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Is there a way to limit search to post titles? I know I can modify query.php core file but there must be a way to do it with hooks right?

Thanks in advance!

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

Here's a filter that'll do the trick. Drop it into your theme's functions.php or a plugin.

 * Search SQL filter for matching against post title only.
 * @link    http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/a/11826/1685
 * @param   string      $search
 * @param   WP_Query    $wp_query
function wpse_11826_search_by_title( $search, $wp_query ) {
    if ( ! empty( $search ) && ! empty( $wp_query->query_vars['search_terms'] ) ) {
        global $wpdb;

        $q = $wp_query->query_vars;
        $n = ! empty( $q['exact'] ) ? '' : '%';

        $search = array();

        foreach ( ( array ) $q['search_terms'] as $term )
            $search[] = $wpdb->prepare( "$wpdb->posts.post_title LIKE %s", $n . $wpdb->esc_like( $term ) . $n );

        if ( ! is_user_logged_in() )
            $search[] = "$wpdb->posts.post_password = ''";

        $search = ' AND ' . implode( ' AND ', $search );

    return $search;

add_filter( 'posts_search', 'wpse_11826_search_by_title', 10, 2 );

Most of the code is just copied from the WP_Query class, except with the post_content LIKE's removed.

UPDATE: Removed deprecated like_escape() since 4.0

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great works perfectly, I knew there was a filter for this, couldn't find it anywhere in the codex, thanks a lot! – javiervd Mar 12 '11 at 16:19
@TheDeadMedic I just tried it on my blog and that particular query now returns no result at all, with or without this code. Any ideas? – Ashfame Aug 3 '11 at 23:37
Now its working as usual without the code but the code didn't work for me. It showed the same results :/ – Ashfame Aug 4 '11 at 7:32
@Ashfame I have revised my answer. – TheDeadMedic Aug 4 '11 at 12:44
PHP message: PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined method wpdb::esc_like() --- If you have an older WordPress, this is a new function as of WP 4.0 – PJ Brunet Nov 9 '15 at 23:14

protected by toscho Aug 5 '12 at 12:41

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