A command line interface for WordPress
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WP-CLI: WordPress Command Line Tools

What is wp-cli

A tool to control WordPress installations from the command line.


Clone the project:

git clone https://github.com/andreascreten/wp-cli.git
cd wp-cli
git submodule update --init

Make a symlink to the executable:

sudo ln -s /path-to-wp-cli-dir/wp /usr/local/bin/

Make a symlink to the autocomplete file (Linux):

sudo ln -s /path-to-wp-cli-dir/wp-cli-completion.bash /etc/bash_completion.d/wp


Go into a WordPress root folder:

cd /var/www/wp/

Typing wp help should show you an output similar to this:

Example usage:
    wp google-sitemap [build|help] ...
    wp core [update|help] ...
    wp home [help] ...
    wp option [add|update|delete|get|help] ...
    wp plugin [status|activate|deactivate|install|delete|update|help] ...
    wp theme [status|details|activate|help] ...

So this tells us which commands are installed: eg. google-sitemap, core, home, ... Between brackets you can see their sub commands.

Let's for example try to install the hello dolly plugin from wordpress.org:

wp plugin install hello-dolly


Installing Hello Dolly (1.5)

Downloading install package from http://downloads.WordPress.org/plugin/hello-dolly.1.5.zip ...
Unpacking the package ...
Installing the plugin ...

Success: The plugin is successfully installed


On a multisite installation, you need to pass a --blog parameter, so that WP knows which site it's supposed to be operating on:

wp theme status --blog=localhost/wp/test

If you have a subdomain installation, it would look like this:

wp theme status --blog=test.example.com

If you're usually working on the same site most of the time, you can put the url of that site in a file called 'wp-cli-blog' in your root WP dir:

echo 'test.example.com' > wp-cli-blog

Then, you can call wp without the --blog parameter again:

wp theme status

Adding commands

Adding commands to wp-cli is very easy. You can even add them from within your own plugin.

Each command has its own class, the methods of that class are the sub commands of the command. The base class for the commands is the abstract WP_CLI_Command, it handles some essential functionality (like default help for your command).

You can add new commands to the commands/community folder in the wp-cli plugin, they will be auto-loaded on startup. You can also add commands from within your plugins by just calling the wp-cli hooks from there.

A wp-cli class is structured like this:

 * Implement example command
 * @package wp-cli
 * @subpackage commands/cummunity
 * @author Andreas Creten
class ExampleCommand extends WP_CLI_Command {
     * Example method
     * @param string $args 
     * @return void
    function example($args = array()) {
        // Print a success message
        WP_CLI::success('Success message');

To register this class under the example command, add the following line to the top of your command class file.

// Add the command to the wp-cli
WP_CLI::addCommand('example', 'ExampleCommand');

This will register the comand wp example and the subcommand wp example example. If you run wp example example, the text Success: Success message will be printed to the command line and the script will end.

You can take a look at the example command file in commands/community/example.php for more details. For the ways to interact with the command line, you should take a look at the WP_CLI class in the class-wp-cli.php file.

If you want to register the command from within your plugin you might want to add a check to see if wp-cli is running. By doing this you can implement your wp-cli command by default, even if wp-cli is not installed on the WordPress installation. You can use the WP_CLI constant to check if wp-cli is running:

if(defined('WP_CLI') && WP_CLI) {
    // Define and register your command in here

Please share the commands you make, issue a pull request to get them included in wp-cli by default.



  • PHP >= 5.3