What is: Loop

The loop, or WordPress loop or simply loop, is PHP code that displays WordPress posts. The loop is used in WordPress themes to display a list of posts in a web page.

Inside the loop there are some functions that are run by default to display posts. Theme developers can format the output by using template tags to customize how each post inside the loop is displayed. There are several Template tags that work only inside the WordPress loop and can be used to format, arrange, and publish post data. The WordPress loop is arguably one of the most important aspects of the WordPress code and at the core of most queries in one way or another.

Understanding the WordPress Loop – Infographic

We have created an infographic to break down the WordPress Loop for beginners.

Infographic - Understanding the WordPress Loop

An example usage of a simple WordPress loop:

// checks if there are any posts that match the query
if (have_posts()) :
  // If there are posts matching the query then start the loop
  while ( have_posts() ) : the_post();
    // the code between the while loop will be repeated for each post
    <h2 id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>"><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent Link to <?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
    <p class="date-author">Posted: <?php the_date(); ?> by <?php the_author(); ?></p>
    <?php the_content(); ?>
    <p class="postmetadata">Filed in: <?php the_category(); ?> | Tagged: <?php the_tags(); ?> | <a href="<?php comments_link(); ?>" title="Leave a comment">Comments</a></p>
    // Stop the loop when all posts are displayed
// If no posts were found
else :
<p>Sorry no posts matched your criteria.</p>

This post was originally published in the wpbeginner glossary.

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