How to Log All SQL Queries in WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

When working with WordPress, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the SQL queries being executed behind the scenes. Whether you’re troubleshooting performance issues or analyzing database interactions, having a comprehensive log of SQL queries can be invaluable. In this article, we will explore how to log all SQL queries in WordPress using PHP code examples.

Step 1: Setting Up the Logging Functionality

The first step is to create a function that will handle the logging of SQL queries. Open your theme’s functions.php file or create a custom plugin and add the following code:

function log_sql_queries($query)
    $log_file = WP_CONTENT_DIR . '/sql-queries.log';
    $formatted_query = date('Y-m-d H:i:s') . ":\n" . $query . "\n\n";
    error_log($formatted_query, 3, $log_file);

add_action('log_sql', 'log_sql_queries');

In the above code, we define a function named log_sql_queries that takes a query as its parameter. The function appends the query to a log file (sql-queries.log) located in the wp-content directory. The error_log() function is used to write the query to the log file.

Step 2: Hooking Into the Database Query Execution

To log all SQL queries, we need to hook into the WordPress database query execution process. WordPress provides an action hook called do_action() that allows us to add custom actions at specific points in the code execution. We’ll use this hook to call our logging function.

Open your theme’s functions.php file or create a custom plugin and add the following code:

function log_all_sql_queries($query)
    do_action('log_sql', $query);

add_action('query', 'log_all_sql_queries');

In the above code, we define a function named log_all_sql_queries that receives the query as a parameter. This function triggers our custom action log_sql, passing the query to it. We then hook this function to the query action using the add_action() function.

Step 3: Enabling the SQL Query Logging

With the above code in place, WordPress will now log all SQL queries to the specified log file. However, by default, logging is disabled. To enable logging, we need to add a constant to the wp-config.php file.

Open your wp-config.php file and add the following line just above the “/* That’s all, stop editing! */” comment:

define('SAVEQUERIES', true);

This constant, when set to true, enables the saving of SQL queries in WordPress. By default, the logged queries will include information about the query itself, execution time, and the calling function.

Step 4: Accessing the SQL Query Log

To access the SQL query log, simply navigate to the log file we defined earlier (sql-queries.log). The log file will contain a timestamped list of all SQL queries executed on your WordPress site.

You can open the log file in a text editor or use terminal commands such as cat (Unix-based systems) or type (Windows) to view the contents directly from the command line.


Logging SQL queries in WordPress is a powerful technique that allows you to gain insight into the database interactions of your website. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily set up SQL query logging and access the log file to analyze and troubleshoot any performance or functionality issues.

Remember to use logging sparingly and disable it when it’s no longer needed, as it can potentially impact performance

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny

Jan Horecny is a highly skilled Lead Senior Developer at GALTON Brands, specializing in WordPress development, PHP, and databases. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creating exceptional online experiences, Jan consistently delivers top-notch solutions that drive results. His extensive expertise in WordPress, coupled with his deep understanding of PHP and database management, enables him to design and develop robust, scalable, and user-friendly websites.