maybe_create_table() – Creates a table in the database, if it doesn’t already exist.

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Creates a table in the database, if it doesn't already exist.

This method checks for an existing database table and creates a new one if it's not already present. It doesn't rely on MySQL's "IF NOT EXISTS" statement, but chooses to query all tables first and then run the SQL statement creating the table.


$bool = maybe_create_table( $table_name, $create_ddl );


( string ) required – Database table name.
( string ) required – SQL statement to create table.


bool True on success or if the table already exists. False on failure.


File name: wordpress/wp-admin/includes/upgrade.php

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function maybe_create_table( $table_name, $create_ddl ) {
  global $wpdb;

  $query = $wpdb->prepare( 'SHOW TABLES LIKE %s', $wpdb->esc_like( $table_name ) );

  if ( $wpdb->get_var( $query ) === $table_name ) {
    return true;

  // Didn't find it, so try to create it.
  $wpdb->query( $create_ddl );

  // We cannot directly tell that whether this succeeded!
  if ( $wpdb->get_var( $query ) === $table_name ) {
    return true;

  return false;

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