native functionalities. These hooks give way to a more dynamic development style, allowing developers to add their own conceptions without tampering with the original files.

Key Terminology and its Significance

  • Action Hooks: In nontechnical terms, Action Hooks allow the developer to surgically insert custom batches of code into specific sections of the WordPress page or post, which get executed each time the page loads. This is seen in action whenever the hook is run, offering the developers unmatched flexibility for highly-customized implementations.
  • Filter Hooks: Filter Hook is the side-kick to Action Hook. Instead of inserting completely fresh code, Filter Hooks take a piece of existing data, modify it, and then reinstate it to its original position. Thus, they manipulate the variable they received and return it, adding a layer of customization right in the middle of a native function without making drastic changes.
  • feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed: A highly-specific type of WordPress filter hook dealing with site’s feed settings, especially those related to RSS feeds for tags.

As the prefix hints, feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed falls in the category of WordPress filter hooks. This tool enables developers to influence whether WordPress will automatically include RSS feeds for the site’s tags in the header section. By default, WordPress is hard-wired to include such feeds. However, developers may find themselves in various situations where they’d want to disallow the feature. In such instances, `feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed` becomes the toggle switch they can play with.

Answering the Most Vital Question: Why use feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed?

WordPress, in its ethos of democratizing the availability of content, includes certain features that may not be necessary for everyone. The perfect example of this is the presence of RSS/Atom feeds by default. While these feeds were deemed essential during the early days of blogging, their importance has gradually diluted. Now it’s seen as an unnecessary overhead that compounds the website loading time, particularly for those websites that rarely publish blog posts. The extra milliseconds it takes to load these practically redundant resources can end up affecting the user experience. Not just that, it may even impact SEO rankings as search engines prioritize faster, efficient websites. The `feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed` filter hook emerges as a boon in these situations. It serves as the gatekeeper, controlling the inclusion or exclusion of tags RSS feeds hyper-efficiently.

The Guidebook on How to Use feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed

Integrating the concept into practice, if you wish to disable the display of tags RSS feed, you need only include the subsequent line of code within your theme’s functions.php file or any site-specific plugin:

add_filter('feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed', '__return_false');

This single line of code, when executed, ceases the automatic generation of tags RSS feed by WordPress. Want to toggle the feature back on? As easy as pie, just ensure the following code is included in the same file:

add_filter('feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed', '__return_true');

Understanding Common Errors And How To Avoid Them

No new venture is without its hiccups, and the integration of `feed_links_extra_show_tag_feed` is no different. A few common errors are often seen when inexperienced developers try their hand at manipulating RSS feeds on WordPress. To help you avoid falling into these common traps, we’ve collated a few of the usual mistakes and accompanying solutions.

  • Error: Mistyping the filter hook’s name when adding it to the functions.php file or forgetting to include the return statement.

    Solution: Always double-check your code for typing errors. Verify that the return statement is present.
  • Error: Forgetting to add the semicolon at the end of the code, which can cause a syntax error.

    Solution: Always remember to finish your code lines with a semicolon. It is a small detail, but one that holds paramount importance.
  • Error: Placing the code in the wrong location within your file.

    Solution: You need to ensure that you include the filter code within your theme’s functions.php file or inside a site-specific plugin file. Anywhere else, and the code will not be run at all.

Although it might be daunting at first, remember that practice makes perfect. A few attempts at applying this filter hook and seeing it in action will make the process much simpler. So don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

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