ExpressionEngine Docs


A helper file is simply a collection of functions in a particular category. Helpers are not written in an Object Oriented format. They are simple, procedural functions. Each helper function performs one specific task, with no dependencies on other functions or classes. Helpers are stored in system/ee/legacy/helpers or in your addon’s helpers directory.

Loading a Helper

Loading a helper file is quite simple using the following method:


Where name is the file name of the helper, without the .php file extension or the “helper” part. For example, to load the URL Helper file, which is named url_helper.php, you would do this:


Loading Multiple Helpers

If you need to load more than one helper you can specify them in an array, like this:

ee()->load->helper(array('helper1', 'helper2', 'helper3'));

Using a Helper

Once you’ve loaded the Helper File containing the function you intend to use, you’ll call it the way you would a standard PHP function. For example, to create a link using the anchor() function in one of your view files you would do this:

<?= anchor('blog/comments', 'Click Here'); ?>

Creating a Helper

Creating a helper is pretty simple. Create a helpers/ directory within your add-on’s directory and create a file the ends in _helper.php. If you wanted to create a time helper, you might name the file name_helper.php. Within that file, simply add functions ensuring that there’s no Class structure containing them. It’s considered best practice to check to see if the function already exists, by using function_exists():

if ( ! function_exists('element'))
    function element($item, $array, $default = FALSE)
        if ( ! isset($array[$item]) OR $array[$item] == "")
            return $default;

        return $array[$item];