In WordPress, template tags are functions used to retrieve and display data from your website. When it comes to get_the_* and the_* template tags, the primary difference lies in how they handle the retrieved data.
get_the_* template tags:
These functions return the requested data as a value, which can be stored in a variable, manipulated, or used in conditional statements. They do not output or echo the data directly. You need to use echo to display the value.
$title = get_the_title(); // Stores the post title in the $title variable echo $title; // Outputs the post title
the_* template tags:
These functions automatically output or echo the requested data. You cannot store the data in a variable, as the functions print the data directly to the screen.
the_title(); // Directly outputs the post title
- get_the_* functions return the data as a value, allowing you to store it in a variable or use it for further processing before displaying it.
- the_* functions directly output the data without giving you the opportunity to store or manipulate it beforehand.
Both types of functions serve different purposes, and you should choose the one that best suits your needs when working with WordPress themes or plugins.