Using WordPress ‘do_action_ref_array()’ PHP function

The do_action_ref_array() WordPress PHP function invokes the callback functions that are attached to a certain action hook. The arguments to the functions are given in an array form.


Let’s consider a scenario where you have an array of arguments that you want to pass to the callback functions of a specific action hook:

$args = array( 'apple', 7, 'banana', 'cherry' );
do_action_ref_array( 'fruit_action', $args );

This code will execute the same as:

do_action( 'fruit_action', 'apple', 7, 'banana', 'cherry' );


  • $hook_name (string): The name of the action to be executed.
  • $args (array): The arguments supplied to the functions hooked to $hook_name.

More information

See WordPress Developer Resources: do_action_ref_array()


Basic Usage

In this example, we’re calling an action and passing an array of arguments. This is a straightforward application of the do_action_ref_array() function.

$args = array( 'apple', 7, 'banana', 'cherry' );
do_action_ref_array( 'fruit_action', $args );

Modifying Parameters

In this example, we are specifying separate parameters and also modifying them. It shows how you can manipulate parameters within your hooked functions.

do_action_ref_array( 'wpdocs_my_action', array( &$arg1, &$arg2, &$arg3, &$arg4 ) );


add_action( 'wpdocs_my_action', 'wpdocs_my_callback', 10, 4 );

function wpdocs_my_callback( &$arg1, &$arg2, &$arg3, &$arg4 ) {
    // access and modify values with $arg1, $arg2, etc.

Multiple Actions

This example shows how you can call multiple actions with different sets of arguments.

$args1 = array( 'apple', 7, 'banana', 'cherry' );
$args2 = array( 'red', 'green', 'blue' );

do_action_ref_array( 'fruit_action', $args1 );
do_action_ref_array( 'color_action', $args2 );

Dynamic Action Name

Here, the action name is dynamic and based on a variable. This is useful when you want to execute actions dynamically.

$action_name = 'dynamic_action';
$args = array( 'arg_1', true, 'foo', 'arg_4' );

do_action_ref_array( $action_name, $args );

No Arguments

The do_action_ref_array() function can be used even when there are no arguments to pass to the hooked functions. In this case, an empty array is used.

do_action_ref_array( 'no_arg_action', array() );