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wp_create_user() Vs wp_insert_user(), which one should you use and when? Save your development time with this 2 minutes read.

wp_create_user() Vs wp_insert_user()
Source: Pexels.com

Both the wp_create_user() and wp_insert_user() functions are used to create a new user in a WordPress site. However, they have some differences that you may want to consider when deciding which one to use.

wp_create_user() is a simpler function that takes three parameters: a username, a password, and an email address. It creates a new user with the specified username, password, and email, and assigns the user the default role (typically “subscriber”). This function is useful when you just need to quickly create a new user and don’t need to specify any additional details or custom roles.

wp_insert_user() is a more flexible function that allows you to specify a wide range of additional user data, such as the user’s first and last name, website, and description. It also allows you to specify a custom role for the user. This function is useful when you need to create a user with more detailed information or when you need to assign a specific role to the user.

Difference between wp_create_user() and wp_insert_user()

Here are some key differences between the two functions:

  • wp_create_user() combines the functions of wp_insert_user() and wp_new_user_notification(), so it creates the user and sends an email notification about the new user. wp_insert_user() only inserts or updates the user in the database and does not send any email notifications.
  • wp_create_user() returns the user’s ID, while wp_insert_user() returns a WP_Error object on failure or the user’s ID on success.
  • wp_create_user() takes fewer arguments than wp_insert_user(), as it does not have options for sending custom email notifications or setting the user’s role.

In general, you should use wp_create_user() if you just need to quickly create a new user with the default role, and use wp_insert_user() if you need to specify additional user data or a custom role.

Example: wp_create_user() versus wp_insert_user()

Here are some examples of how you might use the wp_create_user() and wp_insert_user() functions:

Using wp_create_user():

$username = 'john.doe';
$password = 'password';
$email = 'john.doe@example.com';

$user_id = wp_create_user( $username, $password, $email );

if ( is_wp_error( $user_id ) ) {
    // There was an error creating the user
    echo $user_id->get_error_message();
} else {
    // The user was successfully created
    echo 'User created with ID: ' . $user_id;

Using wp_insert_user():

$user_data = array(
    'user_login'    => 'john.doe',
    'user_pass'     => 'password',
    'user_email'    => 'john.doe@example.com',
    'first_name'    => 'John',
    'last_name'     => 'Doe',
    'user_url'      => 'https://example.com',
    'description'   => 'This is a test user.',
    'role'          => 'author'

$user_id = wp_insert_user( $user_data );

if ( is_wp_error( $user_id ) ) {
    // There was an error creating the user
    echo $user_id->get_error_message();
} else {
    // The user was successfully created
    echo 'User created with ID: ' . $user_id;

In the first example, we use wp_create_user() to create a new user with the username “john.doe”, the password “password”, and the email address “john.doe@example.com“. The user will be assigned the default role (typically “subscriber”).

In the second example, we use wp_insert_user() to create a new user with the same username and password, but we also specify additional user data such as the user’s first and last name, website, and description. We also specify that the user should be assigned the “author” role.

We hope these examples help clarify the differences between these two functions and how you might use them in your WordPress site. Let us know if you have any questions!

For official WordPress1 documentation, click here.

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  1. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that is widely used to create websites and blogs. It was first released in 2003 and has since become one of the most popular CMS platforms, powering over 60 million websites worldwide. WordPress is an open-source platform, which means it is developed and maintained by a community of volunteers. This also means that it is free to use and there are no licensing fees. However, users can choose to pay for premium themes and plugins to further customise their website. Overall, WordPress is a popular and powerful CMS platform that is well-suited for creating websites and blogs of all sizes and types.