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The context is one of the most important concepts to understand in Timber. Think of the context as the set of variables that are passed to your Twig template.

In the following example, $data is an associative array of values. Each of the values will be available in the Twig template with the key as a variable name.


$data = [
'message' => 'This can be any variable you want',
'author' => 'Tom',

Timber::render('single.twig', $data);


<h3>Message by {{ author }}</h3>
<p>{{ message }}</p>

The Timber::context() function #

You don’t have to figure out all the variables you need in a template for yourself. Timber will provide you with a set of useful variables when you call Timber::context().


$context = Timber::context();

Timber::render('single.twig', $context);

Follow this guide to get an overview of what’s in the context, or use var_dump( $context ); in PHP or {{ dump() }} in Twig to display the contents of the context in your browser.

Setting variables in the context #

After you’ve called Timber::context(), you can add additional variables or overwrite existing variables in your context.

$context = Timber::context();

$context['today'] = wp_date('Ymd');

Timber::render('single.twig', $context);

Another way to do this is to pass your custom data to the Timber::context() function itself:

$context = Timber::context([
'today' => wp_date('Ymd'),

Timber::render('single.twig', $context);

Global context #

The global context is the context that is always set when you load it through Timber::context().

Global context variables #

Among others, the following variables will be available:

  • site – The site variable is a Timber\Site object which will make it easier for you to retrieve info about your WordPress site. If you’re used to using blog_info( 'sitename' ) in PHP, you can use {{ site.name }} in Twig instead.
  • theme - The theme variable is a Timber\Theme object and contains info about your theme.
  • user - The user variable will be a Timber\User object if a user/visitor is currently logged in and otherwise it will be null.

For a full list of variables, go have a look at the reference for Timber::context().

Hook into the global context #

In your theme, you probably have elements that you use on every page, like a navigation menu, or a postal address or phone number. You don’t want to add these variables to the context every time you call Timber::render() or Timber::compile(). And you don’t have to! You can use the timber/context filter to add your own data that will always be available.

Here’s an example for how you could add a navigation menu to your context so that it becomes available in every template you use:


// Example: Add a menu to the global context.
add_filter('timber/context', function ($context) {
$context['menu'] = Timber::get_menu('primary-menu');

return $context;

For menus to work, you will first need to register them.

Context cache #

The global context will be cached. That’s why you need to define your timber/context filter before using Timber::context() for the first time. Otherwise, the cache will be set before you could add your own data.

Having a cached global context can be useful if you need the context in other places. For example if you compile the template for a shortcode:

* Shortcode for address inside a WYSIWG field.

add_shortcode('company_address', function () {
return Timber::compile(

In this example, we've provided all the global context variables to shortcode/company-address.twig via Timber::context_global(). Whenever you only need the global context, you should use the Timber::context_global() function. You can call that function multiple times without losing performance.

Timber will not cache template contexts.

Template contexts #

When WordPress decides which PHP template file it will display, it has already run database queries to fetch posts for archive templates or to set up the $post global for singular templates.

When you call Timber::context(), Timber will automatically populate your context with different variables like post, posts, term, terms or author, depending on which type of template file you’re in.

Singular templates #

The post variable will be available in singular templates (when is_singular() returns true), like posts or pages. It will contain a Timber\Post object of the currently displayed post.


$context = Timber::context();

Timber::render('single.twig', $context);

By calling Timber::get_post() without any arguments, Timber will use the $post global for the current singular template.

Getting the current post #

Now, Timber has already fetched the current post for your in Timber::context(). Here’s how you could access it:

$context = Timber::context();

$post = $context['post'];

Timber::render('single.twig', $context);

Using a custom post class #

If you want to use your own post class, you can use the Post Class Map to register that class for your post type. Timber::context() will then automatically set the post variable using your class.

If you want to overwrite the existing post variable in the context, you can do that.

// Getting another post.
$post = Timber::get_post(12);

// Get context with your post.
$context = Timber::context([
'post' => $post,

Or even shorter:

// Getting another post.
$post = Timber::get_post(12);

$context = Timber::context([
'post' => $post->setup(),

Be aware! Whenever you set up a post in a singular template (instead of relying on Timber::context() to do it for you), you need to set up your post through $post->setup(). The setup() function improves compatibility with third-party plugins.

Archive templates #

The posts variable will be available in archive templates (when is_archive() returns true). In addition to that, it will also contain post or term variables for different archive types. Here’s a small overview.

ArchiveConditionContext variables
Taxonomy Archiveis_category()
Author Archiveis_author()author
Search Archiveis_search()posts
All other archivesis_archive()posts

The posts variable will contain an object that implements Timber\PostCollectionInterace with the posts that WordPress already fetched for your archive page.

Use the default query #


$context = Timber::context();

Timber::render('archive.twig', $context);

Write your own query #

When you don’t need the default query, you can pass in your own arguments to Timber::get_posts().


$context = Timber::context([
'posts' => Timber::get_posts([
'post_type' => 'book',
'posts_per_page' => -1,
'post_status' => 'publish',

Change arguments for default query #

Sometimes you don’t want to use the default query, but build on the default query and only change a little thing. You can change arguments for the default query that WordPress will use to fetch posts by using the merge_default argument. For example, if you’d want to change the default query to only show posts written by a specific group of authors, you could pass in an author__in argument:


$context = Timber::context([
'posts' => Timber::get_posts(
'author__in' => [1, 6, 14],
'merge_default' => true,

Timber::render('archive.twig', $context);

Timber will accept the parameters that can be found in WordPress’s WP_Query class.

Use a custom post class #

By default, Timber::get_posts() will contain Timber\Post objects. If you want to control what class will be used for the posts, you can use the Post Class Map.