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What is: Loop

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‘The loop’ is also commonly called ‘The WordPress loop’, or simply just ‘loop’. It is the key piece of PHP code that displays the posts on a WordPress website.

The WordPress loop is arguably one of the most important aspects of the WordPress code and is at the core of most queries in one way or another.

What Is a Loop in WordPress?

Infographic: Understanding the WordPress Loop

The loop is used in WordPress themes to display a list of posts on a web page.

Theme developers can format the output by using template tags to customize how each post inside the loop is displayed. Several template tags only work inside the WordPress loop and are used to format, arrange, and publish post data.

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

Infographic - Understanding the WordPress Loop

Code Example: A Simple WordPress Loop

You might like to see an example.

Here is some PHP code used to form 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>

We hope this article helped you learn more about the WordPress loop. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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