WordPress Deprecated Tags

When building a WordPress theme, one thing that you might immediately get called out for (by other designers mostly) is the use of deprecated template tags.

Essentially, WordPress occasionally deprecates certain tags and replaces them with better, many times more descriptive, template tags. These updates usually come alongside a major upgrades in the WordPress code itself (like when WP went to version 2.0, 2.1, etc.).

When WP deprecates tags, it is considered best practice to “upgrade” your themes (custom and free) to replace the old tags with the new ones. For instance, the wp_list_cats template tag has been depreciated and replaced with the wp_list_categories tag. Notice the red text at the top of the each one of these pages that I just linked to. On the wp_list_cats page, you’ll notice that there is a clear iteration that the tag has been deprecated. The good thing is, they tell you which tag to use instead, which will save you a lot headaches when looking for the newest tag.

But when upgrading to the newer tags, you may also notice that some of them are not compatible with older versions of WordPress. This means that if you’re using the older versions of WordPress, these tags are going to spit back a nice little error message.

So when building WordPress themes, make sure you check the tags you use to see if they have been depreciated or not. If they have, go ahead and switch them over. But even if you forget to do this, most (if not all) of the deprecated tags will still work in the newer versions of WordPress, so don’t worry about it too much.

About Michael Jackness

A serial entrepreneur in projects large and small across multiple industries. Mike is the CEO of Terran Marketing which specializes in WordPress based websites.

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2 thoughts on “WordPress Deprecated Tags”

  1. Will Chapman says:Thanks for that very clear description. The issue is now much clearer although I had figured out what to do with the warnings that offered a solution, e.g. foo_old() was deprecated in WP 2.8, replace with foo_now().For me, the remaining unanswered question is what to do with the very many that offer no replacement or solution thus:Argument in add_option()Used in wp-content/plugins/xml-google-maps/xmlgooglemaps_optionsinit.php on line 186.
    No alternative available. Deprecated in version 2.3.Looking at the code at line 186 above I find there are 55 uses of add_option() and I have no idea what to do about them!Any suggestions?
    1.  Billy Shaun says:Simply use update_option() instead.
Kevin Muldoon
Kevin Muldoon

Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity, Internet Marketing and Social Media on his personal blog and and provides technical support at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter: @KevinMuldoon

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