Adding humans.txt to WordPress

humans.txt is a simple but effective way for web developers (and other contributors) to take credit for their work and preserve their legacy on the web. Given enough time everything a web developer touches is gone. The ability to preserve any footprint is limited. All our code, our ingenuity, shameless hacks, eventually are refactored or deleted. The humans.txt is one small corner in the internet where, maybe if you are lucky, where a simple acknowledgement may remain – this is especially useful if the website is maintained and updated by different teams over time.

I have been mentioned in the humans.txt in a number of sites where I no longer work or have access to. A few survive still, but most don’t:

Enable humans.txt

<?php /** * Register the rewrite rule for /humans.txt request. */ function add_humans_txt_rewrite() { add_rewrite_rule( ‘^humans\.txt$’, ‘index.php?humans_txt=true’, ‘top’ ); } add_action( ‘init’, ‘add_humans_txt_rewrite’, 10 ); /** * Filter the list of public query vars in order to allow the WP::parse_request * to register the query variable. * * @param array $public_query_vars The array of whitelisted query variables. * * @return array */ function add_humans_txt_query_var( $public_query_vars ) { $public_query_vars[] = ‘humans_txt’; return $public_query_vars; } add_filter( ‘query_vars’, ‘add_humans_txt_query_var’, 10, 1 ); /** * Hook the parse_request action and serve the humans.txt when custom query variable is set to ‘true’. * * @param WP $wp Current WordPress environment instance */ function get_humans_txt_request( $wp ) { if ( isset( $wp->query_vars[‘humans_txt’] ) && ‘true’ === $wp->query_vars[‘humans_txt’] ) { header( ‘Content-Type: text/plain’ ); echo file_get_contents( get_stylesheet_directory() . ‘/humans.txt’ ); exit; } } add_action( ‘parse_request’, ‘get_humans_txt_request’, 10, 1 ); /** * Add a LINK tag in the HEAD of your main page */ function add_humans_txt_link() { if (is_front_page()) { echo ‘<link rel=”author” href=”humans.txt” />’; } }; add_action(‘wp_head’, ‘add_humans_txt_link’);

Write humans.txt

This is the plain-text template I would suggest. Newest team member added to top of list. As folks move on, move them to the Alumni section. I have had a few people over the years apply to jobs noting they found listings through this.

It contains information about the people who have contributed to the development of the website, including the web developers, designers, product managers, and other professionals who have played a role in creating the site.


These shiny humans help direct the ones and zeros that run

    Sigourney Weaver
    Michael Donohoe


These humans have helped us to be what we are today:

    Ed Norton
    Peter O'Toole     peter (at) gmail dot com


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I would suggest using this to create a hoomans.txt to list people’s dogs, but I have too much time on my hands.