PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) to enforce WP Engine coding conventions

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1.0.0 2020-11-13 19:07 UTC


WP Engine Coding Standards for WordPress

If WordPress Coding Standards offer a baseline for developers to use when contributing to or extending WordPress, think of WP Engine Coding Standards as an additional layer of best practices that:

  • help developers achieve greater consistency within their themes and plugins
  • assist developers in meeting the requirements of a WP Engine Solution Partner
  • ensure that all software listed in the WP Engine Solution Center is of the highest quality
  • offer users maximum performance and security benefits when using those themes and plugins in a modern hosting environment (PHP 7+)

The information included here walks you through the process of installing and using WP Engine Coding Standards to lint your code.


WP Engine Coding Standards (WPECS) uses Composer to install these main dependencies:

If you're using Homebrew on Mac, you can install Composer with: brew install composer. Otherwise, follow the official installation instructions for Composer.


Global installation

  1. Clone the repository and install the dependencies:
git clone git@github.com:wpengine/wpengine-coding-standards.git
cd wpengine-coding-standards
composer install
  1. Link your coding standards to your phpcs installation:
phpcs --config-set installed_paths /path/to/wp-engine-coding-standards

Install as a dependency

You can also install the coding standards as a dependency in your local project. Here's how

  1. Add the following repository to your composer.json
"repositories": [
      "type": "git",
      "url": "https://github.com/wpengine/wpengine-coding-standards.git"
  1. Manually add the following to require-dev in composer.json
"wpengine/wpengine-coding-standards": "dev-master"
  1. Run composer install or composer update to ensure your project is configured.

  2. You can now use WP-Engine or WP-Engine-Strict in any IDE that uses the local phpcs. If you already have a phpcs.xml in your project, simply add the following to it:

 <rule ref="WP-Engine-Strict"/>

Alternative Install (wpecs command)

Clone or download this repository. From terminal, navigate to the download location and install WPECS globally with the following command:

make install

You will then be able to run WPECS from any directory.

Running make install will install WPECS dependencies and register coding standards with PHPCS.

  • Note you might need to manually move the binaries to your path, or properly set path, if make fails.


Command line

Run the phpcs command line tool on a given file or directory, for example:

phpcs --standard=WP-Engine wp-load.php

WP-Engine Coding Standard

The required standard for secure WordPress development.

wpecs .

WP-Engine-Strict Coding Standard

The recommend standard for WP Engine authored plugins.

wpecs --standard="WP-Engine-Strict" .

Using PHPCS and WP Engine Coding Standards from within your IDE

While the following is based on the parent WordPress Coding Standards, simply swap out the ruleset you need for WP-Engine or WP-Engine-Strict as appropriate.

Alternative usage (wpecs)

USAGE: wpecs [--strict] [phpcs-options] Run the specified path against the WP Engine Coding Standards Attempt to fix sniffs against the WP Engine Strict Coding Standards


For help understanding errors or warnings and suggestions for troubleshooting specific issues, please refer to the full WP Engine Coding Standards Documentation.