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What is the user meta function in WordPress ?

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 22 Mar, 2022
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In this article, we will learn the process of the user meta function that happens in WordPress software.

What is User Meta?

The user meta in WordPress stands for the distinct, different, and customized text fields for each user depending on the choice of the users. In WordPress, the metafunction of the user can relate to the various number of the data and the information which holds true and unique identification information for each user on the WordPress.

The metafunction of WordPress is used to retrieve all the available unique information of each user which is known as the metadata. It generally returns a value that is stored in the array data structure and it contains a single value of the user metafunction of data.

Adding the meta function to WordPress helps the administrator to take control over all the users and their privacy. The metafunction is a very important tool in WordPress because it can make use of the third-party plugins of WordPress to work with other clients on the project. Some use cases of the metafunction are:

  • It allows the clients of WordPress to provide each user with an appropriate database containing the required data for each user. It allows the user to access the data separately in his individual private dashboard which contains all the data for unique use only.
  • It allows them to introduce third-party plugins on WordPress in order to make the processing and customizing the data of each particular user limited to that user only.
  • It also helps to optimize the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in WordPress to provide how the webpages would look when the user searches any query or result on a search engine.

Meta Function: The user metafunction for WordPress is mainly known by the function update_user_meta( ).The user meta function consists of mainly four factors. These four factors of the user meta function include – User ID, Meta key, Previous value & Meta value.

The basic format of order in which the given metadata function for each user is defined in the following syntax manner –

update_user_meta ( $user_id, $meta_key, $meta_value, $prev_value );

The User ID of the metadata function helps to identify and enable each user identification process in WordPress. The meta key is responsible for affecting the user data field in WordPress for the meta function to occur once. The meta value key in the function may be in form of which data types like integer, array, and strings further depending on the amount of data space required by each of the users for a particular purpose. The previous value in the metafunction is responsible for finding the value of the previously stored values of the Meta keys for further storage purposes.

 Delete user metafunction: The next most important function for WordPress is the delete function of the metadata function. It is denoted usually by the code delete_user_meta( ). It allows the users to delete and erase the preinstalled code in the metafunction of WordPress. There are generally three factors that are responsible for the delete function in WordPress including – User ID, Meta key & Meta value.

The basic format of order in which the given metadata function is deleted from the database for each user is defined in the following syntax manner –

delete_user_meta( $user_id, $meta_key, $meta_value );

It uses the User ID to identify and process the data for the deletion operation for removing the loop in the Meta function of WordPress. Meanwhile, the meta key is responsible for holding the customized keys that contain the values to perform the deletion on the structured loop. Also, the Meta value is used instead of the Previous value to avoid any overlapping of the instructions, to avoid any improper deletion while the metafunction performs the operation. 

Get metadata function: The get metadata function is used to retrieve and traverse all the points in the function containing WordPress. It is denoted by the function as get_user_meta( ). It allows the users to import all the data from the database of WordPress so that it reduces the time process the data.  There are generally three factors that are responsible for the get metadata function in WordPress including – User ID, Meta key & single.

The basic format of order in which the given metadata function is imported from the database for each user is defined in the following syntax manner:

get_user_meta( $user_id, $meta_key, $single );

It uses the User ID as usual in order to locate and identify each point in the metafunction. The user meta key carries out the associative operations on the arrays of the database so that all the data points in WordPress get covered at the same time. At last, the Single is used to Boolean operations like True or False on these data sets depending on if the outcome of the statement shows that all the points in the metafunction are being used.

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