How do you understand the WordPress Loop and how would you use it to display a list of blog posts?

The WordPress Loop is the PHP code that WordPress uses to display post content. The Loop is customisable via the Editor section in WordPress. It usually varies by theme.

The loop contains three parts:

  1. Start of the loop
  2. Display the tags that display the content for each post (e.g. title, image thumbnail, excerpt, etc.), and
  3. End of the loop.

The start of the loop will check to see if the page is displaying multiple posts or a single post. The second part is used to display the content of the post/s, according to the tags used. There are a number of tags that can be used to add content to a blog post or a blog page, which areĀ listed on the WordPress Codex. If there are no posts available, a customisable message that there are ‘no posts yet’ will be displayed.

An example of a simple loop below:

<?php if ( have_posts() ) :
while ( have_posts() ) :
the_post(); ?>
//insert display tags here
<?php endwhile; else: ?>
//insert a message that no posts have been added yet here
<?php endif; ?>

More advanced versions of the loop include creating multiple loops and nested loops. Multiple loops are used when more than one type or group of posts are on a single page (e.g. a featured post list and a recent post list). Nested loops refer to a second loop running before the first one is ended.