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Using WordPress Filters, for Regular People

Customizing the behavior of a WordPress website doesn’t have to be daunting, even for non-technical users. By harnessing the power of simple filters, you can easily tweak various aspects of your site’s functionality without writing complex code. In this article, we will guide you through the process and provide an example of a straightforward filter that a you might use.


Understanding Filters:

Filters in WordPress allow you to modify the output of specific functions or features of your website. You can learn more about what a filter is from WordPress.org


Creating a Simple Filter:

To change a specific behavior, you can write a filter function that targets a particular hook. WordPress keeps a list of hooks that you can explore here.


Example: Changing the Excerpt Length

The following is a filter function to modify the default length of excerpts displayed on your WordPress site.

function p15_custom_excerpt_length($length) {
    return 20; // Change this number to set the desired excerpt length
add_filter('excerpt_length', 'p15_custom_excerpt_length');


What does this do?

The function p15_custom_excerpt_length overrides the default excerpt length by returning a specific value (e.g., 20 words). The add_filter hook attaches the filter function to the excerpt_length hook, enabling the desired modification.


Applying the Filter:

By adding this code snippet to your theme’s functions.php file, you can effortlessly adjust the excerpt length throughout your website.

To find and use the functions.php file in your WordPress dashboard, log in to your WordPress admin area. Navigate to “Appearance” and click on “Theme Editor.” On the right-hand side, you’ll see a list of files. Look for “functions.php” and click on it. Now you can edit the file and add your desired code snippets, including filters, to modify the behavior of your WordPress website. Remember to save your changes after making any modifications.



With simple filters, even non-technical WordPress users can exert control over their website’s functionality. By understanding the concept of filters and utilizing straightforward code snippets, you can easily modify various aspects of your site’s behavior to align with your preferences. Start experimenting with filters and unlock the power of customization in your WordPress journey.