How to Create a Custom Registration Form in WordPress Without Using Plugins

Custom registration forms in WordPress offer an organic user experience and unique opportunities. They allow you to gather specific information from users, promote your brand, and tailor the registration process to your site’s needs without relying on additional plugins. For developers and website owners who prefer a hands-on approach, building a custom registration form is a great way to exercise creative control over user interactions. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk through the process of crafting a custom registration form, empowering you to engage your users more effectively.

Step 1: Accessing the WordPress Theme Files

Navigate to the Theme Editor in the WordPress Dashboard

To begin, access your WordPress dashboard and click on ‘Appearance,’ then select ‘Theme Editor.’

Locate the Functions.php File in the Theme Editor

In the theme editor, find and select the ‘functions.php’ file from the list of your active theme files. The ‘functions.php’ file is a key component as it’s where all the custom functions for your theme are executed.

Step 2: Adding Custom Registration Form Code

Insert PHP Code to Create the Custom Registration Form

PHP is the backbone of dynamic content in WordPress. Below the existing code in functions.php, enter the custom PHP code to start building the form. You will need to use HTML within the PHP code to structure the form elements.

Here’s a simplified example of PHP code to create a form:


// Registration form code starts here

function custom_registration_form() {



<form id="registration_form" method="post" action="<?php echo esc_url($_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']); ?>">


<label for="username">Username <strong>*</strong><br>

<input type="text" name="username" value="<?php echo (isset($POST['username']) ? $POST['username'] : ''); ?>">




<label for="email">Email <strong>*</strong><br>

<input type="email" name="email" value="<?php echo (isset($POST['email']) ? $POST['email'] : ''); ?>">




<label for="password">Password <strong>*</strong><br>

<input type="password" name="password">



<input type="submit" name="submit" value="Register">




// Registration form code ends here

Customize Form Fields and Styling as Needed

Modify the form’s HTML to match the design of your website. You can add more fields and adjust the layout by embedding the necessary CSS styles within the HTML.

Here’s how you can customize field styling:


#registration_form label {

display: block;

margin-bottom: 3px;

font-weight: bold;

font-size: 1.1em;


#registration_form input[type="submit"] {

background-color: #4CAF50; /* Green */

color: white;

padding: 10px 20px;

text-align: center;

text-decoration: none;

display: inline-block;

font-size: 16px;

margin: 4px 2px;

cursor: pointer;

border-radius: 4px;



Remember to include proper validation to ensure data integrity. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll demonstrate how to validate the registration form fields using PHP.


$username = sanitize_user($_POST['username']);

$email = sanitize_email($_POST['email']);

if (empty($username) || empty($email) || !is_email($email)) {

echo 'Please fill out every field and use a valid email address.';


else {

$password = wp_hash_password($_POST['password']);

$userdata = array(

'user_login' => $username,

'user_email' => $email,

'user_pass' => $password


$user_id = wp_insert_user( $userdata );


echo $user_id->get_error_message();


echo 'Registration complete. Go to <a href="'.site_url('/wp-login.php').'">login page</a>.';



Step 3: Implementing Form Validation and Submission

Add Code for Form Validation to Ensure Data Integrity

After the form HTML, incorporate the PHP code to validate the form fields, ensuring all required data is provided and in the correct format.

// Validation and sanitization functions

function custom_registration_validation($username, $email, $password) {

global $reg_errors;

$reg_errors = new WP_Error;

if (empty($username) || empty($email) || !is_email($email) || empty($password)) {

$reg_errors->add('field', 'Please fill out all fields.');


if (username_exists($username)) {

$reg_errors->add('user_name', 'Sorry, that username already exists!');


if (email_exists($email)) {

$reg_errors->add('user_email', 'Sorry, that email address is already used!');


if (is_wp_error($reg_errors) && empty($reg_errors->get_error_messages())) {

return true;


return false;


You can now call this `custom_registration_validation` function within the main registration form to handle the logic.

Include Code to Process Form Submission and Store Data

To handle the form submission and store the data, you need to add the following PHP code:

// Process the registration

function custom_registration_register_user() {

if (isset($POST['submit']) && isset($POST['username']) && isset($POST['email']) && isset($POST['password'])) {

$username = $_POST['username'];

$email = $_POST['email'];

$password = $_POST['password'];

if (custom_registration_validation($username, $email, $password)) {

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

$success = 'Your account has been created';




add_action('init', 'custom_registration_register_user');

This action will take the user’s input, register them, and provide a success message. Remember to check for any errors and handle them gracefully.

Step 4: Integrating the Custom Form with WordPress

Link the Custom Registration Form to the WordPress User Database

To connect the custom registration form to the WordPress user database, you can use the `wp_create_user()` function. This function will add the user’s information to WordPress, creating a new user.

Test the Form Functionality to Ensure it Captures and Processes User Data Correctly

Once everything is set up, test your custom registration form thoroughly. Input various data combinations, making sure the form processes data correctly and stores it in the WordPress database. Check that users receive the proper error messages when their input does not meet validation criteria and that they can successfully register when input is valid.


Creating a custom registration form without plugins in WordPress is a rewarding endeavor. It allows for full control over the user experience and can be tailored to precise business needs. By following these steps and customizing the provided code snippets, you’ll be able to craft a form that seamlessly integrates with your site. Remember to always validate user input, provide clear feedback, and test your form thoroughly to ensure the best results.

Encourage your visitors to interact with your custom form and utilize the gathered data to enhance your website’s functionality and user engagement. Continue exploring WordPress’s capabilities, and enjoy the customized interaction between your site and its users.

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