Should I escape wordpress functions like the_title, the_excerpt, the_content

The question:

I had look at the code but I couldnt see any escaping on funcions like the_title the_content the_excerptetc. I might not be reading it right. Do I need to escape these functions in theme development like:

esc_html ( the_title () )

Edit: as pointed out in the answers below the above code is wrong regardless – the code should have read
esc_html ( get_the_title () )

The Solutions:

Below are the methods you can try. The first solution is probably the best. Try others if the first one doesn’t work. Senior developers aren’t just copying/pasting – they read the methods carefully & apply them wisely to each case.

Method 1

Escaping depends entirely on the context in which you are using the functions. What is safe for displaying inside <h1> tags, is not necessarily safe to display for the value attribute of an input field, and even that wouldn’t necessarily be safe as a href attribute value….

In short – perform the sanitisation yourself as you output it. Though in the case of the_title () or get_the_title (), esc_html is not necessary, since WordPress applies the following functions:

Note: the_title prints the title – so esc_html ( the_title () ) won’t work. Similarly, the_content prints the content (in any case, you’d expect the content to display HTML).

Method 2

Yes and no – depends on whether you want html in those functions to be output or not. If you escape the_content(), for example, and it contains a <div> tag, that tag would actually be output to the page as &lt;div&gt; instead.

By the way, if you do escape the output of those functions, you’ll want to use their “get_” equivalents (ex. get_the_content()) as those functions echo their output directly.

Method 3

You can simply write a function like this and hook it to the_title filter:

function my_escape_title( $title ){
    return esc_html( $title );
add_filter( 'the_title', 'my_escape_title' );

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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