The Theme Hook Alliance

It looks like after three years since the discussion took place on the WPTavern forums regarding the standardization of theme hooks, Doug Stewart has decided to put together a Theme Hook Alliance project to get theme authors all on the same page.

Child theme authors and plugin developers need a consistent set of entry points to allow for easy customization and altering of functionality. Core WordPress offers a suite of [action hooks](http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Action_Reference/) and [template tags](http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_tags) but does not cover many of the common use cases. The Theme Hook Alliance is a community-driven effort to agree on a set of third-party action hooks that THA themes pledge to implement in order to give that desired consistency.

It will be interesting to see how far this goes and what the adoption rate will be like. Doug is looking for some feedback so if you’re keen to the idea, let him know in the comments of his blog post.

4 Comments


  1. The cynic in me is tempted to say that I’d expect uptake from the major theme vendors to be low (especially “premium” theme vendors). By using framework-specific hooks in their themes, they are essentially creating a lock-in, similar to the lock-in created by theme- and framework-specific shortcodes. Bad for customers, bad for the community, good for the theme vendors who want make it hard for customers to switch to themes by other theme vendors. If they were to start using these standardised theme hooks they reduce lock-in and potentially reduce recurring revenue.

    I would love to be proved wrong and see some good uptake from theme vendors once a nice set of standardised hooks have been agreed on.

    Also, for anyone looking for Doug’s blog post, it’s here: http://literalbarrage.org/blog/2012/06/29/wordpress-theme-hook-alliance/

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  2. I agree with @John. But encouraging theme designers to put hooks in could start an avalanche. Some themes are big/slow enough as it is if they’re encouraged to put hooks in they’ll soon start saying “with 121 action/filter hooks” just like some say “62 widget areas”.

    Customizable is one thing, but overly complicated is another.

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  3. Thanks for the link, Jeff!

    I’ve just released a second draft over on the Github project (subbing in add_theme_support in place of some define’d constants).

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  4. Sounds good in principal – at least as a baseline rather than being seen as a complete set. I’d imagine that a lot of theme frameworks could bring this in by simply adding new aliases for their existing hooks.

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